Five Short Stories

Course NameLocationDurationDateTime
Five Short StoriesWaterstones PiccadillyFive weeks20 Sept - 16 Oct6:30-8:30 PM


It is said that the short story is the hardest form to write. It is usually a shortcut to the reader’s emotions, deceptively straightforward in its brevity. The form can be endlessly played around with, depending on the intention of the writer. This freedom can bring simple subtlety and complex richness, whether concise or leisurely.

Description, narrative, plot, dialogue, characterisation can all be present, or indeed absent, in differing proportions. It is the writer’s choice. Her/his skill lies in forging the elements into the right shape, like cutting and polishing a diamond.

I am committed to a rolling reading and study of short stories over the coming months. There are many to discover in detail and I am starting with some better known ones.

William Faulkner and Flannery O’Connor are the best of Southern Gothic, Alice Munro is rooted in Ontario and Edna O’Brien could only be country Irish. All these stories are firmly based in small local communities. The exception is Angela Carter with her Gothic fairy tale set in a mythical land, uniquely powerful and thought-provoking.

I am running this five story study at Waterstones Mezzanine Piccadilly from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm on the following dates (click on the title to read more about each story):

Wednesday 20 September: William Faulkner “That Evening Sun”

Wednesday 27 September: Flannery O’Connor “Good Country People”

Tuesday 3 October: Alice Munro “Runaway”

Wednesday 11 October: Edna O’Brien “A Demon”

Monday 16 October: Angela Carter “The Erl King”



  • Facilitated by Carol Martin-Sperry
  • Weekly, 20 September to 16 October, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm.  (See specific days and dates above.)
  • Location: Waterstones Piccadilly, Mezzanine level, 203/206 Piccadilly, London, W1J 9HD
  • £110 for five meeting study.

TO REGISTER for the study, please use the secure Paypal payment button below to pay £110. Opening notes will be sent shortly after registration.


If you have any questions, please send an email to facilitator Carol Martin-Sperry at