Write great short stories: learn from a prizewinning author!

Improve your creative writing; create, polish and publish short stories, all under the guidance of an acclaimed writer.
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  • Lectures 29
  • Length 2.5 hours
  • Skill Level Beginner Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 4/2015 English

Course Description

Want to write great short stories? Want to improve your creative writing and get feedback from a prize winning author? Then this course is for you.

Working through the life cycle of a story from idea to publication, you'll learn everything you need to know to be a successful short story writer. Find ideas, get playful, learn about drafting, structure and polishing your work, and how to publish yourself too. The course continues with extra help once your story is out there. Learn how to publicize your work, as well as dealing with feedback and reviews with a smile on your face.

Led by Authors' Club and Betty Trask Award winning author Nicola Monaghan (aka best selling thriller writer Niki Valentine), this course contains over two and a half hours of video lectures on creative writing, as well as plenty of additional material in the form of resource sheets and proformas. There are regular exercises throughout, and you'll get the chance to post examples of your writing and get feedback. There's also a bonus free ebook 'The Night Lingers and other stories' by Nicola Monaghan, available to download towards the end of the lectures, as a thank you for choosing this course.

Enrol on this course now, and start flexing your creative writing muscles and writing great stories!

What are the requirements?

  • Students will need to know how to write in English, and have reasonable grammar, spelling and punctuation.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Generate and develop ideas for short stories
  • Draft short stories
  • Edit and polish written prose

Who is the target audience?

  • This course is meant for students relatively new to creative writing. It is ideal for someone who would like to write their first short story, or anyone who wants to improve their story writing.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Introductions: what the course is about and a bit about me

An introduction to the course.


Some advice on how to get the most out of the course.

Section 2: Where a good story starts: the idea

The answer to the question I get asked most as a writer!


Information about writing prompts and exercises that can help you find ideas


Some thoughts on alternatives to writing exercises and prompts.


How to make sure your best ideas don't slip into oblivion!

1 page

Recap of section 2.

Section 3: Developing ideas

The basics of story structure


How to tell if your idea is right for a short story.


How to write a great opening for your story


How to write a satisfying ending for your story

5 questions

A quiz on this section

Section 4: Getting it down: the first draft

Explanation of the drafting method and how it can help you write a good story.


How to go about writing your first draft.


Ways of working as a writer.


A short recap of the section, with an exercise to consolidate.

Section 5: Getting it good: the redrafting and polishing process

How to edit and improve your short story


Analyse your story's structure as part of the redrafting process.


How to copy edit your own work and get it as near as you can to perfect

9 pages

How to know when your story is finished and ready for the world.

Section 6: Getting it out there: how to get a story published

A rundown of the options available in the current publishing environment


How to go about sending your story out into the world


How to cope when your story is rejected and keep on keeping on


How to go about self-publishing your work

1 page

Consolidate your learning from this section and decide on a current route for your stories. NB you can change your mind at ANY time!

Section 7: Once your work is out there - what next?

Advice on dealing with responses to your work, negative or positive.


How to get the word out about your published work.


Some of the best advice I've had; inspiration from Alan Sillitoe and one of his short stories.


Summary of the course and a few last words


Some final details, and a link to a free ebook of my short stories for your reading pleasure :)

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Instructor Biography

Nicola Valentine, Prize winning novelist, screenwriter and lecturer

I'm a prize winning novelist as Nicola Monaghan, and also write best selling thrillers as Niki Valentine. I've published novels, short stories, articles in magazines and national newspapers and pieces for broadcast on BBC radio. I've also written and produced short films and am working on my first feature.

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