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.
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.
Spring 2021 Schedule
These courses have regular meeting times and are fully online, via remote instruction. Click “See Details” below for more information.
Enrollment limited to 12 students. Visitors not permitted. $100 nonrefundable. Materials Required. Enrollment discounts limited to WP NOW members; no other discounts apply.
The application deadline for this advanced course is Monday, March 8, 2021 at 9am (PST).
Submit one document (double-spaced, 12-point font, 1-inch margins on all sides) containing:
- a 10-page writing sample;
- a synopsis of up to one page for any longer submitted works (novels or memoirs);
- a personal statement of one paragraph outlining what the student hopes to gain from the class;
- and a list of previous courses completed in the Writers’ Program or other programs, with instructors (when known).
Log in with your existing student account and then “add to cart”, or click “add to cart” and follow the prompts to create a new or returning student account. Then, follow the remaining instructions below:
- Click “Start” on the first Application page.
- On the 2nd Application page, click “Start” on the bottom left side of the page.
- After that, you will be asked to upload a writing sample, per the guidelines below.
- Once you finish the steps, click "Submit Application."
Please note that there are no pre-approvals. All students must submit the above requirements in order to be eligible for an advanced creative writing course.
NOTE: Despite being asked to enter payment information, YOU WILL NOT BE CHARGED for this course unless you choose to enroll if/when you receive a notice of acceptance for the course.
Selection notices will likely be distributed via email 1-2 weeks before the class is scheduled to start. In the meantime, you can also register for alternative open-enrollment course and transfer upon your acceptance.
For more information on programs and services offered by the Writers’ Program, please visit our website.
This course uses remote instruction. As such, instructors use Zoom to offer live class meetings at the designated class meeting time. Students must be present at course meeting times as each student’s final grade may include scores for participation.
Please inform your instructor if you will miss a class meeting. You are responsible for any class information you missed. We suggest you arrange with a fellow classmate to share their notes when feasible.