Fictionalizing Your Life: 6-week Short Fiction Intensive with Ayelet Tsabari

Mine the stories in your life and craft a short story from personal experience with award-winning author Ayelet Tsabari

Course runs Saturdays, Jan. 20-Feb. 24, 2024 @ 1–3:30pm EST (10am–1pm Pacific)

Breathe life into your personal experiences while imagining the other possibilities of your life through fiction. This course is designed for emerging writers, aiming to introduce them to the world of short stories, and provide them with practical tools for crafting narratives based on personal experiences. Instructor Ayelet Tsabari, author of two best-selling fiction and essay collections, ensures a supportive and dynamic environment that encourages authenticity, boldness, and originality among students. Through a combination of craft lectures, readings, discussion in small groups, and guided exercises, writers will gain a solid understanding of the fundamental elements of short fiction. They will also acquire techniques for editing, rewriting and critiquing their own work, and for experimenting with creative writing. Ayelet’s lessons, exercises and self-directed assignments all lead toward the goal of completing a 1,500–3,000-word story draft, which Ayelet will review for an additional fee.

The course is open to 30 students with capacity for 12 students to upgrade to Stream B for an additional fee of $150 CAD. Stream B students will receive written personal feedback from Ayelet on a short story. The work could be the story written in this class or another unpublished short story of up to 3,000 words. (Only 12 Stream B spots available.)

Stream A: Regular Class Lectures & Exercises ($400 🇨🇦 | ~$296 🇺🇸)

Students attend classes and participate in the lectures, class discussions and exercises, but will not receive feedback on their short fiction story.

Stream B: Classes with Story Development ($550 🇨🇦 | ~$405 🇺🇸)

For an additional $150, students can also upgrade to Stream B and receive written personal feedback from Ayelet on a short story. The work could be the story written in this class or another unpublished short story of up to 3,000 words. (Only 12 Stream B spots available.)


Saturdays, Jan. 20-Feb. 24, 2024 @ 1–3:30pm EST

A detailed syllabus with assigned readings would be provided upon registration.

  • Class 1, Jan. 20th: Introduction to the short story, Generating ideas 
  • Class 2, Jan. 27th: POV, Characters, Settings
  • Class 3, Feb. 3: Narrative Time, Show and Tell
  • Class 4. Feb. 10: Structure, Arc and Conflict
  • Class 5, Feb. 17: Endings and Theme
  • Class 6, Feb 24: Revision, wrap-up


After checkout, you’ll receive a receipt with a link to download your syllabus, which will include Zoom passcodes and additional course information. You will also receive an emailed reminder a few days before your first class.


This class is for fiction writers of all experience levels. Students in Stream B will complete a draft of a short-fiction story.


The course is designed for live participation, however, if you can’t be present for a class, or must leave early, a recording will be provided in the student folder the morning after. Students are expected to be present and intellectually curious during class time. Please be ready to participate with working cameras and audio. If you’re ever stuck or may need accommodation, please reach out to your instructor or TA.


Pandemic University is committed to offering a fulfilling and inclusive education. Classes are held via Zoom with Closed Captioning features enabled through auto-transcription technology. A teaching assistant will be present to correct transcription mistakes and assist in other ways. The course includes workshops and class discussions, thus students are required to participate through audio; accommodations can be made for people with speaking or other disabilities if they inform us ahead of schedule. Video is encouraged of all students in order to optimize everyone’s virtual classroom experience.


Space is limited to 30 students, including 12 students who’ve upgraded their registration to Stream B. Anyone wishing to cancel their registration has until Jan. 11, 2024 to receive a guaranteed refund. If you cancel between Jan. 12 and 19, 2024 we will only offer a refund if and after the vacated spot is filled. No refunds whatsoever will be offered after the course begins on Jan. 20, 2024. Violations of the Code of Conduct may result in your removal from the course without compensation.


Although PanU is technically a fake university, we’re committed to high standards of artistic integrity, quality education, and maintaining a safe virtual environment for students. Abusive behaviour toward classmates or instructors will not be tolerated at any point during the course, including in private messages, and will result in expulsion without refund.

Other violations that could have you expelled from this course include: refusing to participate in group workshops; plagiarism and misrepresentation of others’ ideas as your own; sharing recordings of classes; sharing classmates’ work without their consent; and racism, sexism, homophobia, and transphobia either in your notes feedback to classmates or in your written work.

The final say on whether or not you continue in class belongs to the instructor alone. If you have any questions, email

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