Early bird discount!

Writing Modern Fables & Fairy Tales (Jan. 18 – Feb. 16, 2020)

$450.00 $395.00

A (super) intensive weekend workshop for fiction writers and advanced students who wish to create modern fables that publishers can’t pass up and readers can’t put down. Maximum 8 students. Class runs: Jan. 18, 2020 – Feb. 16, 2020 (see schedule). Enrollment deadline: Jan. 5, 2020.

Early bird pricing $395: before November 15, 2019. 3 spots left!

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Learn how to write modern fables and fairy tales directly from one of the acclaimed authors of this timeless literary tradition. Tailored to fiction writers and advanced students already familiar with writing and revising short stories, this crash course will dive into the finer points of crafting modern fables and fairy tales that enchant readers with brilliant dreams and dazzling nightmares, and awaken their earliest obsession in stories. Over three non-consecutive weekends, immerse yourself in the works of modern masters, learn the narrative devices of the form, and generate one new tale of your own through writing exercises and prompts. You’ll get feedbacks for your story and for one revision, and learn to identify the publication market for your work. Finally, celebrate and read your story at the House’s Submission and Reading Party.

Examples of modern fables:

“The Rock Eater” at TASTE: https://www.tastecooking.com/the-rock-eater/
“The Dodo” in The Jakarta Post: https://www.thejakartapost.com/life/2018/04/23/short-story-the-dodo.html
“James K. Polk” at Melville House Books: https://www.mhpbooks.com/james-k-polk/
“The Sword” at FUSION: https://www.fusionmagazine.org/the-sword/


Ben Loory

Ben is the author of Tales of Falling and Flying (Penguin, 2017) and Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day (Penguin, 2011), as well as a picture book for children, The Baseball Player and the Walrus (Dial Books for Young Readers, 2015). His fables and tales have appeared in The New Yorker, Tin House, Electric Literature, and The Sewanee Review, been anthologized in The New Voices of Fantasy and Year’s Best Weird Fiction, and been heard on This American Life and Selected Shorts. They have also been translated into many languages—including Arabic, Farsi, Japanese, and Indonesian—and adapted to short film, live theater, chamber music, and dance. Ben is a graduate of Harvard University and holds an MFA in Screenwriting from the American Film Institute. 

Ben Loory
Photo by Jennie Hettrick


This is an overview of the schedule. You will receive a detailed syllabus with instructions to access the course website after enrollment.

Before the first classComplete assigned readings. You'll receive the list upon enrollment.
Class 1: Jan. 18, 2020 (Sat)10 A.M. - 1.P.M.Introduction to modern fables and fairy tales. Reading discussions. Writing exercises.
Class 2: Jan. 19, 2020 (Sun)10 A.M. - 1.P.M.Essentials for great modern tales. Discussion of examples by modern masters. Writing exercises.
Jan. 27, 2020 (Mon)11:59 P.M.Your 1st story due.
Class 3: Feb. 1, 2020 (Sat)10 A.M. - 1.P.M.Checklist for great modern fables. Workshop 1st student stories.
Class 4: Feb. 2, 2020 (Sun)10 A.M. - 1.P.M.Revision strategies. Workshop 1st student stories (continued).
Feb. 10, 2020 (Mon)11:59 P.M.Your 2nd story due.
(Or revision of your 1st story)
Class 5: Feb. 15, 2020(Sat)10 A.M. - 1.P.M.Markets for modern fables and fairy tales. More revision strategies. Workshop 2nd student stories.
Class 6: Feb. 16, 2020 (Sun)10 A.M. - 1.P.M.Publication strategies. Workshop 2nd student stories (continued).
TBD by the class4 P.M. - 8:30 P.M.Submission & Reading Party


This course requires a writing sample and instructor approval. When you enroll, you’ll be asked to upload your writing sample at checkout. There is no page limit, but know that we won’t read past the first 10 pages. Your payment will only be authorized but not finalized until after instructor approval, usually within 24 hours after enrollment.


At the Los Angeles Writers’ House, which is located in West Los Angeles, near Stoner Park. You will receive the exact address after enrollment.

Refund Policy

You can request to withdraw from a course by contacting us.

  • 14 days prior to the course’s start date: a full refund minus an administrative fee of $50.
  • 0-13 days prior to the course’s start date: a 50% refund.
  • After the course starts: no refund.

Cancellation by the House We reserve the right to cancel a course. A course may be cancelled if it has fewer than the minimum number of students as stated on the course page. In the event of a cancellation by the House, a full refund will be issued.