30 Stories in 30 Days Creative Writing Workshop

30 Stories in 30 Days

In “30 Stories in 30 Days” you will write, write and write some more using favorite writing prompts by published authors and expert writing instructors. In this course, you will respond to timed daily writing prompts that will force you into a creativity focus where your “internal editor” will have to wait their turn, allowing story development to take over. Daily writing prompts will begin immediately when you click the “Take this course” button. Subsequently, you can begin during NaNoWriMo or at the beginning, middle, end of any month, whenever it suits you.  Each prompt is available to you on its scheduled day and you will write at your own pace. If you are so inclined, you can submit one or more stories for our One on One Creative Writing Workshop, where you will receive individualized developmental edits, line edits, end notes and a phone chat.

This course focuses on your creative and narrative talents. You are welcome to share your daily writing prompts with other course writers on each day. You can take this course in tandem with friends during NaNoWriMo or any month of the year. When you develop one or more prompts into a fuller narrative, consider our One on One Creative Writing Workshop.

Writing Methods

  • You will have access to one writing prompt per day.
  • Timed writing in ten minutes or less. The prompts suggest first person narratives; however, feel free to write in whatever PoV and tense works best for you. If at any point, the narrative derivates from the original prompt, let it. Go where your creativity leads you.
  • Stop writing when the timer stops. Take a break. Stand up. Grab a drink. Keep writing new words if you like or, if not, file the scene/narrative for a later time.
  • Give yourself at least two days before you revise these new narratives/scenes.
  • Finally, if you would like to share your narrative, post it to the discussion board below each lesson and share it with your course peers. If you end up expanding this narrative into a fuller work and would like written, individualized feedback on it, we invite you to join us for a One on One Creative Writing Workshop.

Goals for Writing Prompts

  • To further explore authentic voice
  • To write a new narrative every day for thirty days;
  • To leverage the creative right brain to generate ideas;
  • To strengthen daily writing regimens;
  • To exercise freewriting;
  • To mine personal experiences and observations for narrative details
  • To practice scaffold writing in an authentic and culminative process.

What is NaNoWriMo and Why is “30 Stories” Different?

NaNoWriMo mainly focuses on drafting a novel of 50,000 words or more in November each year. For some writers, writing a novel in a linear approach–point A to point B to point c….–works very well. For some writers, a less linear format will unearth creativities and connections otherwise missed. With our structure, you can write that novel you’ve been wanting to write OR you can write a series of short stories or essays that may turn into a novel or a collection. Another aspect that differentiates our workshop is that you will have the option to write culminatively, using early work to inform later work in a scaffolded structure. Finally, where NaNoWriMo focuses on the long form, our approach gives you the liberty to approach new work in your most authentic process. And when you’ve completed your thirty days of writing prompts, you will start the process of developmentally revising at your own pace, either independently with lesson guidance or with a published author and mentor.

Why Online Writing Workshops?

Online creative writing workshops present the best of both worlds for creative writers. Creative isolation and craft interaction. In “Show or Tell: Should Creative Writing be Taught?” (The New Yorker), Louis Menand not only asks should, but also if. Our stance at The Eckleburg Workshops is that writers can be shown craft writing skills. Writers can be encouraged to explore voice through the practice of these skills. Writers can observe and deduce authentic skills in both master and developing narratives. It is our job to sculpt and nurture creative writing and this is best done by published authors and experienced writing teachers. This is what we give you in each and every writing course and in our One on One individualized manuscript sessions.

Short Short Story Workshop

This workshop explores the tricky art of writing and editing the short short story (flash fiction), or stories around 1,000 words. Writers of short short fiction face the unique challenge of creating something fragmentary, but complete; something brief, but satisfying; little moments that hint at a whole world. This short short fiction workshop will focus on various approaches writers can take to write complete and complex stories in 1,000 words or fewer.

Short Short Story Workshop Goals

  • To identify and read exemplary works of short short fiction as a foundational study to creating your own;
  • To generate new drafts of work with a focus on short short fiction;
  • To provide critical feedback on work so you can revise and make it as strong as it can be;
  • To help you further strengthen your knowledge of form and to provide you with the environment to better understand your individual voice so you can apply this to future works;
  • To help you learn and improve on the techniques of writing and self-editing so that you are aware of your preferred forms and boundaries and be able to consider how you might push your preferred forms into your best craft.

Contributing Faculty

Rae BryantRae Bryant is the author of the short story collection, The Indefinite State of Imaginary Morals (Patasola Press). Her stories, essays, and poetry have appeared in print and online at The Paris Review, The Missouri Review, McSweeney’s, DIAGRAM, StoryQuarterly, Huffington Post, New World Writing, Gargoyle Magazine, and Redivider, among other publications. Her digital intermedia has exhibited in New York, DC, Baltimore and Florence, Italy. She has won prizes and fellowships from Johns Hopkins, Aspen Writers Foundation, VCCA and Whidbey Writers and has been nominated for the Pen/Hemingway, Pen Emerging Writers, The &NOW Award, Lorian Hemingway, and multiple times for the Pushcart award. Rae earned a Masters in Writing from Hopkins where she continues to teach new media, technology for writers and creative writing and is founding editor and designer of Eckleburg. She also teaches and lectures in the International Writing Program at The University of Iowa, The Eckleburg Workshops and American University where she is currently in the MFA program. She is represented by Jennifer Carlson with Dunow, Carlson & Lerner Literary Agency.

Meg PokrassMeg Pokrass is the author of five flash fiction collections, an award-winning collection of prose poetry, and a novella-in-flash from the Rose Metal Press. A new novella in flash “The Smell of Good Luck” will be published in 2019 by Flash: The International Short Short Story Press and a new collection of microfiction, “The Sadness of Night Bugs” forthcoming from Pelekinesis Press.

Sommer SchaferSommer Schafer is a writer and teacher living in Northern California. She is a senior editor of The Forge Literary Magazine. Visit her at sommerschafer.com.

Writing Sex in Literary Fiction: Are Your Sex Scenes Essential or Gratuitous?

How do you transcend the cliched and gratuitous sex scene when writing sex? How do you create a scene that will engage smart fe/male readers in critical, gender aware and sexually rigorous ways? Writing sex in the literary scene is no different than any other scene, really. It is all about focusing on the character as gender and sexually unique. Whether you intend to write a more graphically specific scene, such as in American Psycho, or a more subtle scene, character focus is the key.

Writing Sex Goals

    • Identify the difference between gratuitous and essential sexuality within literature;
    • Identify language that elicits smart context within sexual scenarios;
    • Explore the characters as gender and sexually unique;
    • Develop sexual and gender tensions within scenarios.

Writing Sex Course Format

Each week, you will have access to a new lesson. Work at your own pace. When you are ready for individualized feedback—developmental, line and end notes—from one of our faculty members, submit your work. Instructors have graduate degrees and professional publication experience in their workshop focuses. Participants may complete assignments anytime. We are open to English-speaking and writing participants both locally and globally and encourage gender and ethnic diversity in our workshops. 

Course Materials

Suggested Materials

Contributing Faculty

Rae BryantRae Bryant is the author of the short story collection, The Indefinite State of Imaginary Morals. Her fiction, prose-poetry and essays have appeared in print and online at The Paris Review, The Missouri Review, Diagram, StoryQuarterly, McSweeney’s, New World Writing, Gargoyle Magazine, and Redivider, among other publications and have been nominated for the Pen/Hemingway, Pen Emerging Writers, &NOW Award and Pushcart Prize. She has won awards in fiction from Whidbey Writers and The Johns Hopkins University. She earned a Masters in Writing from Hopkins where she continues to teach creative writing and is editor in chief of The Doctor T. J. Eckleburg Review. She has also taught in the International Writing Program at The University of Iowa. She is represented by Jennifer Carlson of Dunow, Carlson and Lerner.

Why Online Writing Workshops?

Online writing workshops present the best of both worlds for creative writers: creative isolation and craft interaction. The New Yorker article by Louis Menand, “Show or Tell: Should Creative Writing be Taught?” proposes the perrineal question of whether or not writers can be taught or must be born. Our stance at The Eckleburg Workshops is that writers can be shown many craft writing skills and be encouraged to explore voice through the practice of these skills as well as the observation of these skills in both master and developing narratives. It is our stance that creative writing can be sculpted and nurtured and is best taught by published authors and experienced writing teachers. This is what we give you in each and every writing course and in our One on One individualized manuscript sessions.