Amanda Huggins is the award-winning author of four collections of short fiction and poetry. Her work has also been widely published in journals, newspapers, magazines and anthologies, and broadcast on BBC radio.
In 2020 she won the Colm Toibin International Short Story Award, and her poetry chapbook, The Collective Nouns for Birds, won the Saboteur Award for Best Poetry Pamphlet. She was a runner-up in the Costa Short Story Award 2018 and has also been placed and listed in numerous competitions, including Fish, Bridport, Bath and the Alpine Fellowship Writing Award.
Her debut novella, All Our Squandered Beauty, was shortlisted for the Best Opening Chapter Competition at York Festival of Writing in 2019, and will be published in January 2021 by Victorina Press.
Amanda's travel writing has also won several awards, notably the BGTW New Travel Writer of the Year in 2014, and she has twice been a finalist in the Bradt Guides New Travel Writer Award.
The tutorials within the course will focus on all the elements you need to write compelling and memorable short stories.
TUTORIAL ONE - WHAT’S THE POINT?
The questions you need to ask about your story before you begin. Understanding why you want to write a particular story and what you want to convey. Why will people care about your story? What will they take away from it? The importance of searching for the deeper meaning in your writing to ensure it will resonate with readers.
TUTORIAL TWO - GRAB AND ANCHOR
Grabbing the reader with a great opening paragraph and anchoring the story with a brilliant last line. Effective ways to begin your story and different types of ending – how deciding on your ending before you begin can inform the way you’ll write your story.
TUTORIAL THREE - SHE’S A REAL CHARACTER
How to create and develop memorable, relatable characters. Understanding psychology of character and psychic distance. Evoking empathy – ensuring the reader feels an emotional connection to your protagonist even if the story is outside their own realm of experience. Exploring different techniques to create deep point of view – using sensory details, body language and symbolism.
TUTORIAL FOUR - PUTTING YOUR STORY IN ITS PLACE
Exploring the power of stories to transport us to another world. How location can affect your character’s decisions, motivation, and how they act and feel. The ways in which a strong sense of place will immerse the reader and make your stories feel real and believable. Bringing your setting to life with sensory details – the importance of being able to see, hear, feel, smell, taste and touch the world you create.
TUTORIAL FIVE - THE WAY YOU TELL IT
The importance of the beauty, rhythm and sound of words. How to use language effectively and employ techniques to make your prose style both economical and lyrical. Understanding active voice and sentence pace, how to create rhythm and realistic dialogue. A consideration of Hemingway’s Iceberg Theory: using as few words as possible to indicate the unwritten story that exists below the surface.
TUTORIAL SIX - LIFE BEYOND THE LAST LINE
Time to revise and edit your work, to make sure your story is as good as it can be. Review your overall story arc, the events which have triggered a shift in your character’s view of the world, the consequences of their actions. Check that every sentence develops character, explores your theme or enhances the plot. Ensure your language is precise and ruthlessly pruned, that the story has the reading rhythm it needs. Ask yourself: Will your story linger in people’s minds long after it has ended? Will the reader feel unsettled, moved, will they laugh or cry? Will they finish your story believing your characters have a life beyond the last line?
- Cancellations are accepted up to 3 weeks before the course start date for a full refund minus £40 admin fee.
- Cancellations within 3 weeks of the course start date will only be due a refund if we can re-sell the space. This will also be subject to a £40 admin fee and any minus any discount we have to offer to re-sell the space.
- No refund will be payable once the course has started but if you cannot attend, you have the option to transfer to a later date.
Work Alone Course
- As the full course content is accessible immediately upon purchase, there is no refund available for cancellations.