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Writing Short Stories Creativity & Arts

Writing Short Stories

Would you like to hone your existing storytelling and writing, or develop your writing skills from scratch? Our Writing Short Stories online course will help you to transfer your ideas into compelling, well-structured stories on paper!

Storytelling has the power to change lives and bring people together. If you have a head full of stories, or a design to communicate your creative ideas through writing, then our Writing Short Stories online course will help you to make your voice heard through this powerful medium.

Through this course, you’ll sharpen your creative skills and learn how to structure a short story effectively to create a compelling read. Written by experienced authors, each topic is packed with activities and advice on how to improve your writing, such as using construction and pace, developing themes and characters and choosing a narrative voice.

Writing stories opens up a world of opportunities due to the variety of markets for which you could be writing in the future – from newspapers and magazines to blogs and books. Why not enrol today to see where your writing could take you?

Why study Writing Short Stories?

Whether you write for pleasure, or would like to earn money from storytelling, you’ll find this course informative and fun. Storytelling has a long, illustrious tradition and the art of producing entire worlds from a blank page goes back centuries and is a wonderful way to share your creative ideas.

By completing this course you’ll gain a deeper understanding of key practical techniques that will improve your writing. With the support of a personal tutor, you’ll complete six assignments, designed to help you apply theory to practice as you communicate your ideas with skill and confidence.

Our Writing Short Stories online course is ideal if you:

  • Have a passion for writing and want to develop your skills.
  • Want to learn key techniques that will improve your story writing.
  • Would like to study a subject that is both pleasurable and fun.
  • Want to boost your confidence in writing and communicating your creative ideas.

Future opportunities

  • Studying our Creative Writing or Writing for a Living courses or studying English Literature or Language at GCSE, A level or degree level.
  • Writing short stories to pitch to media outlets, or to self publish.

A wide range of rewarding career paths in areas such as journalism, publishing, editing and proofreading.

Course content

Module 1: In the beginning

  • Learning to play
  • Making space for writing
  • The writer’s dual personality
  • Fears
  • Writing dangerously
  • Practical aids
  • Researching your subject
  • Reading
  • Baking a cake
  • Aspects of writing

Module 2: Finding your story

  • Choosing an idea
  • Preoccupations
  • The setting
  • Jingles, rhymes, sayings, proverbs
  • Your cuttings file
  • Family objects
  • Stories of loss
  • Dreams
  • Fairy stories, fables and myths

Module 3: Finding your voice

  • Three kinds of voice
  • Permission to speak
  • Your writing style
  • Manufacturing a persona
  • The loudest voice

Module 4: Shaping the story

  • Getting there
  • Analysing a story
  • Repeated images
  • When does a story end?
  • Ways of beginning and ending
  • The question of the narrator
  • Epiphanies
  • Character-based plots
  • Non-linear narratives

Module 5: Creating characters

  • Relating to our characters
  • We are what we look like
  • We are what we do
  • We are what we say
  • We are how we feel
  • Relationships

Module 6: Showing, not telling

  • Showing or telling?
  • Using our senses
  • A child’s-eye view
  • Rhythm and sentence structure
  • Dialogue
  • Tell me a story…

Module 7: Completing

  • Reaching your goal
  • Following (and breaking) the rules
  • Accumulating ideas
  • Writing strong sentences
  • Building paragraphs
  • Seducing the reader
  • Reading aloud
  • Reworking drafts
  • Final redrafting
  • The creative process: carving in stone

Study Writing Short Stories with us and benefit from:

  • Flexible learning
  • Support from a personal tutor by email, phone or Skype
  • Any time enrolment
  • Assignments with tutor feedback
  • Ongoing support from Student Support
  • Forums to discuss your course with other students


Choose when and where you access your course, using learn@nec our 24/7 learning platform.

This easy-to-use learning platform includes interactive checkpoints, quizzes and activities to help you evaluate your progress.

What you need to know


  • Online learning with support from a personal tutor

Entry requirements

  • No previous knowledge is required for this course
  • An ability to read and write in English


  • Complete at your own pace
  • Approx. 60 study hours, plus time for completing assignments


  • 6 assignments


  • No additional set texts required


  • Internet access
  • Computer operating system and browser to support learn@nec

What's included?

Our course fees are open and honest to help you plan for any additional costs.

Your course fee includes:

  • Access to learn@nec
  • All the course materials you need to complete the course
  • Support from a personal tutor for up to six months from your date of enrolment
  • Assignment marking
  • NEC’s guide to study skills: How to Succeed as an Independent Learner
  • Spelling, punctuation and grammar guide
  • Time planner to help you plan your study timetable

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