Small But Perfectly Formed: The Art and Craft of the Short Story Part 2

Ref: C3743024

There is a glorious perfection in a miniature. At its conclusion, a great short story evokes a purr of satisfaction from the reader of a kind no other literary genre can afford. This course will teach you how the masters and mistresses of the craft of short story writing achieve their glories. And not least, the course will introduce you to stories which will touch you, make you think, and sometimes even laugh out loud!

Course aim

To appreciate the craftsmanship of the great contemporary short story writers and to enjoy their stories.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • Students who bring an enthusiasm for reading imaginative fiction will find that enthusiasm is an asset.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Having read short stories by Roald Dahl, to appreciate his plotting skills and to consider whether he is cruel or clear-sighted - or both.
  • Having read short stories by William Trevor, to appreciate his ability to conjure "time and place and the particular knot of social mores that the story will spend its pages untangling".
  • Having read short stories by Alice Munro, to appreciate her ability to portray "the slow changes that time wreaks".
  • Having read short stories by Annie Proulx, to appreciate her "feeling for place and the shape into which it twists her characters".
  • To understand and appreciate the craftsmanship of short story writing.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • You may be asked to undertake additional work in your own time to support your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning
  • You will be encouraged to consider other students work and give your opinions and suggestions

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed
  • The bringing of enthusiasm for the reading of imaginative fiction is an asset.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required
  • Set texts: Dahl: "Kiss, Kiss"; Trevor: "The Stories of William Trevor"; Munro: "Dear Life"; Proulx: Close Range: Wyoming Stories.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • You could progress to Higher Education courses. Follow link to the PEARL website for information
  • You could write your own short stories.

Download full course information sheet

Small But Perfectly Formed: The Art and Craft of the Short Story Part 2


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2018
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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