Skip to content Skip to main menu

‘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


Screenshot 2021-03-01 at 18.20.19.png

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

Read the article


Screenshot 2021-02-26 at 13.44.35.png

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

Read the article


Screenshot 2021-01-26 at 12.29.43.png

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

Read the article


Screenshot 2020-11-13 at 13.16.10.png

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

Read the article


Screenshot 2020-10-27 at 12.02.52.png

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

Read the article


Screenshot 2020-09-14 at 14.52.35.png

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

Read the article


Screenshot 2020-08-27 at 17.24.11.png

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

Read the article


Screenshot 2020-07-28 at 19.42.51.png

How to write a short story... looking at geometry with Yiyun Li

  • 31st July 2020

"A short story can be as big, as epic, as symphonic, as a novel": Yiyun Li explains how to use geometrical variations to add depth and width within the limit of a story

Read the article


Screenshot 2020-07-03 at 12.56.00.png

How to write a short story... generating ideas with Joe Dunthorne

  • 5th July 2020

“Where do you get your ideas from?” Joe Dunthorne leads a masterclass in how to generate ideas for the perfect short story

Read the article