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HomeCalendarWriting the 2K-to-5K Word Short Story with Timons Esaias, Gold Level Instructor

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Writing the 2K-to-5K Word Short Story with Timons Esaias, Gold Level Instructor

Tuesday, November 1, 2022, 8:00 AM until Wednesday, November 30, 2022, 5:00 PM
All Pennwriters Courses are conducted on the platform. Courses are run on this discussion
IO Class Group

Additional Info:
Event Contact(s):
Dan E Arndt
Online Classes
Registration is closed - Event is full
Payment In Full In Advance Only
Available Slots:

All Pennwriters Courses are conducted on the platform. Courses are run on this discussion board and are NOT completed in a “live” presentation format. There is no required time you must log in to participate in this month’s long course.


3 lessons per week, with assignments and short exercises

Field recons to give participants a toolkit of methods

Optional Zoom sessions for Q&A

Asynchronous, so that you can go at your own pace. Doing Week One exercises in

Week Four will be just fine; and the end of the month won't be the end of access to the Instructor.

*There will be two opportunities to have stories critiqued.


If your flash fiction piece from Timons's 2020 workshop ran a little too long, or your novel never got past the first scene, this may be the workshop for you. The sweet spot for magazine publication is the under-5K short story length. This course will focus on the non-flash part of that range, and on sharpening your short story skills.

We will write bits of stories in the exercises, rather than taking on a full story all the time. The idea is to fill your notebook with parts of future projects. There will also be opportunities to send a finished piece (of the 2K-5K length) to the Instructor for critique.


Week One: Excavating Story Ideas on Public Lands

You'll be introduced to Willoughby's Concept Emporium, the shop where all successful story ideas are acquired. We will then practice cover stories, to pretend we got those ideas on our own. These cover stories will be very convincing.

Cover stories will include finding stories in coffee shops, in museums, in drawers you haven't sorted through in years, in your family's checkered past, in antique shops, in old newspapers and magazines. We will poke around in the lives you didn't choose to live.     


Week Two: Writing Three Endings

The first lesson will discuss the happy ending, including HEA, the favorite approach for most popular fiction.

The second lesson will look at the status-quo ending, a common Literary trope.The third lesson will be a downer, covering tragic, defeated, or generally downbeat endings. These are another Literary favorite, but can do well in every genre but Romance.


Week Three: Structures

If your story isn't just writing itself, we'll discuss some shapes to whip it into. We'll encourage you to write stories at the drop of a hat, and we will also dwell on the importance of giving yourself a writing challenge with each piece.


Week Four (The fourth and final head-for-the-hills week): Characters and Places

We'll have been discussing this all month, of course, but most early drafts are a little shaky on why the location scout put us in this place, and why we hired this particular cast for the story. Changes may have to be made. Making the setting fundamental and thematic will be preached. Ditto with characters, if you choose to have any. Reminding the reader why they should care may be mentioned. We will then look back on the month, count our scars and write checks to cover the collateral damage. Will the ending be tragic, uplifting, status quo, or even more tragic? We'll see.


Customer Benefits/Takeaways:

  • A specific introduction to the 7-point story structure, and how to adapt it to your needs
  • A variety of approaches to creating a story
  • Instructor feedback on exercises
  • Two Instructor critiques


Instructor Bio:

Timons Esaias is a satirist, writer and poet living in Pittsburgh. His works, ranging from literary to genre, have been published in twenty-two languages. He has also been a finalist for the British Science Fiction Award, and twice won the Asimov's Readers Award. His story "Norbert and the System" has appeared in a textbook, and in college curricula. Recent genre appearances include Asimov's, Analog, Clarkesworld and DreamForge Anvil. He was shortlisted for the 2019 Gregory O'Donoghue International Poetry Prize. His full-length Louis-Award-winning collection of poetry -- Why Elephants No Longer Communicate in Greek -- was brought out by Concrete Wolf. His poetry publications include Atlanta Review, Verse Daily, 5AM, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, Willard & Maple, Asimov’s Science Fiction and Elysian Fields Quarterly: The Literary Journal of Baseball. He is Adjunct Faculty at Seton Hill University, in the Writing Popular Fiction MFA Program.





Why Elephants No Longer Communicate in Greek: link

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