Do you have a great story to tell, but never know how to get started?
Have you tried again and again to put your words to the page only to be disappointed by the outcome?
Translating an idea into a story may seem like an insurmountable task for many aspiring writers. Brilliant ideas are wasted every day by intelligent people just like you who can’t quite find the right words. Overcome the hurdles that every aspiring writer faces with Storytelling 101, a masterclass for captivating storytelling, led by award-winning short story author Timons Esaias.
Relating an event is easy. You do it when you speak to your spouse, your family. Email your boss. Share a laugh on the back nine. Gossip with friends.
Telling a story is different. It’s a craft that takes finesse, practice, and structure. Rather than turning to an outdated writing book filled with to-do lists, aimless prompts, and complex formulas, put your trust in an author who’s been there.
Storytelling is simple with a few key ingredients. This workshop will teach you how to write a short story immediately, with minimal research or writing background required. There are stories in your head, in your heart, on the page of your notebook, and even in your dreams that are waiting patiently to be written. With Timons’s guidance, you will learn how to start, how to develop, and how to conclude with style, emphasis, and power. In other words, your aspirations as a storyteller start here.
Meet Your Instructor: Timons Esaias
We are excited to introduce one of our favorite instructors! Some of you have worked with Timons in our contests and know how insightful his feedback is.
Beyond his positive criticism, Timons taught an MFA program at Seton Hill University and has hundreds of publications to his name, in several languages.
With fifty years of storytelling experience, Timons has boiled down the tools and tricks into a digestible, easy-to-follow formula that will help your writing blossom.
Timons Esaias is a satirist, writer, and poet living in Pittsburgh. His works, ranging from literary to genre, have been published in twenty-two languages. He is the 2020 Asimov’s Readers’ Award winner for the Best Short Story and winner of a recent The Winter Anthology Contest. He has also been a finalist for the British Science Fiction Award and was shortlisted for the 2019 Gregory O’Donoghue International Poetry Prize. His story “Norbert and the System” has appeared in a textbook and in college curricula. His SF short story “Sadness” was selected for three Year’s Best anthologies in 2015, and the Asimov’s winner “GO. NOW. FIX.” has been selected for two. Recent genre appearances include Asimov’s, Analog, and Clarkesworld. Concrete Wolf brought out his full-length Louis-Award-winning collection of poetry titled Why Elephants No Longer Communicate in Greek. His poetry publications include Atlanta Review, Verse Daily, 5AM, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, Willard & Maple, Asimov’s Science Fiction, and Elysian Fields Quarterly: The Literary Journal of Baseball.
He was Adjunct Faculty at Seton Hill University for 20 years, in the Writing Popular fiction MFA Program.
People who know him are not surprised to learn that he lived in a museum for eight years.
Storytelling 101 Workshop will be guided by a masterful story: Neil Gaiman's classic short story “Chivalry.” You can read the text here: “Chivalry,” by Neil Gaiman (1998). You can listen to a reading here: “Chivalry” by Neil Gaiman.
After reading, Timons will identify and explain each of the basic elements of storytelling through Gaiman’s example, with this seven-point story structure as the model:
- A Character, and what that means
- A Problem (often neglected by beginners), and why you need one
- A Place, however vaguely described
- A Story (the whole point of storytelling)
- Dialogue, and whether you need it
- Description, and whether you need it
A Camera Crew, also known as Point of View
Get Feedback and One-on-One Instruction from a Storytelling Expert!
Using the many lessons acquired from the course, students will have the exceptional opportunity to submit one short story, of under 3500 words, for critique from the master storyteller himself. Timons will provide detailed, constructive criticism, providing students with the blueprint to craft impactful stories.
Additionally, each student may schedule a private thirty minute Zoom session to ask private questions, get personalized feedback, and to pick the brain of an award-winning writer.
All members will have exclusive access to the recorded workshop, a valuable resource to check back on as you mature as a storyteller. We encourage you to take advantage of short story feedback from Timons, as well as your One-on-One session.
- A handout on the Seven-Point Story
- A handout on the Three-Act Story
- A handout on quick characterization
- Esaias's mantra for non-cliché narration
- Esaias's list of short stories worth studying
- Each student will receive an open invitation to ongoing Write-Ins with Timons, a Zoom workshop where authors share their writing goals, and then manifest them through a silent writing session. Each Write-In session concludes with a check-in where participants can share thoughts on their experience. Write-Ins occur four days a week, Mondays through Thursdays.
- Each student will receive a Timons-curated, premium list of literary journals open for submissions. Lists include the journal name, genres accepted, word count accepted, and a link to the submission page.
Personalized Feedback is Included!
✅ Story Critique
Each student may submit one story under 3500 words to Timons for an in-depth review. Timons will provide detailed suggestions on how to improve your story.
✅ Private One-on-One Consultation on Zoom
In addition to a detailed critique of your story, you will have the opportunity to schedule a one-on-one session with Timons to answer any questions you have.
✅ Ongoing Support Via Email
You may have questions. Timons is happy to answer them via email. His responses are both timely and illuminating.
Attend Live OR On Demand
All of our courses are available as pre-recorded lectures so that anyone in the world may study on their own time. You can begin watching the lectures immediately after signing up.
Live Date and Time - July 16th at 1pm PST
For those that want to attend a live session, you will be able to sign up for the Zoom call after you enroll.
The live session will cover the same material as the pre-recorded lectures.
Use this timezone conversion tool to figure out if this is a good time for you.
Read what our past students have to say about working with Timons:
"It was absolutely brilliant—a true AHA moment for me! I have a much better understanding of the inner mechanisms of short stories. And along with this better understanding comes a fresh jolt of motivation. I just reached out to Timons to participate in his Write-IN sessions."
"The course was outstanding!! I have done a lot of writing in local workshops, but no one has ever outlined the required units that have to go into a story. I haven't, until now, ever looked at my writing with those ideas in mind. Now I am going back into some stories and finding missing parts. Thank you!"
— Julie Babb
Thank you so much for teaching Storytelling 101. I was surprised by how much information was given in such a short time. I learned a great deal from this class and it inspired me to keep moving forward. Your feedback on my story is extremely helpful. I am still blown away by how generous you are with your time. Thank you.
— Julie Trout
"As a rank newbie, I found it incredibly helpful. Your guidance was specific, clear, and concise. Now, it’s onto execution."
— Victoria Gladwish
"There was so much good writing advice with a bit of humor sprinkled in. The time just flew by!"
— Emily Buckner
I really enjoyed the workshop and the one-on-one session with Timons. I am brand new to writing and found his breakdown of how to approach writing to be very clear and helpful.
— Karen J.
Don’t wait too long to sign up! We hope someday soon your name will be added to our testimonial list of student who became true storytellers.
When does the course start and finish?
You can begin watching the lectures immediately after you enroll.
Will I get feedback?
Yes! Each student may submit one short story to Timons for an in-depth review. Timons will provide detailed suggestions on how to improve your story. (Or a pat on the back, if it’s perfect.) On top of that, students are encouraged to sign up for a one-on-one Zoom call for personalized feedback and specific tips to spark storytelling growth.
Can I ask questions?
Yes! You can submit a question to Timons anytime. You will even have a chance to meet with Timons over Zoom, so you get personalized feedback on your specific needs.
Will I get one-on-one time with the instructor?
Yes! In addition to a detailed critique of your story, you will have the opportunity to schedule a one-on-one session with Timons to answer any questions you have.
Is there a money-back guarantee?
Yes. If you are not happy, for whatever reason, just let us know within thirty days, and you will get a full refund.
I have another question.
Send an email to: [email protected]