Course Information

Please click here for the next Six-Week Short Story course

Unlocking Creativity is a pre-requisite for this course and all 6-Week Intermediate courses.

Our three intermediate 6-Week Online Short Story courses are run only once per year. Click to read more >


Course Details

The genres are the modern storytelling forms whose story patterns resonate deeply with the psyche of your readers. By exploring various genres, you will take your understanding of story and character to another level.

Understanding different genres will dramatically improve your ability to create powerful characters and stories. The course will also push your writing and stories into new directions and emotional depths you may not have imagined possible.

If you are interested in doing the 10-Month Novel and Script First Draft course, the 6-Week courses are an excellent opportunity to explore and develop characters and story ideas before embarking on the longer journey. They give writers the opportunity to explore characters and stories they might wish to take further and expand into a novel or screenplay.

During the Course you will:

  • Discover the power of genre and how to apply it to your stories
  • Learn tools and techniques that will develop your ability to create powerful characters and stories
  • Write a 1250-1500 word short story every ten days (four in total)
  • Receive constructive feedback using specialised templates on every story you post from your online tutor and fellow writers.
  • Keep your imagination alive and develop your writing skills
  • Stretch your boundaries as a writer by trying different writing styles you may have never considered
  • Develop a writing habit. This course will help you develop the autonomy and discipline you need to write stories on your own.

Many writers have been inspired by the characters and stories they have developed in this course and gone on to write longer pieces.


The Importance of Genre

The first question most agents, editors and producers will ask you is – what genre is your story? Because that’s where you’ll find your story’s emotional spine.

American writing teacher, John Truby says, “Writers typically underestimate the importance of mastering genre. Genres aren’t just systems for expressing certain themes. They are also strategies for storytelling”

And as Randy Ingermanson explains, “creating an emotional reaction within a reader is the key to creating powerful fiction. Think about any of the major genres of fiction and you see that each packs some sort of emotional punch.”

One of the ways genres set themselves apart from one another is that they each ask a different central question or force the hero/heroine to make a crucial decision.

For example:

  • Romance delivers a combination of love and lust as does any novel with a romantic thread.
  • Suspense novels, thrillers, action-adventure, horror and fiction all deliver various flavours of fear.
  • Mysteries arouse a strong sense of curiosity and usually deliver a healthy dose of fear.
  • Historical novels, all give the reader and experience of being “elsewhere.”
  • General fiction and literary fiction can deliver any of the preceding emotions, along with a strong sense of feeling understood.

Targeted Feedback on every Story you Post

You will receive feedback from your personal tutor on every piece you post. They will identify what you communicated through your writing, what worked and what could be improved or done differently using our targeted feedback templates.

Our feedback templates are designed to inspire you, help you develop an understanding of the craft and take your writing to the next level.

You will also be expected to provide two pieces of feedback for other participants in the class for every piece you post. The first step to becoming a better writer is to become a better reader.

Interested in signing up for the Short Story – Genre course?