Menu

Short Story Writing Course

 Structure  –  Tutor  –  Enrolement/Fees   –  Testimonials

This Short Story Writing Course, a tailored online program, will not only develop your general writing skills but will explore in depth the potential of the short story genre.

The course offers both new and experienced writers an extensive range of creative ideas and activities to help develop their craft. Course tutor Mary-Jane Holmes will be on hand to offer advice on mastering technique and developing personal style. Each module concentrates on a key aspect of the form, such as shape and structure, narrative perspective and characterization and by the end of the program you will have completed a polished work of short fiction that will be submitted for the prestigious Fish Short Story Prize.

Not that the story need be long, but it will take a long time to make it short.
Henry David Thoreau

 

 

Structure: Short Story Writing Course

This online course is broken down into 10 separate modules designed to hone your writing skills within this exciting genre. There is no set time limit for completing the assignments; however the program must be completed within 5 months (including the final work that will be eligible for the Fish Short Story Prize). When you have enrolled on the course, Mary-Jane will email you a registration form, suggested reading list and the introductory module.

Modules

  1. Close reading: An Introduction to the Short Story
  2. Characterization
  3. The Moved Character
  4. Point of View
  5. Visualization
  6. Shape and Structure
  7. Set up and Pay off
  8. Word Choice
  9. Time
  10. Fish Publishing Short Story Competition

Each module includes a series of assignments to complete. Once finished they can then be submitted by email for private review. Mary-Jane will then email you back (normally within 5 working days) with a detailed analysis of your work. This will include areas to focus on and additional exercises if needed before moving on to the next module. Within the time frame of the whole course you are encouraged to work at your own pace and if you have any queries, Mary-Jane is on hand to offer additional support and guidance.

Email for additional information: info@fishpublishing.com

 

 

Course Tutor: Mary-Jane Holmes

An experienced editor and writing teacher, Mary-Jane Holmes, joined the Fish team in 2009. She has taught contemporary poetry at Hull University (Continuing Education Department) and designed creative English curriculum programs in Aurich, Germany and Niort, France.

Her own work has been published in a variety of reviews including The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, Prole, The Lonely Crowd and Lute and Drum. In 2014 she won the Dromineer Flash Fiction Prize and has been shortlisted twice for the Bridport Prize in recent years. Her work is anthologised in The Best Small Fictions 2016 edited by Stuart Dybek and and she recently won the Bedford International Poetry Prize. She is currently studying for a Master of Studies in Creative Writing at Kellogg College, Oxford and is consulting editor of The Well Review, an international poetry journal based out of Cork.

Links: Interview with Mary Jane Holmes

 

 

Enrolment/Fees: Short Story Writing Course

The course costs £275, payable in advance to Fish Publishing through PayPal. To check how much that is in your currency – Currency Converter –

Use the button below to make the payment.
Payment secures your place on the course.
Confirmation of payment from PayPal will be by email.
You will shortly receive an introductory email from your course tutor (normally within 3 working days).
We hope that you find the course useful, constructive and enjoyable. Please fill out the Feedback form after the last module.
Enrolment Conditions

Payment

 

 

Testimonials:

Testimonials: Short Story Writing Course    –     Testimonials: Course Tutor

Testimonials: Short Story Writing Course

– Very professional right from enrolment.
– Very clear communication – constructive, robust, firm and fair delivered in a supportive style.
– A really worthwhile investment.
– I had never formally learned about the short story so my aims were to learn more through a good quality, structured dedicated course – and I have gained a definitely deeper technical understanding of the genre.
– The structure, reading, exercises and handouts were all really well considered, appropriate and valuable. I like the way the course is linked into the Fish competitions and appreciate the (future) discount offer. The online delivery was excellent for me.

A R Abbott

 

I would definitely recommend this course to others who want a rigorous and focused course in short story writing online, one-to-one, with a tutor. I was delighted to find this course, and at this kind of price, as I had been looking for one like it for a while without success. I’ve found that although I had read almost all the advice in the assignments in creative writing books it was quite a different experience having this advice targeted to my own writing, along with the tutor’s more detailed comments. I cannot speak highly enough of this course in meeting my aims!

Moira Garland

 

 

Testimonials: Course Tutor

Mary-Jane is wonderful tutor and I am enjoying my Fish online course immensely. Many thanks, 

Esme Hillis 

 

I thoroughly enjoyed working with Mary-Jane. I would say there was the right level of straight forward critique balance with positive prompts and encouraging feedback. 

Andrea Wicks 

 

The teacher – Mary-Jane Holmes had a feel for what I wanted to say, where I wanted to go with my stories, and guided me with clarity, professionalism and human warmth. She has made me much more aware of making choices rather than just scribbling along, which has made me feel I have a pretty great toolbox now. And she made it great fun too! 

Jette-Julie Rosendal 

 

Mary-Jane was very encouraging right from the start and she always found something positive to say about each assignment. Her criticism/analysis was always very clear and accurate (when I read it, I could immediately see the pertinence of it). At one point, I described her criticism of an assignment as “gently incisive” and I think that could be use to sum up just about all her interaction. 

Kieron Lyons 

 

Mary-Jane is an excellent teacher – prompt, direct, precise, encouraging and clear. 

Nancy Fermanagh 

 

Mary-Jane’s feedback has been spot on for all of my work. She has an excellent way of getting to the crux of what might improve a piece, helping me to see how I might make the reader think a little more for themselves, through suggestions and hints. Excellent and constructive feedback throughout the course.

Lesley Holmes

 

I thoroughly enjoyed working with Mary-Jane. I would say there was the right level of straight forward critique balance with positive prompts and encouraging feedback. 

Andrea Wicks 

 

Thank you for a high quality course with prompt, valid feedback from an engaging writing professional.

Fiona Sussman

 

Mary Jane’s astute commentaries, her helpful suggestions, her clear understanding of the technicalities of language and its use were placed in informal emails, which were friendly and supportive throughout. 

Avril Leigh

 

 

Enrolment Conditions

Once the Short Story Writing Course has commenced, there are no transfers or refunds in the event you are unable to continue. In exceptional circumstances, a time extension may be granted if the student is unable to complete the course in the allotted time limit. You understand the course materials are copyright and agree never to sell, rent or otherwise distribute your course materials in any way. Enrolment is taken as acceptance of conditions.

Fish Books

cover-2016-web

Fish Anthology 2016

The practitioners of the art of brevity and super-brevity whose work is in this book have mastered the skills and distilled and double-distilled their work like the finest whiskey.


More
Sunrise Sunset by Tina Pisco

Sunrise Sunset

€12  (incl. p&p)   Sunrise Sunset by Tina Pisco Surreal, sad, zany, funny, Tina Pisco’s stories are drawn from gritty experience as much as the swirling clouds of the imagination.  An astute, empathetic, sometimes savage observer, she brings her characters to life. They dance themselves onto the pages, and waltz around your mind long after […]


More
Fish Anthology 2015

Fish Anthology 2015

How do we transform personal experience of pain into literature? How do we create and then chisel away at those images of others, of loss, of suffering, of unspeakable helplessness so that they become works of art that aim for a shared humanity? The pieces selected here seem to prompt all these questions and the best of them offer some great answers.
– Carmen Bugan.


More
Fish Anthology 2014

Fish Anthology 2014

What a high standard all round – of craft, imagination and originality: and what a wide range of feeling and vision.
Ruth Padel

I was struck by how funny many of the stories are, several of them joyously so – they are madcap and eccentric and great fun. Others – despite restrained and elegant prose – managed to be devastating. All of them are the work of writers with talent.
Claire Kilroy


More
Fish Anthology 2013

Fish Anthology 2013

The writing comes first, the bottom line comes last. And sandwiched between is an eye for the innovative, the inventive and the extraordinary.


More
anthology-2012

Fish Anthology 2012

A new collection from around the globe: innovative, exciting, invigorating work from the writers and poets who will be making waves for some time to come. David Mitchell, Michael Collins, David Shields and Billy Collins selected the stories, flash fiction, memoirs and poems in this anthology.


More
anthology-2011

Fish Anthology 2011

Reading the one page stories I was a little dazzled, and disappointed that I couldn’t give the prize to everybody. It’s such a tight format, every word must count, every punctuation mark. ‘The Long Wet Grass’ is a masterly bit of story telling … I still can’t get it out of my mind.
– Chris Stewart


More
anthology-2010

Fish Anthology 2010

The perfectly achieved story transcends the limitations of space with profundity and insight. What I look for in fiction, of whatever length, is authenticity and intensity of feeling. I demand to be moved, to be transported, to be introduced into other lives. The stories I have selected for this anthology have managed this. – Ronan Bennett, Short Story Judge.


More
Fish Anthology 2009

Fish Anthology 2009 – Ten Pint Ted

I sing those who are published here – they have done a very fine job. It is difficult to create from dust, which is what writers do. It is an honour to have read your work. – Colum McCann


More
book-covers-default-alt

Fish Anthology 2008 – Harlem River Blues

The entries into this year’s Fish Short Story Prize were universally strong. From these the judges have selected winners, we believe, of exceptional virtue. – Carlo Gebler


More
Fish Anthology 2007

Fish Anthology 2007

I was amazed and delighted at the range and quality of these stories. Every one of them was interesting, well-written, beautifully crafted and, as a short-story must, every one of them focused my attention on that very curtailed tableau which a short-story necessarily sets before us. – Michael Collins


More
grandmother

Fish Anthology 2006 – Grandmother, Girl, Wolf and Other Stories

These stories voice all that is vibrant about the form. – Gerard Donovan. Very short stories pack a poetic punch. Each of these holds its own surprise, or two. Dive into these seemingly small worlds. You’ll come up anew. – Angela Jane Fountas


More
all-kings

All the King’s Horses – Anthology of Historical Short Stories

Each of the pieces here has been chosen for its excellence. They are a delightfully varied assortment. More than usual for an anthology, this is a compendium of all the different ways that fiction can succeed. I invite you to turn to ‘All the King’s Horses’. The past is here. Begin.
– Michel Faber


More
mountain-mars

Fish Anthology 2005 – The Mountains of Mars and Other Stories

Literary anthologies, especially of new work, act as a kind of indicator to a society’s concerns. This Short Story collection, such a sharp and useful enterprise, goes beyond that. Its internationality demonstrates how our concerns are held in common across the globe. – Frank Delaney


More
spoonface

Fish Anthology 2004 – Spoonface and Other Stories

From the daily routine of a career in ‘Spoonface’, to the powerful, recurring image of a freezer in ‘Shadow Lives’. It was the remarkable focus on the ordinary that made these Fish short stories such a pleasure to read. – Hugo Hamilton


More
feathers

Feathers & Cigarettes

In a world where twenty screens of bullshit seem to be revolving without respite … there is nothing that can surpass the ‘explosion of art’ and its obstinate insistence on making sense of things. These dedicated scribes, as though some secret society, heroically, humbly, are espousing a noble cause.
– Pat McCabe


More
franklins

Franklin’s Grace

It’s supposed to be a short form, the good story, but it has about it a largeness I love. There is something to admire in all these tales, these strange, insistent invention. They take place in a rich and satisfying mixture of places, countries of the mind and heart. – Christopher Hope


More
asyluim

Asylum 1928

There are fine stories in this new anthology, some small and intimate, some reaching out through the personal for a wider, more universal perspective, wishing to tell a story – grand, simple, complex or everyday, wishing to engage you the reader. – Kate O’Riodan


More
Five O'Clock Shadow and Other Stories

Five O’Clock Shadow

I feel like issuing a health warning with this Fish Anthology ­ these stories may seriously damage your outlook – Here the writers view the world in their unique way, and have the imagination, talent, and the courage to refine it into that most surprising of all art forms ­ the short story. – Clem Cairns.


More
bearing

From the Bering Strait

Every story in this book makes its own original way in the world. knowing which are the telling moments, and showing them to us. And as the narrator of the winning story casually remarks, ‘Sometimes its the small things that amaze me’ – Molly McCloskey


More
scrap-magic

Scrap Magic

The stories here possess the difference, the quirkiness and the spark. They follow their own road and their own ideas their own way. It is a valuable quality which makes this collection a varied one. Read it, I hope you say to yourself like I did on many occasions, ‘That’s deadly. How did they think of that?’ – Eamonn Sweeney


More
dog-days

Dog Day

Really good short stories like these, don’t read like they were written. They read like they simply grew on the page. – Joseph O’Connor


More
the-stranger

The Stranger

The writers in this collection can write short stories . . . their quality is the only thing they have in common. – Roddy Doyle


More
fish-garden

The Fish Garden

This is the first volume of short stories from Ireland’s newest publishing house. We are proud that fish has enabled 15 budding new writers be published in this anthology, and I look forward to seeing many of them in print again.


More
12-mile

12 Miles Out – a novel by Nick Wright

12 Miles Out was selected by David Mitchell as the winner of the Fish Unpublished Novel Award.
A love story, thriller and historical novel; funny and sad, uplifting and enlightening.


More
altergeist

Altergeist – a novel by Tim Booth

You only know who you can’t trust. You can’t trust the law, because there’s none in New Ireland. You can’t trust the Church, because they think they’re the law. And you can’t trust the State, because they think they’re the Church And most of all, you can’t trust your friends, because you can’t remember who they were anymore.


More
small-city

Small City Blues numbers 1 to 51 – a novel by Martin Kelleher

A memoir of urban life, chronicled through its central character, Mackey. From momentary reflections to stories about his break with childhood and adolescence, the early introduction to the Big World, the discovery of romance and then love, the powerlessness of ordinary people, the weaknesses that end in disappointment and the strengths that help them seek redemption and belonging.


More
the-women-who-swallowed

The Woman Who Swallowed the Book of Kells – Collection of Short Stories by Ian Wild

Ian Wild’s stories mix Monty Python with Hammer Horror, and the Beatles with Shakespeare, but his anarchic style and sense of humour remain very much his own in this collection of tall tales from another planet. Where else would you find vengeful organs, the inside story of Eleanor Rigby, mobile moustaches, and Vikings looting a Cork City branch of Abracababra?


More

News & Articles

Flash Fiction Winning Story 2016

7th February 2017
This story, chosen by judge Nuala O’Connor, was published in the 2016 Fish Anthology along with nine other stunning Flash Stories from different authors. Chris Stewart will be selecting 10 for the 2017 Fish Anthology. The Young Brown Bear by Julie Netherton   Cuffed, cuffed, and cuffed again by She-bigger-than-me, who fed me and led me and […]

Short Story Contest Closing 30 Nov

21st November 2016
With 9 days to go I thought it a good time to remind writers that the contest closes at 12 midnight GMT on 30 Nov. Neel Mukherjee is judging. These are changing times and interesting ones for writers and readers. We want stories from new and aspiring writers for the 2017 Fish Anthology. We rely, […]

Leonard Cohen Dies. Donald Trump Ascends.

16th November 2016
Last week was a week that will stick in the memory like a speed-bump that didn’t just rattle the frame and bang your head on the roof, but banjaxed the suspension and threw the car off the road. Leonard Cohen, the most authentic man on the planet, died and Donald Trump, cartoon figure, swept to […]

Launch of 2016 Fish Anthology

16th October 2016
FISH ANTHOLOGY 2016 LAUNCH The Fish Anthology was launched at the West Cork Literary Festival on 20 July by Dave Lordan, who judged the Fish Poetry Prize. Dave’s exhuborent, off-the-cuff and upbeat speech kept us on our toes as his words raced to keep up with his thoughts. Despite his general scepticism about competitions, he […]

Launch of Sunrise Sunset by Tina Pisco

16th October 2016
    Also at the West Cork Literary Festival in July, Fish launched this collection of short stories, flash and comic-strip fiction from West Cork author Tina Pisco. Surreal, sad, zany, funny, Tina Pisco’s stories are drawn from gritty realism as much as the swirling clouds of the imagination. An astute, empathetic and sometimes savage […]

Find us and Follow Us

Fish Publishing, Durrus, Bantry, Co. Cork, Ireland

COPYRIGHT 2016 FISH PUBLISHING