The Short Story with Claire Keegan

The River Mill Writers’ Retreat, Co Down. April 13 & 14

10am–5pm, both days.

This weekend course will explore the short story using works from the anthology pictured below. Participants will be asked to consider:

  • How fiction works — and why it sometimes doesn’t

  • Where and when stories begin and how and if this differs from the novel

  • The differences between a short story and the novel / a chapter

  • Beginnings, Middles, Endings: Narrative Structure



Participants will, in the light of structure and the short story, be discussing the art form using the following stories: 

1. Sonny’s Blues by James Baldwin

2. A Distant Episode by Paul Bowles 

3. Reflections by Angela Carter 

4. Goodbye, My Brother by John Cheever 

5. Gooseberries by Anton Chekhov

6. The Daughters of the Late Colonel by Katherine Mansfield 

7. Labor Day Dinner by Alice Munro 

8. Spring in Fialta by Vladimir Nabokov 

9. The Flowers by Alice Walker


This course will be of particular interest to those who write, teach, read or edit fiction — but anyone with an interest in how fiction works is welcome to attend. To book your place, contact Tuition is £300. A 50% deposit secures. The River Mill is now fully booked out but there are other local places to stay. Lunch, tea and coffee provided for all.

Claire Keegan has written Antarctica, Walk the Blue Fields and Foster (Faber & Faber). These stories, translated into 17 languages, have won numerous awards, been published in The New Yorker, Best American Stories, The Paris Review. Keegan has earned an international reputation as a teacher of fiction, having taught workshops on four continents.

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