Home   |    Join a Community    |    Learn the Craft    |    Get Motivated    |    Contact Us


"Karen, do you see what you are doing to me, and all the rest of my fellow writers too? You are...so motivational! A new assignment comes and I have to sit right down and write. I even have to sit right down and write when there isn't an assignment. Thank you, thank you, thank you!"
    - Carol, Unleash the Creator student

"I'm having a blast--I've learned so much thus far! [I enjoy] the enthusiasm, the encouragement, the respectful tone of the critiques...the reaching out to one another.... I'm a believer now and plan on additional classes after this one."
 -- Pam S., student in Karen's Fiction 101 workshop

More Testimonials


The Weekend Writer: Crafting Your Short Story

Facilitator:  Karen Hertzberg

Workshop Syllabus

Think you haven't got time to write? Think again! All you need is three weekends (just weekends) to complete a short story from idea to first draft. This workshop will provide the basics to help you get started and stay motivated.

Week One:  Characters and Motivation

What does it take to get a short story rolling? It all begins with a good character who needs or wants something, and the obstacles that stand in his or her way. We'll learn how to uncover intriguing character in fascinating situations--they key to stories that keep readers turning pages.

Week Two: Vivid Description/Making a Scene 

As Stephen King says, good descriptive writing makes a reader, "prickle with recognition." We'll go in search of the prickle, learning to write brilliant details that resonate for our readers. Then we'll learn to compile tightly written scenes that move our readers from one piece of the story to the next by sustaining tension and drama.

Week Three:  Time to Write!

Now that we've collected piece of the puzzle, it's time to put those pieces together into one fully-realized picture. You'll receive hand-outs and tips throughout the week to help you craft your story, and we'll wrap up with a full-scale critique of your opening scene(s) to help send you on your way to completing a polished piece of prose.

By the end of the course, each student will have learned the basic essentials of crafting a short story, and will have completed a first draft.


Required Materials:  None

About the Facilitator:
Karen Hertzberg is the creator of the Coffeehouse for Writers web community. Karen's fiction has appeared in literary journals, including Conversely (April, 2001), and Blue Moon Review. Her articles on the craft of writing have also appeared in Inscriptions Magazine, Whispers, Word Weave and several  other publications.


Workshop Begins:
Duration: 3 weeks  


To pay by check or money order CLICK HERE
By registering, you indicate that you have read our 
Workshop Terms of Service.



Books recommended on this page are not required reading for participation in the course. Required materials, if any, are listed in the course syllabus.

The Writer's Idea Book

With the aid of author Jack Heffron's prompts, you'll unearth lots of new ideas. You'll explore ideas you already have and figure out which ones to ditch. You'll even find new ways of seeing things you've already started.  "The secrets to getting ideas aren't really secrets," says Heffron. "Open your mind and heart. Open your eyes and ears. Take risks. Trust your talent and your instincts." And remember: don't write about the things that seem like good ideas. Write about the things that thrill you. 

What If? Writing Exercises for Fiction Writers

You'll use this fun, witty, well-crafted book to find a wealth of ideas through targeted lessons and writing exercises. "What If?" is the first handbook for writers based on the idea that specific exercises are one of the most powerful tools for mastering the art of fiction writing.

Return to Workshops    |   Workshop FAQs   |  Privacy Policy   |   Feedback   |   Terms of Service