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The Short Story Workshop

A weekly Arts and Books podcast
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Episodes of The Short Story Workshop

This week we talk about monsters, especially the big kind. Ray Bradbury's story is a little sad and often poignant - what makes it so effective?
We discuss breaking the fourth wall in fiction, horror vs ghost stories and more in our discussion of this ghostly tale by M.R James. 
A dubious scientist experiments on his friends with water from The Fountain of Youth in one of Nathaniel Hawthorne's most popular short stories. We discuss why you shouldn't be friends with dubious scientists.
Turns out Lovecraft can write a good story that also feels a tad more mainstream than his usual. Who knew? We talk about why many people (including Lovecraft himself) consider this one of his best stories.
We discuss why we felt guilty for laughing at Moonface, whether optimists are annoying and writing villain protagonists.
The title is funny because it's also a story about depending on others. In this episode, we attempt to explain this story as neatly as I just explained my own joke. We talk about character agency, feminine "ideals" and whether calling people br
We discuss raising the stakes, describing characters and ABCs aka Alien Big Cats in this short horror story
A winding time travel tale from the 50s that will keep you guessing. At times more of a puzzle than a story, we discuss internal consistency, our favourite time travel systems, and building character motivations.
Arsene Lupin is a gentleman thief and only steals the finest of things. We discuss the first story written about this character, who was said to be a master of disguise.
The return of Ray Bradbury with a light sci-fi story that's both funny and a little creepy. We discuss use and abuse of the 'creepy children' trope, the use of non-diegetic information in short stories and Bradbury's distinctive style.
This story contains one of the first examples of invisibility in fiction. We discuss the elements of terror and why everyone wants to be invisible.
This charming fairy tale about a talented mouse is a fun little story. We discuss happy vs ambiguous endings, the Finnish language, translation and more.
Take a journey to heaven in EM Forster's The Celestial Omnibus. We discuss snobbery in literature, transitions between worlds and try to work out some of the story's many literary references.For more on EM Forster - https://www.theguardian.com/
This week's story is the winner of our competition we ran at the end of last year. We talk about keeping a story moving and how to come up with a strong concept.
An unusually-titled story from Kurt Vonnegut that shows how everything can go horribly wrong, even with good intentions. We discuss the idea of collective vs individualistic ideals, dark humour, and contrasting themes.
Guy de Maupassant's naturalist writing style influenced O Henry and Kate Chopin.  This story about marriage has plenty of twists and turns. How to say Guy de Maupassant's name actually and properlyhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pOkQLmlokAE&ab_
TW: disease, cancerThis story is a little unusual, but memorable. We discuss what it does right and what it does wrong, as well as the creepiest kinds of monsters and how to tie a story together.
This masterful story is dripping with sarcasm, dry humour and character. We look at what makes its first (and last) lines so great, how we might approach beginnings and endings ourselves, and how to create humourous characters.Mentioned article
This week we talk about various short story collections and how to construct a good one. Here's a list of the books we mentioned:The Stories of Ibis by Hiroshi YamamotoStronger, Faster, and More Beautiful by Arwen Elys DaytonBefore the Coffee G
There's no story this week - instead, we bring you a discussion about the craft of writing. We talk about the dual approaches of planning or 'pantsing' and why the writing community has it all wrong.
This week's story is the classic be-careful-what-you-wish-for story The Monkey's Paw. We discuss why sensible characters are no fun, blending genres and challenging fate.
I'm all alone, there's no one here beside me~Matt reads his story amidst the silence that serves as the foundation of creativity.
It's Halloween, so here's a horror story that's shockingly relevant almost 180 years after its publication. We talk about the various interpretations of this story and Poe's 'unity of effect', one of the most important defining features of shor
This classic romance story is from the once controversial but now loved writer Kate Chopin. We discuss settings for romance stories, how to make a story linger in the reader's head, and how to marry both external and internal plot lines.Story o
We discuss this cheery story about why there isn't a mermaid at this one lake or something. We talk about ways to build conflict and character quickly in romance and the mystery that is Charles Weathers Bump.
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