The Short Story

Course tutor: Olivia Parkes
When: Tuesdays, 19:00 - 21:00
Date: March 12, 2024
Number of sessions: 5
Maximum participants: 12
Cost: 190 euros

The Short Story

What are the possibilities of the short story form, and how do short stories work?
Open to writers of all levels, this five-week workshop will feature 1–2 stories each week
by authors like Donald Barthelme, Joy Williams, Edward P. Jones, and Ottessa
Moshfegh, which we’ll discuss and then use as a jumping off point for our own writing.

Each week we’ll focus on a particular element of craft or structure and examine how it
intersects with the story’s subject and ultimately shapes its meaning. In this way, you’ll
gain a deeper understanding of how form and content work together to make the
story form powerful, loaded, and efficient. The exercises in the second half of each
class are designed to leave you with openings, outlines, and short drafts that you can
continue to develop on your own well beyond the scope of the workshop. Expect an
open and supportive environment in which to discuss and generate diverse
approaches to an inexhaustible form.

Email us at to sign up!

Olivia Parkes is a British-American writer and artist based in Berlin. Her short stories have appeared in Tin House, Electric Literature, American Short Fiction, Zyzzyva, and The Masters Review, among other publications. She received her MFA in Fiction from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop in 2021 and is the recipient of fellowships from the Elizabeth George Foundation, the Dorothea Konwiarz Stiftung, and the Senatsverwaltung für Kultur und Europa, Berlin.


I love Olivia’s workshops! She brings such a joyous atmosphere to the group discussion, such a collegiate feel, and yet her observations, and questions to the group are always so deft and incisive. She has a way of drawing out the best in a group, ensuring that we’re reading and thinking, as writers. Everything seems worthy of attention during workshop weeks: writing feels fun, easy and possible. Group feedback on a work in progress is gently shepherded in a particularly useful way by Olivia: the result has been totally invaluable for my writing (and re-drafting). If you’re feeling stuck or lonely in your writing practice, Olivia’s workshops are a great way to open a few doors and let the light in.
– Louise East

I’ve participated in two of Olivia’s workshops, and both experiences were equally fulfilling in different ways. I don’t have much of a writing background, and this was the perfect way to explore the process more. Olivia is warm and engaging, and steers all the different personalities with a light touch, ensuring that discussion is both beneficial and lively. The sessions are a lot of fun! Olivia gives excellent pointers on both the technical and creative sides of storytelling, and I learned a lot about generating as well as revising work. I’d recommend the workshop to anyone, and will certainly join the group again in the future.
– Lauren Kavanagh

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