Monthly Online Workshops
Praise for the Bending Genres Online Workshops
Surpassed my Expectations!
“Alina’s prose poetry workshop surpassed my expectations! I feel as though I were given a semester’s worth of in-depth instruction and several fabulous prompts I can use in the future. Alina’s style of teaching is both motivating and inspiring and her feedback excellent and encouraging. A great experience!”
Extraordinary on So Many Levels
“Without question, this was one of the most fulfilling instructional courses I’ve ever taken. Alina Stefanescu was extraordinary on so many levels. Her materials were dense, varied, clear and thought-provoking. She came at the craft in unusual ways that were invigorating and that at once opened up my creativity, unlocking ideas and phrasings that were fresh and new to me. As wonderful as all that was, Alina was so generous with her feedback on each and every piece, highlighting what worked and offering ideas to consider if I wanted to take the piece in a different direction. Bending Genres nails it time and time again with their workshops, and Alina’s took it to a screaming next level.”
“I have taken several of the Bending Genres workshops now, and I do it for one reason—they work. I feel very excited by the prospect of sinking in to a weekend of writing and learning so much about the craft of flash. I love the variety of teachers (all of whom are experts in the field) and to share my writing and the whole process. I’d say nearly all the stories I’ve written during the workshops have gotten published. Highly recommended.“
Gain a Writing Community
We are excited to welcome you to our active community!
Signup is easy. Click the “Register Now” button below the class you’d like to take. You’ll be directed to PayPal for the course fee (each class is $111), then you’ll receive a welcome message within 48 hours.
Opening the Back Door: Absurdism as a Way to Truth
Human Topography: Sculpting Surprising, Broken–and Real–Characters for more Compelling Stories
Applying Film Techniques to Writing
August 23-25, 2019
While realism in fiction has its place, some truths can be clumsy when faced head-on. When you cannot take the front door into your material because it’s too raw, painful, blunt or overdone—then you must find the back door. Absurdism (and the surreal) is that back door, a less obvious way into the material where The Big Truth can be revealed. Deceptively silly, absurdism can create faster pathways to emotional resonance by keeping the audience off guard, unprepared, and more receptive. Sometimes the old ways just don’t work. Sometimes we must speak in new tongues. In this workshop, we will examine how, by going into the absurd, we can and often do arrive at an unexpectedly more poignant truth(s).
September 20 – 22, 2019
“Perhaps that’s what all human relationships boil down to: Would you save my life? or would you take it?”
―Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon
Humanity’s beauty is in our diversity, that we—me and you—could grow up in houses next to one another, on the same elm-lined street, and have vastly different viewpoints, experiences of our neighborhood. Each of us is a complex machine, with our own thread of backstory, and often, what draws us in as readers are these little tics and idiosyncrasies: how someone pauses mid-sentence to gather their thoughts or flicks their hair when nervous.
But tics are hardly benign: they are part of our larger histories, or topographies. They are who we are, windows into what drives us. It’s these little moments that make a story, these time bombs in miniature―cramming an entire history of a person into the way they longingly look at the street lamp outside their bedroom or white-knuckle their suitcase before a long flight to a far-off place. On the page, how do we craft characters that appear fully formed, even if they don’t take up much space at all?
This Bending Genres workshop will explore how to create effective characters for any type of writing (from nonfiction to flash to novels), giving them robust, resonant backstories with a light touch. We will look not only at crafting character biographies and backgrounds through detail and setting, but also through effective dialogue, honing in on their desires, their contradictions, their realnesses, and how each of these elements give them, and our stories, life through the particulars.
October 18 – 20, 2019
Film uses space and lighting to evoke certain emotions. We will look at ways to make sentences and paragraphs function like how cameras zoom, pan, tilt, etc. We’ll consider what is in the visual frame—the composition of a scene. We’ll discuss high-key and low-key lighting and what effects those produce. We’ll also view a short video that summarizes camera angles, as well as read and examine passages with a filmic quality. Think of some of your favorite films, and we’ll also discuss some of the techniques and try to transfer them to writing.
Kathy Fish: Getting to the Heart of the matter: Creating Emotionally Charged Flash Fiction
November 9 – 11, 2018
What makes us have to tell the stories we don’t want to? Why do we select flash as the vehicle to use for this? What makes your flash uniquely your own? One of our most venerated teachers of flash, Kathy Fish, who teaches her Fast Flash workshops, will host this powerhouse course. It’s nearly full and you won’t want to miss out! Come prepared to write with a lack of sleep needed!
Currently sold out. Sign up for the waiting list by clicking the button below.
Bud Smith: How to Use a Rocket Pack
December 7 – 9, 2018
How do we clear up time in the average day, and use that window of time to get out of our own way so we can generate flash fiction/ short stories/ poems/ pieces of a novel? How can we arrive at a mindset where no idea is a bad idea, is a silly idea, is a worthless idea? This course will offer practical thoughts about how to write freewheeling first drafts, and how to approach the rewrites of those drafts in a more sober mindset. Participants will leave the workshop with at least two new pieces of work created, with the option to send a third piece to Bud Smith for closer comments on whatever their project is.