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!”


—Kathy Fish

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.”

—Len Kuntz

They Work.

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.

—Francine Witte

Gain a Writing Community

“Quite simply, I have produced and published work drafted in these workshops that doesn’t happen without them. And the best part is that I’ve gained a writing community from the Bending Genres workshops.”

—Rogan Kelly

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.

Upcoming Classes

Kaj Tanaka

Opening Up and Shutting Down: The Art of Beginning and Ending

Sabrina Orah Mark

Writing & Failure: On Disappointments, Shame, Failure and Getting Lost

Nancy Stohlman

Opening the Back Door: Absurdism as a Way to Truth


May 24 – 26, 2019

Most writers struggle with how to begin and end their stories, and rightly so—a lot rides on those few lines. Here’s the problem: the way a short story starts is more than just “exciting” or “interesting”—and the way it ends is more than just “satisfying” or “mind-blowing” (though that’s what your readers might think). Beginnings and endings are an essential part of how a story is structured, generated, and what it means. To find our own beginnings and endings we will study several excellent (and a few not so excellent) examples—then we will dig deep into the hearts of our own stories to find out what they mean so we can hand that knowledge directly to our reader. Whether you need help with a story you’ve been puzzling over, or you want to write something fresh (or both!), we will be talking premises, conceits, themes and surprises in order to bring the heart of your story to its edges.

June 14 – 16, 2019

In this workshop we will ruin everything. We will fall down the well, eat the poisonous berries, and take unforgivable risks. We will say things we never meant to say, destroy the living room, write the worst thing, break all the glass, hurt everybody’s feelings, get very lost, and then find ourselves disheveled in a crowd of strangers.

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).



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.

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