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The Art of the Short: An Introduction to Short Fiction

Abiola Johnson Saturdays, Oct. 1, 15-29
11a-1p ET
8a-10a PT
10a-12p CT
4 class sessions

By signing up for a class, you agree to our refund policy and code of conduct here.

The Art of the Short: An Introduction to Short Fiction introduces students to a broad range of short narrative, mostly fictional pieces. You will learn how to read and analyze short narratives and understand how even within their brevity, deep messages can be conveyed in a crisp and concise way.

The foundations of the course will fall into the categories: Observe (increase familiarity with a range of writing forms and styles), Analyze (develop skills to conduct an analysis of fictional work), and Write (explore opportunities to use newly acquire skills to influence writing skills). 

Discussion and material will not be limited to the written word. We will also discuss and critically analyze short films and short oral narratives, including spoken word and rap songs. Writing prompts will be used to spark inspiration to create your own fictional pieces. Students will have an opportunity to share their work for in-class feedback if they choose to.

Open to beginning and intermediate writers.

All class meetings will be held via Zoom. The link to join your Zoom classroom will be provided on the morning of your class. Please check spam folders if you do not receive an email confirmation upon registration. For more information on how to download or use Zoom, please click here.

 Meet Your Instructor:
Abiola Johnson

Abiola Johnson has written short stories for as long as she can remember but started publicly sharing her writing in a series of blog posts circa 2006. Following feedback from followers, she compiled a handful of her short stories into a collection called Terra Cotta Beauty which was published in 2014. Her short stories have appeared in Afreada and on her self-titled blog:

Course Takeaways

  • Increase your familiarity with a diverse range of authors, writing forms, and styles
  • Learn skills to help you conduct literary analysis that can influence your writing style
  • Sharpen your writing skills

Course Expectations

  • If you choose to, you will have an opportunity to share your writing with the class in workshop style. Participants will be asked to submit their writing by 12 noon ET on Friday before class.

Course Skeleton

  • Week One: Origins and Definition of the Short Story. Plot and Structure
  • Week Two: Character Setting and Point of View
  • Week Three: Language & Style
  • Week Four: Irony and Symbol



"The Short Story writing class with Ms. Abiola Johnson reignited my love of writing. For four weeks, the class became my muse. I took from each class an idea to 'try' a writing style that was new to me." (former student)
"I needed the extra push to write with no regard. More importantly, I needed that sense of community and a safe space to be able to be my authentic self. It was extremely refreshing to be in a room full of Black women and I felt powerful and encouraged to write and share our stories." (former student)


**We offer full refunds for cancellation with written notice up until 7 days before your class start date. From 6 days to more than 24 hours before class begins, we offer a 50% refund. If you drop a class less than 24 hours before the class begins or after it has started, you are ineligible for a refund.