How to Write Short Stories (OL12L64B)

How to open a door onto a story and get it onto the page.

When? Monday, 7:00pm - 8:30pm from 2nd November 2020 until 30th November 2020 for 5 weeks.
Where? This is an online course.
How much does it cost? The full fee is £59.00. The concessionary fee is £42.00. Reduced fees are available to students in receipt of certain means-tested benefits. For more information on applicable benefits and eligibility please see the Financial Support page on our website or contact the ACRES team.

How to enrol?

You can enrol by phoning ACRES' House on 01825 761820 on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday between 10 am and 3 pm. Alternatively, to register your interest in a course please email with the course title and your contact details and a member of the team will call you back to enrol you on your chosen course.

Course overview

Tricky situations, decisions, realisations and changes of heart or plan, are all hinges on which short stories swing. During this 5 week course, you will learn how to open the door onto a short story and how to get what you find down on the page. We'll look at draft & craft, character, point of view, structure and suspense as well as beginnings and endings.

What you already need to know

You do not need any previous knowledge, just a passion for storytelling.

What you will learn

How you will learn it

Sessions will be delivered live in groups of up to 8 via Google meet, with real-time interaction with tutor and course members, plus a chance to comment on each others' work and receive tutor feedback via a student forum.

Padlet will be used to create an online interactive course support page with information, examples, demonstrations and video links uploaded to support each session as well as an online gallery for student work.

Both Google Meet and Padlet can be accessed via the links given at the course start and can be used to support your development both in and away from the online classroom.

What do I need to bring to the first session?

ACRES' online courses will be taught in real time using the video platform Google Meet, supported by other online resources. To ensure you get the most out of the course and can fully participate in the sessions you will interact with your tutor and other students through speaking, listening and the chat function, as well as being able to see each other via the video links, though you can turn off your camera and microphone at any time.

You will therefore need to have access to either a laptop, computer or portable device (eg tablet or phone) (this ideally needs to be less than 5 years old), with a camera / webcam and microphone, as well as a good broadband / Wi-Fi connection.

Though it is not essential, you may choose to create a separate email account for your online learning (preferably Gmail which is most compatible with Google Meet). This will give you the added security to allow you to share your email address with your tutor and other students on the course to enhance your learning experience, without disclosing your personal information.

At the start of the course and before each lesson your tutor will send you an invitation with a link to join the class and any further information including resources and equipment you will need for the lesson.

Materials and items you will need to do the course

A creative notebook you can use for the whole course, pens, enthusiasm, and a love of stories.

How much extra study or practice is involved?

To get the most out of the course, you are expected to commit to a minimum of 1 hour of writing per week between sessions. You will have the opportunity to post your work on a student forum, Padlet, to receive feedback from the tutor and your fellow students. You are also encouraged to read widely.

What do previous students say?

I found the teaching and course excellent.

I have thoroughly enjoyed the course I took and will be booking two more

I've developed more confidence in my writing, and continue to be inspired and enthused by these lessons.

What are the next steps within this subject with ACRES?

Please check our website for up to date information on all of ACRES Creative Writing courses starting in the New Year.

What are the future steps beyond ACRES?

Find out about other courses with the National Careers Service for opportunities to extend your skills and knowledge.

How can I get further information about these?

Please visit the ACRES website, see our brochure, or alternatively contact a member of the team on 01825 761820.

For other organisations, please consult their websites:
New Writing South -
Arvon -
The Open University -

Further information will be provided by your tutor.