Course dates

Saturday 14 Oct 2023
10am-3pm | 5-weeks

Course overview

This five or 10-week, live online course is an excellent introduction to the short story, how to decode the best ones and begin to write your own.

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

I learned something each week and have improved as a writer. I really enjoyed the teaching and having a built-in 20-30 minutes of time for writing with a prompt was really useful for me. I also enjoyed having the opportunity to read out my work - as this is something I've not had a chance to do before, and it helped me build confidence in that. Giovanna was a brilliant and inspiring tutor and I will miss learning from her every week!

Lizzey, Autumn 2022

Short stories are a great way into creative writing; they demand discipline, water-tight prose and originality. They're exciting to write, are intensely character-driven and offer the reader tantalising miniature worlds. They're 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 those who have a passion for fiction (not necessarily short stories) and a desire to try out different approaches to writing short fiction.

Following the expert guidance of one of our experienced writers and academics in weekly sessions, you'll read and study 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 you’ve read you’ll begin crafting your own stories, focusing on: characterisation, beginnings and endings, plotting, creating conflict, point of view and dialogue. You will be encouraged to use objects, memories and life experience to develop ideas for stories that explode on the page.

The sessions will be focused on you and your writing. The work you create will be as highly valued as the extracts included from published writers. The course will use a workshop-style approach to utilise writing prompts and exercises, prose extracts and pair-work. 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 session 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.

By the end of the course you'll have produced at least one finished story. The process of absorption, consolidation and output on the course will be invaluable to the work you produce.

Following this course, you may wish to take further creative writing courses to deepen your understanding. The confidence and skills you acquire may even lead you to make an application for an accredited course at Goldsmiths like the MA in Creative and Life Writing.

Learning outcomes

  • Gain confidence– from reading and responding to texts and developing your own ideas, characters and plots for stories.
  • Hone your 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.
  • Produce an edited story - you will develop several pieces of work from the exercises, homework and prompts in live sessions, and encouraged to draft, develop and deepen at least one short story over the duration of the course that you will be confident presenting in the final session.
  • Present and share your work - as any writer knows, this is invaluable in terms of a group response and understanding readers/your audience.
  • Give and receive effective feedback - learn how to give helpful, supportive feedback in response to other participants' work and how best to respond to your peers' feedback on your own writing.
  • Increase your commercial awareness- gain an insight into the short story world and find out about marketing, selling and submitting your stories for publication.
  • Cultivate skills that are transferrable to other fields - using vivid and engaging language is a valuable skill that can enrich other areas of work.

You'll receive a digital certificate of completion if you attend 80% of the course.



Goldsmiths offers a 15% concession rate on short courses to Lewisham Local cardholders, Students and Goldsmiths Alumni. Please email for further information.

Booking information

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

Saturday 14 Oct 2023
10am-3pm | 5-weeks




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

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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 contact us at so we can respond to your requests as soon as possible.

Tutor information

portrait of course tutor Giovanna

Giovanna Iozzi

Giovanna Iozzi began Goldsmith’s successful short course ‘How to Write Short Stories that Resonate in 2015. Her stories have been shortlisted and commended in the Brick Lane Short Story Prize, the Bridport Prize, Ambit Magazine and many others. 'A winner of the Pat Kavanagh Prize for her short fiction, her first novel is ‘Black Figs,’ a simmering narrative of maternal disintegration. She’s currently working on a fictionalised memoir and completing a creative writing PhD at Goldsmiths University on Elena Ferrante.You can find her published work on her personal website. A former journalist and now Associate Lecturer at Goldsmiths, she is a PG-Cert trained practitioner with 10-years teaching experience across a range of universities and adult education spaces.

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, which won The Edge Hill Short Story Readers' Prize in 2021. She was longlisted for the Galley Beggar Short Story Prize in 2019, and other writing has been featured in Granta, Refinery29, 3:AM, Hotel, Extra Teeth Magazine, the 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 2024. Alice also teaches at the University of Westminster and City Lit, and she is an editor at The Literary Consultancy. She lives in Brighton.


About the department

The Department of English and Creative Writing is one of the largest and most dynamic in the University. We offer a range of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, with a strong research focus on critical and creative practice. Whether you are interested in classical literature and/or linguistics or creative writing and contemporary fiction, our range of interdisciplinary courses has something to offer everyone. The Department has four Research Centres and a Writers' Centre, which holds regular events that are open to the public. As well as the Centre for Caribbean and Diaspora Studies, the Centre for Comparative Literature, the Centre for Critical and Philosophical Thought, and the Decadence Research Centre, we are proud to be the home of the Goldsmiths Writers’ Centre and the Goldsmiths Prize, which is in its 10th year of celebrating fiction at its most novel. 

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