Exploring short stories: From Dickens to Hensher

Ref: C3531057

In her introduction to the anthology we shall be reading from, AS Byatt states that 'the workmanlike English story is bland, and the great English story is... shocking - even the sparest and driest - and hard to categorize', we will be thinking about this as we discuss two stories at each of our six sessions. Starting with William Gilbert's 1866 story, we will work our way through a range of writing styles, to finish with Hensher, in 1997. In the process,we will seek to identify topics, themes and techniques and think about how and why we should read more short fiction. Please read, The Sacristan of St Botolph by William Gilbert and A white Night by Charlotte Mew, for discussion at the first session.

Additional information about this course

There is no session on 25th May

Course aim

To discuss a range of stories from the selected anthology, with a view to identifying writing styles and techniques that typify the best short fiction.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is for beginners
  • This course is for improvers
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

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

  • Discuss our reading experience
  • Compare and contrast the style and content of short stories
  • Identify a range of story techniques

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
  • You will be expected to carry out a range of activities in your own time
  • There will be a set reading schedule, with two stories to read in preparation for each session.

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
  • There will be a number of tasks appropriate to your course such as written work, creating art or craft, video, photography or small projects. Some of these may be marked to help you progress
  • The tutor will give informal feedback about progress. Group discussion and self-assessment will also be encouraged.

What else do I need to know?

  • Please bring a copy of The Oxford Book of English Short Stories, edited by A.S. Byatt. ISBN-10: 0199561605 ISBN-13: 978-0199561605

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • Please read, The Sacristan of St Botolph, by William Gilbert, and A White Night, by Charlotte Mew for discussion at the first session.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member
  • Become involved as a volunteer for a WEA partner or another organisation
  • You could progress to Higher Education courses. Follow link to the PEARL website for information http://pearl.open.ac.uk/
  • Access the WEA What Next? booklet here http://www.wea.org.uk/learn-wea/what-can-i-do-next
  • Join a reading group Join a writing group

Download full course information sheet

Exploring short stories: From Dickens to Hensher

Enrolment Conditions

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 2019
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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