Building the Short Story Collection


Learn to build a compelling short story collection in this course that helps you pull together your own story drafts into a cohesive collection.


What you can learn.

  • Identify what makes a short story collection compelling, cohesive, and unforgettable
  • Explore the process of building your own short story collection
  • Establish meaningful links between your stories to weave threads throughout your manuscript
  • Develop a short story collection plan for your own work

About this course:

Even for seasoned short story writers, building a short story collection can seem daunting, hampered by the misconception that the process should entail nothing more than gathering the writer’s most recent stories in a manuscript that starts and ends with the strongest stories, with a title based on the most successful one of the bunch. In fact, building an inventive, publication-worthy collection entails much more. During this class, we explore, through our own writing and through published work, the process of building a short story collection by discussing the types of links between stories—such as character, setting, culture, and theme—that make published short story collections feel satisfyingly cohesive. We also discuss techniques to strengthen the links between your existing stories and develop ideas for additional linked stories. You also present a plan for your own collection that includes a statement of how it will be organized (e.g., linked by character, setting, culture, theme, etc.), a list of published collections to use as models, and a list of stories—both existing ones and story possibilities—to be included in your collection. Finally, you submit an excerpt from your collection-in-progress for input from the instructor and your classmates to help spark additional ideas for completing a creative, cohesive, publishable collection.
WRITING X 412.3 Short Story III or or comparable workshop experience.

Admission to this course is by application only and the selection process is competitive. It is recommended that students take intermediate-level courses prior to submitting their work. When this course is open for enrollment, click "See Details" for application guidelines and quarterly application deadlines.

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Speak to a student advisor. Hours: Mon-Fri, 8am-5pm.
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