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Writing Speculative Short Stories

Explore the essential elements of speculative short fiction

Welcome to 'Writing Speculative Short Stories’, a Kill Your Darlings online workshop.

Short stories are alive and well in the field of speculative fiction. There are dozens and dozens of international markets for publishing the many genres and subgenres that comprise this type of fiction, which will keep fans of imaginative worlds in reading material for many years to come. But what exactly is speculative fiction and how can we write stories that encapsulate and effectively communicate its big ideas in so few words?

This workshop highlights some essential elements of speculative fiction — such as strong world-building, engaging characters with unique voices, inventive plots, and captivating narrative structures — in order to help you to craft sharp and striking short stories within this thriving field of literature. Whether you are absolutely new to the genre, or you already have a few publications under your belt, this workshop will offer relevant tips and exercises aimed to refine your writing style, to help you convey strange settings and situations without info-dumping, and to strengthen the shape of your stories so that readers are hooked right from the very first paragraph.

This course should take you 8 hours to complete, but it can also be accomplished in short stages. I encourage you to approach this material not just as lessons to be finished once and for all, but also as a collection of resources to which you can return time and again. Though speculative fiction is constantly evolving, the information and exercises provided here will remain relevant throughout your long writing careers.


Your Instructor


Lisa L. Hannett
Lisa L. Hannett

Lisa L. Hannett has had over 70 short stories appear in venues including Clarkesworld, Weird Tales, Apex Magazine, The Dark and The Australian Review of Fiction and her work has been reprinted in numerous Year’s Best anthologies in Australia, Canada and the United States. She has won four Aurealis Awards, including Best Collection for her first book, Bluegrass Symphony , which was also nominated for a World Fantasy Award in 2012. Her first novel, Lament for the Afterlife won 'Best Novel' at the Australian National Science Fiction Awards in 2016. A new collection of short stories, Little Digs, is due out in August 2019. You can find her online at www.lisahannett.com and on Instagram @lisalhannett.


Frequently Asked Questions


When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 24 hours and we will give you a full refund.

Get started now!