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


A (super) intensive weekend workshop for fiction writers and advanced students who wish to create modern fables (under 2500 words) 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.

This workshop is sold out, but you can contact us admin@lawritershouse.org to get on the waiting list.

Please note that your enrollment is not complete until you have been notified of acceptance. You will be notified within 1 week whether your registration is accepted, rejected, or you have been placed on a waiting list.

Out of stock

Categories: ,


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. - 1:30.P.M.Introduction to modern fables and fairy tales. Reading discussions. Writing exercises.
Class 2: Jan. 19, 2020 (Sun)10 A.M. - 1:30.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 (<2500 words) due.
Class 3: Feb. 1, 2020 (Sat)10 A.M. - 1:30.P.M.Checklist for great modern fables. Workshop 1st student stories.
Class 4: Feb. 2, 2020 (Sun)10 A.M. - 1:30.P.M.Revision strategies. Workshop 1st student stories (continued).
Feb. 10, 2020 (Mon)11:59 P.M.Your 2nd story (<2500 words) due.
(Or revision of your 1st story)
Class 5: Feb. 15, 2020(Sat)10 A.M. - 1:30.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. - 1:30.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 apply, 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. We accept application on a rolling basis. Please note that you are not enrolled in the course until you receive our notification of acceptance by email. You will be notified whether you are accepted, rejected, or put on a waiting list usually within 1 week after you submit your registration application.  


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.