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Writing Workshops

Mastering the Art of the Short Story with Madeline Stevens (Sold Out)


8 Sessions

Out of stock

Once a week Thursdays, 6:00 pm EDT - 8:00 pm EDT May 4 to June 22, 2023

Online via Zoom

This workshop has reached its capacity. To join the waitlist, please email Randy Winston [email protected].

What makes a good short story tick? Though it’s often taught as an introductory form, in my experience, the short story is one of the most difficult things for a writer to master. An entire world must exist self-contained, characters must have developed arcs, and the reader must walk away feeling something—whether heartbreak, elation, discomfort, or hope. But how do you achieve that in just a few short pages? In this course you’ll be studying voice, character development, plot structure, and endings with the goal of generating exciting new work that’s capable of invoking a range of emotional reactions.

On weeks where we meet for craft discussions you’ll be reading published work I provide by writers such as Ottessa Moshfegh, Deeshaw Philyaw, and Rebecca Schiff. You’ll also be doing writing exercises in class designed to stretch your skills, cement the concepts we discuss, and help you embark on new full-length pieces.

On workshop weeks you’ll be reading each other’s work, making notes and coming prepared to talk about what the piece is doing, what’s working, and possible editorial suggestions. Everyone will have the opportunity to submit their work twice over the course of our eight weeks together. This is a space where experimentation is encouraged, pieces are expected to be rough, and comments will be kind and constructive.

Open to writers of every level and genre.

Course Outline
  • Session I: Craft discussion and in-class exercises: openings, character & voice
  • Session II & III: Workshops
  • Session IV: Craft discussion and in-class exercises: plot, setting
  • Session V–VII: Workshops
  • Session VIII: Craft discussion and in-class exercises: endings, revision

Capacity: 12


Led by

  • Madeline_Stevens_03-Madeline-Stevens-scaled

    Madeline Stevens

    Madeline Stevens

    Madeline Stevens is a writer based in New York City. Her first novel Devotion, which the Guardian calls “Complex and psychotically taut,” is out now in the US, UK, France, Portugal, Germany and Mexico. Madeline holds an MFA from Columbia University and her stories and essays have been published in places like CrimeReads, Joyland magazine, Fautline, and Monkeybicycle. She is a 2021 recipient of The Freya Project’s Meret Grant. She works as a developmental editor and teaches creative writing to adults and children.