UCLA Extension

Specialization in Short Fiction

The art of short fiction offers readers sharp insight into characters’ lives through compression, description, and evocative details. Contemporary literature is alive with masters of the form, including Alice Munro, George Saunders, Jhumpa Lahiri, Lydia Davis, Junot Diaz, and many others.

This 3-course Specialization provides students with an intensive approach to both generating new work and revising it in the collaborative environment of a workshop. Over the course of three quarters, students receive dedicated instruction on the form of the short story, with directed readings of its best examples. At the conclusion of the three courses, students will have three completed stories and two additional stories in-progress.

Specialization Enrollment Fee:  $50

Introduction to Short Fiction Writing

It is said that all of us have locked inside at least one good story to tell. Through lectures on craft, short writing exercises, assignments, and discussion, you learn how to tell yours. Topics include plot, point-of-view, setting, description, conflict, characterization, dialogue, tension, rewriting, and submission strategies. The course goal is to draft and revise at least one short story. This course is a prerequisite for students who are continuing in the short-fiction sequence.


Creative Writing: Short Story

This UC-transferable workshop covers the key elements of fiction writing, including plot, characterization, setting, point-of-view, and various story development techniques, as well as publication markets. Your goal is to complete or rewrite three stories of average length.


Writing the Short Story: Intermediate Workshop

Focusing on close textual analysis and intensive writing practice, you create two short stories and revise one in this 10-week workshop. Weekly lectures on technique, analysis of published stories, and in-depth instructor and peer critique develop and deepen your understanding of the art and craft of short story writing. Strategies for approaching the marketplace also are discussed.

The Art of the Short Story

The short story, one of the most challenging of all literary forms, requires the precision and imagistic intensity of poetry combined with novelistic elements of structure, setting, and characterization. This workshop helps you to realize your fictional intentions through detailed written critiques and to prepare your stories for publication in targeted markets. The course goal is to complete two new stories and one revision.

Students receive priority registration for coursework after payment of candidacy fee plus a 50% discount on one consultation within six months of completion of the Specialization.

Enroll here or contact a Writers’ Program advisor at (310) 825-9415 or writers@uclaextension.edu.