Writing Short Stories

6 weeks
Start Date
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Writing Short Stories

Discover how to build the miniature worlds contained in short fiction. Hone your storytelling skills as your shape brilliantly disciplined prose with vivid characters and original plots.

Award-winning short-story writer and novelist Cynan Jones will take you through the process of writing and editing a complete story, equipping you with all the tools you’ll need to produce something original and special.

Right from the off, Cynan sets a writing exercise that helps you to produce a ‘base text’ – and then, week by week, shows you how to work deeper and deeper into your material to transform it into a polished story.

Cynan Jones shared nitty gritty, down to earth information as well as the more esoteric in a friendly, easy to understand way.

Anna West


Cynan Jones

Cynan Jones is the author of five novels, published in over 20 countries. He has won the Wales Book of the Year Fiction Prize, a Betty Trask Award, the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Award, and the BBC National Short Story Award, for which he was also on the 2019 judging panel. His short stories have appeared in a variety of anthologies and in journals and magazines including Granta and the New Yorker. He has also written a screenplay for the hit crime drama Hinterland, a collection of tales for children, and stories for BBC Radio. Stillicide, a collection of 12 short stories, was commissioned by Radio 4 and published by Granta. Cynan was the RLF Writing Fellow at Aberystwyth University, and as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature was a member of the RSL Open Panel, convened to elect writers from under-represented communities. He has worked extensively with schools and writing groups, and tutored on short fiction and editing for the Arvon Foundation and Literature Wales.


  • Video modules: Work through six modules comprising teaching videos and substantial notes from Cynan, featuring demonstrations to help you gain a clear understanding of how to apply the techniques to your own writing.
  • Writing tasks: Weekly writing tasks set by Cynan uses a practical and empowering teaching method to help you generate a 'base text' and then craft it into a polished short story.
  • Resources & notes: You’ll get access to multiple Case Studies, additional resources and teaching notes, including extracts of early drafts of Cynan's own writing that demonstrate how to develop and refine your story.
  • Professional feedback: An expert CBC editor will give brief written feedback on several of the students' practical assignments every week, with all students receiving feedback on one of their writing tasks. Students are also given the option to purchase additional end of course feedback from our expert editors.
  • Student forum: Find your writing community on our private student forums. Upload your completed writing tasks, give and receive peer-to-peer feedback, and discuss the week’s topics with your fellow students and the CBC team.


Our online courses are designed for flexible learning. Allocate your own study time and take part from wherever you are in the world. Each week, we recommend spending at least four hours on the course. It’s also important to be working on a short story throughout the six weeks.

  • WEEK 1
  • WEEK 2
    Stop, look, listen
  • WEEK 3
    Who, and in what place?
  • WEEK 4
  • WEEK 5
    Details & dialogue
  • WEEK 6


All students will be given the option to purchase feedback on their final task from a CBC editor.

  • CBC report: For an additional fee of £145, you can obtain a detailed 500-word report on your story (of up to 3,000 words) from one of our CBC editors.
  • CBC report + tutorial: For an additional fee of £240, you can obtain a 500-word report from one of our CBC editors and have a 30-minute video or telephone tutorial with them to discuss your story.