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‘How to write’ masterclasses

The Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award Mini Masterclasses present some of the world’s great writers talking about key aspects of how to write a short story, from how to generate an idea, to the geometry of the form, and – crucially – how to make every word count


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How to write short stories: Preti Taneji on using objects and testimonies in your fiction

  • 25th June 2021

Preti Taneja on the ways in which events, time, memory and feelings can be used in your writing to make the everyday strange and cast the world in a new light

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How to write: practical tip for “starting the engine” in fiction with DBC Pierre

  • 28th May 2021

DBC Pierre shares his tips for arousing movement and mystery in your writing from the start – and bringing your work to life

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Short story masterclass with AL Kennedy: how to plan your prose

  • 30th April 2021

“Plan. Don’t be afraid of it, it won’t be boring.” AL Kennedy on how and why to make a plan for your short stories

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How to write short stories: Lucy Caldwell on using a second-person narrator in fiction

  • 26th March 2021

"The second-person narrator, when done badly, is the form of narrator that irritates me the most": Lucy Caldwell on how to use "you" in fiction

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How to write short stories: Jacob Ross on 'escalation' in fiction

  • 26th February 2021

"Things get increasingly worse": the author Jacob Ross on how to build action and tension in fiction

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How to write short stories: Adam Marek on enticing opening lines in fiction

  • 29th January 2021

The author Adam Marek on how to great your readers' attentions with powerful first sentences in your short stories

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Short story masterclass: characterisation, with Leone Ross

  • 27th November 2020

The author Leone Ross on creating convincing and believable people on the page, also known as characterisation

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Kate Clanchy writing masterclass: how to create memorable imagery in your short stories

  • 30th October 2020

“In a short story, the images can be the plot and be the characters”: Kate Clanchy shares her secrets for building powerful images in your writing

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Time to be ruthless: edit your story so every word counts, with Cynan Jones

  • 25th September 2020

“Chances are, there’s material in your story that simply needs to be hacked away”: Cynan Jones reveals the secrets of editing fiction and how to apply it to your own short stories

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How to write a short story... good dialogue and bad dialogue – how to get it right, with Louise Kennedy

  • 28th August 2020

"You learn from writing, from reading, from listening": Louise Kennedy reveals the secrets of great dialogue in fiction and how to apply it to your own short stories

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