Advanced Creative Writing Course

Advanced Creative Writing – Short Story

Geraldine Mills is an award-winning poet and short story writer. She has published three collections of poetry and three of short stories. ‘Lick of the Lizard’, (2005) and ‘The Weight of Feathers’, 2007 (Arlen House) are taught at the University of Connecticut and Eastern Connecticut State University, USA. Her third short story collection, Hellkite, has just been launched by Arlen House. She was the winner of the Inaugural Penguin/ RTÉ Short Story Competition, 2010. Other awards for fiction include the Moore Medallion, The OKI Award and she has been shortlisted for the Francis MacManus Competition and William Trevor Short Story Award. She was a recipient of an Arts Council Bursary in 2006 and was awarded a Patrick and Katherine Kavanagh Fellowship, Oct 2007. Geraldine was the millennium winner of the Hennessy/Tribune New Irish Writer Award for her short story ‘Lick of the Lizard’ and has taught creative writing in Ireland and the US. See

Advanced Creative Writing –  The Short Story

Start Date: January 29, 2019 – COURSE IS NOW FULL

Price: €150

Places are strictly limited to 5

Duration: six weeks

This online advanced creative writing course will address the basic difficulties faced by writers in the craft of short fiction. It is suitable for participants who have already begun to write short stories and who would like to develop their skills. You do not have to be published. It will explore what is needed to go beyond the first easy thought in order to turn a moment into an event.  It will discuss how once started, where you get the courage to keep going.  Each lesson will include various prompts to liberate creativity and examples of the masters in the genre of the short story. There will be a weekly assignment and you’ll receive written feedback from your tutor every week.

Topics covered will include:

(1) Introduction to the short story. What is it? What makes it breathe?  What makes it different from mere anecdote or the novel?

(2) Beginnings. This lesson will guide you in finding the best beginning for your story. You will learn to know where to start it in order to get it immediately airborne; how important it is to draw the reader in and how to eliminate false starts.

(3) Whose story is it anyway? Every story has a narrator, who presents the action from a particular identifiable point-of-view. When we talk about point-of-view we mean that the writer chooses a specific method of revealing character. Here you will learn which one is best for your character.

(4) Developing an eye for detail and an ear for dialogue. Observation; the use of the senses; fresh language, are all needed to bring a story alive. Here you will learn the difference between showing and telling.  There will also be discussion on settings and time frames.

(5) Breathing life into your characters. Characters must be believable, not stereotypes. Choice of character is crucial to the direction of the story. This lesson will concentrate on developing memorable characters and explore whether your story is plot-driven or character-driven.

(6) Who chooses the ending? Endings are as important as beginnings. Readers should feel that it is the right ending for the story. Characters dictate endings. This lesson will explore the different types of ending and what best suits your story.

“I really enjoyed working with Geraldine and more importantly learned some valuable lessons on how to improve my writing. Her critiques were thorough and balanced. She communicated clearly the effort, thinking and attention to detail necessary to transform a good storyline to one that engages the reader. I am now happily revisiting what I thought were completed works.” Bill Griffin, Co. Galway

“Just want to thank you for the Advanced Creative Writing Course. Geraldine is an excellent tutor; learned truck loads and found her very approachable…your courses have both helped boost my confidence and built up my portfolio.” Aodan, South Korea

“Geraldine’s exercises, feedback and observations were excellent in grounding my work and I developed a greater critical analysis as a result. I learned a considerable amount about voice, building credible characters, pacing, avoiding cliches and so much more. I would strongly recommend this course to any aspiring writer out there as it encouraged me to take a fresh look at my work and provided me with the tools to develop it further.” Grainne, Dublin

To find out more about how the online courses work, or if you have any further queries, you can check out our Frequently Asked Questions or email us at

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