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Writing Speculative Short Stories with Lisa L. Hannett

Explore the essential elements of speculative short fiction

Short stories are alive and well in the field of speculative fiction, with dozens and dozens of international markets publishing the many genres and sub-genres that comprise this type of fiction. 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 in order to help you to craft sharp and striking short stories within this thriving field of literature.

You’ll learn:

  • Key elements of the genre: strong world-building, engaging characters, inventive plots, and captivating narrative structures
  • To strengthen the shape of your stories so readers are hooked from the first line
  • How to convey strange settings and situations in a succinct way
  • Tips to refine your writing style

This course should take you 6-8 hours to complete, but it can also be accomplished in short stages. We 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.

"Thanks for the excellent speculative fiction course from Lisa L. Hannett. I followed the exercises and wrote a short story, which was accepted for publication in The Big Issue's annual fiction edition! This is the first time I've tried writing fiction since university days (15 years ago), and wouldn't have happened without the course, so thank you!"

KYD Members receive a 10% discount on this course and all other KYD workshops. Become a member here, or contact [email protected] for more information.

Want to buy a workshop for a friend? Purchase a gift voucher here.


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. We 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.
How long do I have access to the course?
Forever! After enrolling, you have unlimited lifetime access to this course - across any and all devices you own.
Does the teacher provide feedback?
No. If you are interested in receiving feedback on your project, we encourage you to check out KYD's Manuscript Assessment Service: https://killyourdarlings.com.au/shop/manuscript-assessments/
What if I decide the course isn’t right for me?
We offer a 30 day money-back guarantee. If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.
How do I access my course?
All our online workshops are hosted at workshops.killyourdarlings.com.au, via the Teachable platform. You can access your workshop by logging in at that link, or by following the link in your welcome email when you enrol. Please note that as the Teachable platform is a separate website to KYD you will need to create a new account, and will not be able to use your KYD login details.
I'm a KYD member. How do I receive my 10% discount?
Click on 'Enrol in course for $149'. Enter the coupon code that was emailed to you when you became a KYD member at checkout, underneath the tutor's photo.
What if I have another question?
You can email us at [email protected] and we'll be happy to help!

Get started now!