Eleven Stories

Write, revise, and publish.

eleven storiesDates: Year-round. Online. Registration for new members open in April, August, and December.
Tuition: $136 usd for four months.
Lecturers: Sheila Bender, Gary Copeland Lilley, Jordan Hartt, and others.
Registration: available down the page, or contact [email protected]

Build your portfolio of publications, with an eye toward your book. Eleven Stories is an online writing course and community designed to result in the creation, revision, and publication of one new short story each month except December (hence the name, Eleven Stories). And, it’s really fun. We began January, 2018: participants are already publishing their work and winning contests and fellowships.

Each and every Monday, we send via email one or two new craft lectures (a three-page text-based lecture and/or an audio or video lecture) on one or more of the following craft elements: sensory detail; setting; character; point-of-view; verb tense; plot; tension/conflict; endings, beginnings, and middles; structure and pacing; visual presentation; tone/language/style; dialogue; title; and thought/theme(s).

Participants in our 2017 Maui Writers' Retreat discuss a story's beginning paragraph
Participants at one of our annual in-person retreats  discuss a story’s beginning paragraph

Writing exercises based on these craft lectures are designed to feed into the creation of one new short story each month. Writers are encouraged to write in community in our private Facebook group, meeting and conversing with writers from around the world.

If you are paired with a tutor through Literature Africa or Writing Our World, your tutor works with you on revising your work. If you aren’t paired with a tutor, and would like feedback for revision and publication of your work, please contact [email protected] or simply follow this link.

Then, it’s time share your work with the world. Every week, you receive a list of magazines seeking submissions. And in your private critiques, these lists are narrowed down even further, focused around you and the specific work that you’re doing.

Eleven Stories: write, revise, and publish one story per month.

New registrations are accepted each April, August, and December. Email [email protected], call 1.360.531.1472 for more information, or simply register directly below.


Term I 
January: the 55-word story
February: the 101-word story
March: the 300-word story
April: the 500-word story

Term II
May: the 750-word story
June: the 1,000-word story
July: the 750-word story
August: the 500-word story

Term III
September: the 300-word story
October: the 101-word story
November: the 55-word story
December: freewriting



Wairimu Mwangi is a writer and founder of the Literature Africa Foundation. She manages Eleven Stories. Her educational textbooks are used in schools across Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Ghana. She is passionate about quality education for all and believes that without books or material to read, literacy suffers and when literacy suffers, opportunities decline. She enjoys mentoring youth, storytelling, travelling, reading and meditating.

IMG-20160112-WA0006-1Ssekandi Ronald Ssegujja is the founder of Writing Our World, an organization in Uganda that uses writing, debate and spoken word to give a platform to people to express themselves. He manages Eleven Stories and the Kampala Writers’ Conference. He is an events’ organizer who also runs the the writers’ club ‘Coffee and Books’ that happens monthly in Kampala. In 2014, his story ‘Walls and Borders’ won the Eastern Africa Writivism Literary prize.

jordan copyJordan Hartt manages Eleven Stories, the Kaua’i Writer’s Retreat, and the Desert Writers’ Retreat. Participants in his programs have published over three thousand times in literary journals, released over two hundred books on nationally ranked presses, and been featured in the Best American Essays and Best American Short Stories anthologies. Hartt’s own writing has appeared in about forty literary journals. A collection of stories, “Leap,” appeared in 2015.


Gary Copeland LilleyGary Copeland Lilley is a North Carolina poet living, writing, and teaching in the Pacific Northwest. His publications include four full-length collections, the most recent of which is The Bushman’s Medicine Show, from Lost Horse Press (2017), and three chapbooks of poetry. He is a graduate of the Warren Wilson College MFA Program, and been faculty at Warren Wilson College, the Great Smokies Writing Program at the University of North Carolina-Asheville. and the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts, and has been a visiting writer at the University of Arizona, Colby College, and the Institute of American Indian Arts.

unnamedSheila Bender’s passion is helping writers break out into new forms, revise effectively, generate more writing and facilitate the writing of others. In the last three decades, she has worked with hundreds of people helping them write personal essays, poetry, fiction, and more meaningful writer’s journals, in addition to book-length memoir, how-to books and novels. She is the author of the memoir, A New Theology: Turning to Poetry in a Time of Grief, the poetry collection Behind Us the Way Grows Wider, and the instructional book Creative Writing Demystified, available in e-book format. More of her instructional work includes Sorrow’s Words: Writing Exercises to Heal Grief, and Writing In a Convertible with the Top Down, co-authored with Christi Glover.