The Masters Series | Write 3 Stories in 3 Months Challenge

Price: NZ$ 1667/ £ 834 / R 14 997


Write 3 Stories in 3 Months Challenge


Write 3 Stories in 3 Months Challenge

Get ready for the most epic writing challenge in the world.

Write three stories in three months, mentored by an award-winning writer, and supported by a small group of challengees. Get published and/or long-listed to complete the challenge.

19 APRIL 2021


This Course Gives You...

12 One-To-One Feedback Sessions

You will be mentored by an award-winning writer to develop your craft and explore your writing voice.

Access to a Supportive Facebook Group

Join other writers from around the world in a small, supportive group. Part of the fun is reading the writing of other participants.

2 Q&A Group Zoom Sessions with an Award-Winning Writer

Meet with your group and an award-winning writer via Zoom to have all your questions answered.

A Realistic Schedule

Write wherever and whenever you want. You do have 21 deadlines to meet though.

100+ Pages of Expert Content

Easy-to-digest course notes that capture a lifetime of writing experience, ready for you to apply to your own writing.

Access to 80 pages of Short Story Competitions and Publication Outlets

The aim is to live and work like a professional writer, submitting your stories. You've got to be in it, to win it!

Write Polished, Professional Short Stories to Deadline

Take your stories to the next level

Our 3-Stories-in-3-Months Challenge will push you to your creative limits. The aim is to write world-class stories, and submit them to journals, magazines and competitions.

The main goal is to get published or long-listed. While we cannot guarantee publication (even the top-selling authors in the world have endured numerous publication rejections), we make no bones about the fact that this course strives to simulate life as a professional creative writer.

You will write three drafts of each story, with feedback from an award-winning writer on each draft. You will also receive feedback from your group, and bounce ideas off each other.


Minimum time demands per week:

  • 5-10 hours of writing
  • 1 hour of reading your co-challengees’ work



  • The challenge can be completed on top of a day-job.
  • This is a deadline-driven, tutor-supported course.
  • This course is for intermediate + writers.
  • An additional two months is provided to allow for feedback from publication and competition outlets.

I have thoroughly enjoyed the  Challenge. Besides learning an enormous amount, I feel I have developed my own special writing style through the expert guidance of tutors and mentors. A very attentive bunch of people who certainly keep one on one’s toes. Thanks very much for everything.

Before the challenge, I had ideas, snippets of dialogue, character and themes, a vague sense of wanting to write and no clue how to tie all those elements together! Writing the first draft was the most challenging part, but I knew I was in good hands once I received Sonny’s feedback. She helped me see where I needed to focus to bring my story to life. I would never have guessed that I’d be writing stories with more confidence five months later and be a published writer! With the tutors’ support at The Writers College, alongside the fellow writers on the challenge, I went from secretly wanting to be a writer to writing and talking about my work to being published. Whether you have a couple of ideas scratched out, a story you want to write, or you’re looking to learn more about the craft of writing, I highly recommend taking the Short Story Challenge. It’s an incredible journey!

The Challenge was life-changing for me. I am so sad that the five months is almost over. First, it motivated me to create a new story every month. A rough outline would develop in my mind and make it to paper. My tutor Alex Smith then took me through each draft, step by step, polishing it into a finished product I could be proud of. It was a thrill to see a story published. I learnt an incredible amount about backstory, dialogue, creating pauses. It was a unique experience to have a tutor that responded to submissions within two days and her ideas were always perceptive and to the point. I also learnt about the publishing world.

It was great to be part of a diverse group from all over the world and of different ages. Reading their stories and seeing how their writing progressed was fascinating. Hopefully, we have now created a group that can carry on supporting each other in the future.

I would certainly recommend this concept.

The challenge was what I needed to get a short story written and sent off to be published. Having deadlines every month helped me to stop procrastinating and just get on with it. The tutor feedback from Ginny was always very encouraging, and her support in getting my story off to the right place was invaluable. She was always there at the end of an email to help me; I’m going to miss her but she and Nichola and the other writers in my writing group have all given me the tools I need to do this on my own now. Writing a short story to be sent off to be published isn’t as scary as it was five months ago. I know how to do it now, so for that, I couldn’t recommend this challenge enough.

Some of our Students' Successes on this Challenge

Our students have been finalists in these global writing competitions or published in these magazines

Alex smith creative writing tutor at the writers college

Tutors for this Course

You can choose the tutor with whom you want to work.

Alex Smith - Literary Fiction

Alex Smith is the award-winning author of five novels.

Algeria’s Way, Drinking from the Dragon’s Well, Four Drunk Beauties and Devilskein & Dearlove were published by Random House (Umuzi), and Agency Blue was published by Tafelberg.

Her work has received widespread acclaim. Drinking from the Dragon’s Well was longlisted for the Sunday Times Alan Paton Award and Devilskein & Dearlove was nominated for the 2015 CILIP Carnegie Medal in the UK. Agency Blue won a Sanlam Youth Literature Award, while Four Drunk Beauties won the Nielsen Booksellers’ Choice Award.


Creative writing tutor at the Writers College, Sonny Whitelaw

Sonny Whitelaw - Literary Fiction

Sonny Whitelaw has enjoyed a successful career as a writer for over 30 years. Her work as a photojournalist has appeared in dozens of international magazines,  including National Geographic.

She won a Draco Award for her first novel, The Rhesus Factor, and all eight of her novels, including five based on the television series Stargate, have been international bestsellers.

A qualified adult educator with an MA in Creative Writing, Sonny taught writing courses to adults and teenagers in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne. In 2008, she moved with her teenage son to a small lifestyle property in Oxford, Canterbury.

When she’s not having an enormous amount of fun exploring the South Island, Sonny splits her time between researching and writing scientific reports, editing fiction and non-fiction manuscripts, and working on her own exciting young adult science fantasy series called The Runes of Creation.

Sonny tutors the Write a Novel Course, the Literary Short and Flash Fiction Course and the Advanced Novel Writing Course.

Writing Short Stories for Magazines Course at the Writers College Ginny Swart

Ginny Swart - Light Fiction

Ginny Swart has sold well over 750 short stories to women’s magazines all over the world. On any day of any month, she has at least 30 stories on editors’ desks.

Her more serious work has appeared in literary publications in America, South Africa, Canada, New Zealand and on the Web. She is also the author of three romance novels (Ulverscroft Press UK), a book of short stories ( and a book for teenagers, Nosipho and the King of Bones (Macmillan Boleswa SA).

In 2003, Ginny won the esteemed Real Writers’ Prize in the UK, her winning entry selected from 4,000 entrants. 
Tanya Hutley

Tania Hutley - Literary and Light Fiction

For many years, Tania Hutley worked as a Technical Writer in the software industry, but she always dreamed of writing creatively. She began by writing literary short stories and has been a runner up in New Zealand’s two most prestigious short story competitions, the Katherine Mansfield Awards and the Sunday Star Times Short Story Competition. In 2010 she won the Page and Blackmore National Short Story Award.

After branching out into novel writing, she published two middle-grade chapter books for children. Then she wrote the Skin Hunter science fiction trilogy, and co-wrote The Trouble With Witches urban fantasy series. Under the pen name Talia Hunter, she has also published eleven contemporary romance and romantic comedy novels and even made the USA Today Bestsellers List.  

Though Tania started off with traditional publishers, she’s now enthusiastic about self-publishing and the control it gives to authors.

She was born in New Zealand, but has recently moved to Australia where she’s constantly amazed and not at all freaked out by the weird and wonderful critters. When she’s not writing, you can usually find her with a glass of wine, a good book, and a jumbo-sized can of bug spray.

The Schedule

Course fee, including 12 writing critiques, the course manual, 36 weekly emails and 2 live Q&A sessions.

NZ $1667 / £ 834 / R 14 997

This course is for you, if you want to...

Please note: This course has now closed for enrolments. Complete the application form to be placed on a waiting list for October 2021.

Write 3 Stories in 3 Months Challenge

Nichola’s unflagging commitment, Sonny’s spot-on suggestions (yes, every single one of them) and the most supportive group ever—thanks to these quasi-magic ingredients, I accessed something I want to be part of my life from now on. Writing. Writing stories.

I have loved this Challenge. It has provided excellent support and encouragement from the College and my tutor. Feedback from other students forms a useful adjunct to the Challenge. The resources provided have been very helpful and opened up other publishing outlet possibilities. As always, The Writers College provides a professional, appropriate and valuable course for its writers.

I have really enjoyed the  challenge for all sorts of reasons. The communication was clear, it was easy to take part in, with regular updates, prompts and reminders.

Having feedback from experts was great. This meant that each story draft could be improved on and we could all follow the improvements in the stories of the rest of the group. It is a group challenge and reading other people’s stories, learning to give feedback and receive it, was a big part of it. I enjoyed the reading and also meeting the other writers on Zoom.

The tutors were excellent and have different specialist areas, so it was possible to choose a tutor with experience in the genre I wanted to develop. The feedback on stories was thorough and helpful. I felt that I knew how to work on each story.

The aim was to be published and this is very difficult! However, many of us did manage to get something published and help was offered in finding outlets. I would recommend this challenge for anyone who loves to write, wants to develop their writing, and would enjoy sharing that experience with other writers.

Any Questions?