Online Course: Shaping Short Fiction – From Ideas To Finished Pieces
with Irenosen Okojie

Join award winning author Irenosen Okojie on a course designed to explore the art and magic of short story writing.

Do you love short stories? Are you interested in writing your own pieces but often struggle starting or maintaining the momentum once you’ve begun, finding it difficult transitioning from beginning to end? Most writers struggle with this at some point.

You’ll be given prompts to spark ideas, invigorating suggested reading materials, practical assignments, as well as feedback on your work. The course will help you find your voice, give you confidence and equip you with the tools to develop your writing discipline.

What will you do on the course?
You will produce drafts of two new stories through assignments, develop a practice of generating ideas and establishing a regular writing discipline. Reading material includes studying the work of short story masters pushing the form in interesting ways. There will be feedback given on your work.

Who is it for?
The course is for people new to short story writing, or for those that have had a couple of pieces published who want to develop their craft. If you started writing short stories but were unable to complete them, feel free to participate. Through exercises, reading and feedback, the course aims to help you produce new work as well as explore the power of the short form.

About Spread the Word’s discounted rates
London Writers Network members receive a 10% discount on Spread the Word’s paid programme of activities, and access to two free specially programmed London Writers Network events a year. You can find out more about the London Writers Network scheme here. If you are a London Writers Network member please login to receive your discount.

To see if you are eligible for a concessionary rate, please take a look at our concessions policy.

Course Schedule

Course tutor Irenosen Okojie will upload exercises and reading materials once a fortnight on the following dates:

Thursday 24 May
Thursday 7 June
Thursday 21 June

Assignments for each week will be due by the following Thursday, with feedback and discussion for the work written each week to take place between:

Assignment 1: Thursday 31 May - Wednesday 6 June
Assignment 2: Thursday 14 June - Wednesday 20 June
Assignment 3: Thursday 28 June – Wednesday 4 July

We ask that participants commit to providing feedback for at least 2 other course participants' work each feedback period. Irenosen will provide feedback on two of the pieces that you work on over the three sessions. Although this is not concrete, to help with your planning we would suggest that completing each exercise will take a minimum of 3 hours, and creating and uploading feedback for the work of three people takes around 1 hour.

The course will take place online and will require you to have access to the internet in the times above. Because of this, we ask that you are confident with using simple online sharing platforms, or at least willing to explore with guidance from Spread the Word. Full instructions will be emailed to participants a week before the course starts. Although there will be no live chats, there will be opportunities to interact with other course participants via feedback and general discussion.

The course will run with a minimum of 10 participants and a maximum of 15. If you have any additional queries or questions before signing up, please email

Irenosen Okojie

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Irenosen Okojie is a writer and Arts Project Manager. Her debut novel Butterfly Fish won a Betty Trask award and was shortlisted for an Edinburgh International First Book Award. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, The Observer,The Guardian, the BBC and the Huffington Post amongst other publications. Her short stories have been published internationally including Salt's Best British Short Stories 2017, Kwani? and The Year's Best Weird Fiction. She was presented at the London Short Story Festival by Ben Okri as a dynamic writing talent to watch and featured in the Evening Standard Magazine as one of London’s exciting new authors. Her short story collection Speak Gigantular , published by Jacaranda Books was shortlisted for the Edgehill Short Story Prize, the Jhalak Prize, the Saboteur Awards and nominated for a Shirley Jackson Award.