What does the course include?

6 in-depth tutorials and feedback on 2 stories you create

Each tutorial is designed to lead you through the building blocks of writing short stories that resonate with readers. Prompts, readings, ideas, exercises and examples show you how to create memorable characters and settings that stand out and write prose that makes your stories shine. The group course also includes an online forum where you can chat with your course mates and tutor and share your responses to exercises for feedback and encouragement.
  • Where?

    Online - access the tutorials through our easy-to-use learning platform anytime, anywhere on your laptop, tablet and smartphone.

  • Prefer to work alone?

    Start anytime with the work alone option to go at your own pace and guide your own learning. You'll have access to the course for 3 months from signup.

  • Work better with others?

    Join the group course for up to 12 writers and get access to an online forum to chat with your course mates and tutor. New dates coming soon.

Course Tutor

Amanda Huggins

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

The tutorials within the course will focus on all the elements you need to write compelling and memorable short stories.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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?

Work alone option


Start anytime, work at your own pace and get feedback once the course has ended.

Group course

Bookings for the January 2021 course are now closed.

Join Amanda and up to 12 writers for the group course to get additional motivation and support in the forum.

Booking T&Cs

Group Course

  • 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.