This year, I went back to school. I was selected to attend the Short Shrift short story writing course curated by Jenn Ashworth and Litfest. On occasional Saturdays in 2015, I took my words up to Lancashire to have them prodded and poked by fellow writers.
This course has been a ray of light these past few months. There are five others on the course and they are, without exception, lovely people. We submitted and critiqued work and we absorbed buckets of inspiration from our tutor Jenn Ashworth, a creative writing lecturer and author of The Friday Gospels, and also from a brilliant Q&A with the ridiculously talented Kirsty Logan.
I take away from the course a renewed respect for the writing process. I can see the mechanics of a short story much more clearly now, and yet that hasn’t dulled my enthusiasm for the works we’ve revelled in since January: John McGregor, Leonora Carrington, Raymond Chandler, Ali Smith and of course Flannery O’Connor. In fact, considering I’m so busy with Bad Language and the Edinburgh Fringe, I’m amazed I got as much as I did from the course.
Tomorrow, on Friday July 3rd, us course pupils will present our work to the public in Lancaster (click here for tickets). It’ll be a small crowd but it’ll be fun to hear our work over a microphone, and to chat about writing and process and whether Bics are the bestest pens ever (they are).