The Pang in Your Heart Short Story Intensive with Elizabeth Bernstein (6/26-7/31)

Elizabeth Bernstein (Photo by Chris Hardy)

Instructor: Elizabeth Bernstein
Number of sessions: 6
Meeting time: Tuesday nights, 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm
Dates: June 26- July 31

Course fee: $385, $100 deposit

To register, contact the instructor. All deposits are non-refundable.

Description:  “The difference between a short story and a novel is the difference between a pang in your heart compared to the tragedy of your whole life. It’s all a matter of how you feel the pain. Read a great story and there it is — right now — in your gut. A novel gives you some time between innings. A story is complete, remorseless.”  — Peter Orner

A short story can knock you flat, it can break your heart, it can make you believe in the world. But how?  How can you achieve all that in just a few thousand words? This comprehensive workshop will cover the key elements that make a short story great: plot, character, structure, tone, pacing, tension, dialogue, and more. In class, we’ll explore the short story form using fun in-class exercises, close analysis of weekly readings, handouts, lecture and discussion. We’ll also talk about how to integrate writing into your life, survive the slush pile, and publish your work. Each student will have 1-2 stories workshopped at length.
Instructor Bio: Elizabeth Bernstein is a writer, editor, and writing coach. She’s the founder and editor of The Big Ugly Review (, an online literary magazine that showcases fiction, nonfiction, poetry, photography, music and short films (called “a great literary magazine” by Utne Magazine and “the fantastic Big Ugly Review” by zyzzyva editor Howard Junker). Her short stories have been published in the Los Angeles Times Sunday magazine, the North Atlantic Review and other US and international literary journals. Her short story, “Alice,” won first prize in the San Francisco Bay Guardian Fiction Contest and was optioned by Sneaky Little Sister Films.,