Course dates

Tuesday 24 Jan 2023
6.30-8.30pm | 10 weeks
Saturday 28 Jan 2023
10:00am-3:00pm | 5 weeks

Course overview

Find your voice as a writer and write your first short story on this course from the Department of English and Creative Writing.

Lucy took the time over 5 weeks to get to know me and my project, to listen, and to understand what I was trying to achieve and gear her feedback accordingly. I learnt many valuable skills, in particular, 'Show and Tell'. A lot of courses bandy this word around but seldom explain it in detail. This is what this course did really well in a practical hands-on way.

Reshma, Spring 2022

Gio created a warm environment in which students felt comfortable taking risks; she encouraged us to experiment. Our writing became stronger, bolder, and more distinct. She's an incredible teacher with vast literary knowledge that she wove into discussions. I use many of those workshop lessons in my daily writing practice. Each class was dynamic, active, and filled with diverse perspectives - each voice in the room was heard. I will be enrolling in another course with Gio in the spring!

Fiona Picard, 2021

To avoid disappointment, please book your place on the course 72 hours prior to its commencement

This course is an excellent introduction to the short story, how to decode the best ones and begin to write your own. Short stories are a great way into creative writing; they demand discipline, water-tight prose and originality. They are exciting to write, are intensely character-driven and offer the reader tantalising miniature worlds. They are also great practice for longer form narratives; many well-known writers cut their first literary teeth on short stories.

The course is designed for all levels, from complete beginners to more practised writers who are keen to try out the challenges of the short form. It will appeal to students who have a passion for fiction (not necessarily short stories) and a desire to try out different approaches to writing short fiction.

Why study this course at Goldsmiths?

Goldsmiths is home to a world renowned creative writing department that is experimental, risk-taking and exciting. We have award-winning former students like Evie Wyld, Ross Raisin and short story writer, Tom Lee. Goldsmiths has respect from the literary industry in the form of the Pat Kavanagh prize and the Goldsmiths Prize, established in 2013 to celebrate the qualities of creative daring associated with the university and to reward fiction that breaks the mold or opens up new possibilities for the novel form. In 2021, the £10,000 prize was awarded to Isabel Waidner's Sterline Karat Gold.

This course will not only serve as an excellent introduction to the short story but will open up the possibility for students to take further creative writing courses at Goldsmiths and deepen their understanding. The confidence and skills acquired could lead into making an application for an accredited course at the university like the MA in Creative and Life Writing.

What will I study on this course?

In these workshops you will be reading and studying extracts from some of the great short story writers including Anton Chekhov, Katherine Mansfield, Alice Munro and Raymond Carver as well as contemporary writers like Kevin Barry and Claire Keegan.

Inspired by what we read we’ll begin crafting our own stories, focusing on: characterisation, beginnings and endings, plotting, creating conflict, point of view and dialogue. We will use objects, memories and life experience to develop ideas for stories that explode on the page.

The classes will be focused around you and your writing. The work of course participants will be as highly valued as the extracts included from published writers. Using a workshop-style approach, the course will utilise writing prompts and exercises, prose extracts, pair-work and interesting interview clips from the internet.

What are the intended learning outcomes?

Confidence – you will gain confidence from reading and responding to texts and developing their own ideas, characters and plots for stories.

An edited story -you should be able to develop several pieces of work from the exercises, homework and prompts in class, but the idea will be to draft, develop and deepen at least one short story over the course of 10 weeks that you will be confident presenting in the final session.

Sharing work – each participant will get at least one chance to read out their work and get feedback. As any writer knows, this is invaluable in terms of a group response and understanding readers/your audience.

Develop/hone analytical skills - you will become used to responding to texts and unpacking them in terms of style, literary devices and effects which will feed back into your own work.

Effective feedback - you will learn how to give helpful, supportive feedback in response to other participants' work and learn how best to respond to your peers' feedback on your own work.

Commercial awareness - participants will gain an insight into the short story world in terms of marketing, selling and submitting their stories for publication.

There will be a small pre-course reading and writing task to get you thinking about writing stories. Reading material will also be provided. In each class your tutor will set you a task which will involve a written exercise or developing an idea – you will also be expected to read at least one story for the following week. 

You can expect to produce at least one finished story by the end of the 10 week course. The process of absorption, consolidation and output on the course will be invaluable to the work you produce.

How will this course help me with my life/career?

On ths course you will not only learn how to express yourself and how to write more effectively, you will also learn how to present your ideas, critique the work of others and how to absorb information and integrate it into your own work.

Whilst writing short stories can be a relaxing pastime and a wonderful hobby, it also helps train you in skills that are applicable to almost any career and may even help you discover skills and a confidence that you didn't know you had before.



Goldsmiths offers a 15% concession rate on short courses to Lewisham Local cardholders, Students and Goldsmiths Alumni.

Booking information

Disability Support

We are committed to providing reasonable teaching adjustments for students with disabilities that may impact on their learning experience. If you require adjustments, please complete the relevant section on the booking form and also contact us at so we can respond to your requests as soon as possible. 

Please note our short courses sell-out quickly, so early booking is advisable.

Tuesday 24 Jan 2023
6.30-8.30pm | 10 weeks
Saturday 28 Jan 2023
10:00am-3:00pm | 5 weeks


If you have any questions about this course please contact shortcourses (

For information on our upcoming short courses please sign up to our mailing list.



Tutor information

portrait of course tutor Giovanna

Giovanna Iozzi

Giovanna Iozzi created the successful short course ‘How to Write Short Stories that Resonate’ in 2015. She writes fiction and memoir and is completing a creative writing PhD at Goldsmiths on Elena Ferrante. A winner of the prestigious Pat Kavanagh Prize for her short stories, her first novel is ‘Black Figs,’ a simmering narrative of maternal disintegration. She’s currently working on a memoir. You can find her published stories on her personal website. A former national paper journalist and now associate lecturer at Goldsmiths, she is a PG-Cert trained practitioner for higher education with 10-years teaching experience across a variety of genres including Short Story, Flash Fiction, Memoir, Life-Writing, Journalism and Creative Non-Fiction.

Lucy Mercer

Dr Lucy Mercer is a writer who lives in London. Her debut poetry collection Emblem (Prototype, 2022) is the Poetry Book Society Summer Choice and was featured on BBC Radio 3. She was awarded the inaugural White Review Poet's Prize. Her poems have been published widely in magazines  such as Poetry Review, Poetry London and The White Review, and anthologies such as Spells: 21st Century Occult Poetry and Altered States (Ignota Books). Her critical writing has appeared in Art Review and LA Review of Books among others. She recently completed a PhD where she developed a speculative theory of emblems.

Alice Ash

Alice Ash is the author of the short story collection Paradise Block (Serpent’s Tail, 2021), shortlisted for The Edge Hill Short Story Prize. Alice has performed work and spoken on panels across the UK, including at the Brighton Fringe Festival and the Burley Fisher Day 2021. She was longlisted for the Galley Beggar Short Story Prize in 2019, and other writing has been featured in GrantaRefinery293:AMHotelExtra Teeth Magazinethe TLS and Mslexia, amongst many others. Interests include motherhood, women’s horror writing, domesticity, magical realism, and metamorphosis. Alice’s second book, a novel, will be published by Serpent’s Tail in 2023. She lives in Brighton.


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