Write Stories with Depth Using Motifs

with Ross Turner

April 17, 2023 • 3 week master class

Meet online at Scribophile and via instructor-led Zoom video chat

Perfect for
Intermediate and advanced writers

Small class size • Seats are limited

Motifs are carefully-designed, recurring themes that are threaded through a story. They’re one of the master writer’s most powerful tools for adding depth, nuance, and meaning to a narrative, and they’re a key component of writing that goes beyond just plot and characters and into the realm of artful prose.

Join respected writer, editor, and teacher Ross Turner and a small group of writers in this intensive, workshop-oriented deep dive into techniques and processes for applying motifs to your writing.

In just three weeks you’ll explore the ins and outs of the craft of motif through careful study of the award-winning short story “Brokeback Mountain.” Under Ross’s expert guidance, you’ll learn the methods that great writers use to create captivating motifs, and how to do it yourself.

Each week you’ll also write a short story to exercise what you’ve learned, and then you’ll workshop it in an close-knit peer critique environment with personal feedback from Ross.

By the end of the course you’ll have completed an in-depth study of one of the finest examples of motifs in modern literature, and you’ll be armed with the knowledge of how to apply motifs to give your writing the depth, texture, and meaning that will set it above the rest.

This course is perfect for the intermediate or advanced writer who’s prepared to master a critical skill for taking their writing to the next level.

Some of Ross’s career highlights

University of Gloucestershire Academia.org Centre of Excellence York St. John University CLMP Indigo Dreams Publishing NAWE RAF TEFL Scholary I Am Not a Silent Poet Snakeskin Poetry Webzine Superlative

What you’ll learn

After you finish this class, you’ll:

  • Get personal feedback from Ross on your submissions.

  • Understand how motifs operate in fiction and how they influence your readers.

  • Master methods of applying motifs to add depth, texture, and meaning to your writing.

  • Have written three new short stories using everything you’ve learned, and received peer feedback.

Class outline

  • Week One: The foundations of motif, and discovering physical motifs

  • Week Two: Demystifying abstract motifs and story workshop

  • Week Three: Exploring landscape motifs and story workshop

Student praise for Ross Turner

Ross has been such a big help. It was wonderful working with someone who was enthusiastic and genuinely cared about the quality of my work.


I thoroughly enjoyed learning from Prof. Ross. In a short amount of time, he went above and beyond to cater to my needs, revisiting my queries repeatedly, which I especially appreciate. He was sincere and reassuring, qualities I admire in a teacher. Highly recommended!


Returning to education after quite some years, I soon became aware my approach to academic writing was lacking. Ross's professional, patient, enthusiastic and client-specific approach, is invaluable in understanding how to prepare, structure and complete my work, utilising grammar, in a succinct fashion. My weekly sessions with Ross have boosted my understanding, confidence and skill set. Altogether an experience I have found very helpful and highly recommend.


Ross has been of invaluable help to me with my Creative Writing MA. From laying out academic essays to fine-tuning and perfecting my creative pieces, Ross has been an incredible support. He's professional, friendly, and I thoroughly recommend him.


Ross takes pride in what he does and gives the most constructive, helpful, and supportive feedback. He has helped me immensely in my writing ability and confidence. Ross spends numerous hours looking thoroughly through your work, and provides insightful and informative sessions to discuss the feedback, and is always available and contactable for further help. I couldn't recommend Ross enough, he has been so supportive in my academic writing. Thank you Ross.


Ross is outstanding. Professional, efficient and has a brilliant way with explaining complex writing and grammar issues in a clear and simple way.


Ross has been incredibly helpful and professional. I asked for his help because even though I am a published author, I have been suffering from writer's block for several years. After a couple of weeks of tutoring my confidence has been restored and I am writing again. I highly recommend him.


Ross has guided me in my ambition to write my first novel. It is a work in progress and he continues to help me as I develop my style and creative skills. He has a natural ability to impart knowledge and his enthusiasm and obvious love of language translates easily into increased confidence and motivation in his student.


Zoom schedule

Along with these Zoom calls, you’ll also spend time taking in lectures and chatting on Scribophile over the course of the class. All Zoom calls are recorded, so if you miss one you can review it later.

  • Thursday April 20, 2023 2:30pm US Central time — 1 hour

  • Thursday April 27, 2023 2:30pm US Central time — 1 hour

  • Thursday May 4, 2023 2:30pm US Central time — 1 hour

How this class works

This class is conducted entirely online, on Scribophile and via Zoom videoconference. Participate from anywhere in the world!

You’ll join the instructor and your fellow students in a private group hosted on Scribophile. Take in reading and assignments at your own speed, and discuss them with the instructor and your classmates in the online class discussion forum.

You’ll also participate in Zoom videoconferences with the instructor and your classmates so you can get live lessons and insights, and ask questions in a friendly and welcoming atmosphere. Videoconferences will be recorded, so you can review them later if you missed them.

Questions about this class?

We’re happy to answer any questions you might have!

About Ross Turner

Ross Turner

Ross Turner works as a creative and critical writer, editor, and private tutor. He is currently completing his practice-led creative writing PhD at York St John University, with a focus on short story cycles. Previously, he attended the University of Gloucestershire, and achieved his BA (Hons) in Creative Writing, for which he was awarded the Francis Close Hall Creative Writing Prize for the highest dissertation mark, and his MA in Creative and Critical Writing, for which he was awarded a postgraduate bursary from the UoG Annual Fund for Excellence, and the Tutors’ Prize for outstanding academic achievement, achieving the highest aggregate mark on the course.

Ross continues to publish creative, critical, and academic work. He was the founder and editor-in-chief of Superlative—The Literary Journal, which published quality, innovative work by emerging short story writers, in order to promote new, developing authors and the art of the short story to readers worldwide.

He is a professional member of the National Association of Writers in Education (NAWE), where he attends regular writing conferences and has access to the latest writing in education materials. He enjoys educating, guest lectures on creative writing courses at colleges and universities, and has numerous education and training qualifications.

April 17, 2023
3 week master class

Small class size
Seats are limited

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