Course Description

Short fiction continues to be hugely popular, from the standard short story to flash fiction. In this introductory course, explore the elements of this fascinating genre by studying various published short works, from classic to contemporary. Learn what makes each story work by reading it as a writer and examining its components. Each week, we’ll discuss the overall story and identify examples that illustrate a particular aspect of composition. A selection of related writing exercises will encourage you to experiment with these techniques, which you may later use when writing your own short stories.


Ages 16+


"I want to tell you how much I enjoyed the Short Story Writing Workshop. I have never taken a writing class, much less an online class, so I was a bit apprehensive, not being sure that I would fit in. My fears were allayed in the first class when Laura's easy warmth came through and a structure for the class showed itself. I was afraid it would be all writing, but she presented a lot of material about aspects of writing like plot and character and setting that I had not really fully appreciated. I also loved the opening activity of discussing an assigned short story with her and the class. They were all different and gave me a lot to think about and way more knowledge about story construction. We also had writing exercises and opportunities to use the short story each of us was working on in learning more about the necessities of short story writing such as conflict. Laura also facilitated our working with the other students in the class. I learned not to be so afraid of sharing my work with others. In short, I got a lot out of this class and want to pursue my fledgling efforts in writing fiction. Thank you, Laura!" K. M.

"This class offered  well-paced guidance through the structure, content, and style of short stories. Using models both classic and modern, we explored how authors created their stories and then attempted to emulate parts of this in our own writing. As someone who had been away from writing for a while, this class was a joy! Laura’s insightful expertise and sound direction were always delivered with kindness and good humor. I wish the class had lasted much longer." R. P.

"This class encouraged and instructed my writing in new ways. It added commitment, discipline, and improved techniques, all of which brought new levels of excitement into my writing practice. Thank you Professor Ehrke!" E. B.

"I enjoyed the classes very much, thank you for introducing me to a whole new world. I plan to take other writing classes in coming semesters and hope to learn from you again." N. P.

"I’ve taken two writing classes (Short Story Writing Workshop) and Write a Novel in 30 Days Workshop) with Laura Ehrke, and enjoyed them both. Her exercises and supporting material are helpful and informative. She is a caring instructor, and her classes are just plain fun." P. G.


Thank you for your interest in this course. While we currently do not have a section open for enrollment, we invite you to join us the next time the class is offered. To ensure you don’t miss out, please complete a Course Inquiry and we’ll be sure to notify you as soon as the next enrollment opens.
Required fields are indicated by .