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

September 20 – 22, 2019

Robert Russell

Human Topography: Sculpting Surprising, Broken–and Real–Characters for more Compelling Stories

October 18 – 20, 2019

Steven Dunn

Applying Film Techniques to Writing

November 8 – 10, 2019

Hillary Leftwich

digging up your ghosts


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.

November 8 – 10, 2019

Trauma is difficult to write about. But if we take pieces from one experience or several experiences and use these pieces in our writing, then we write past the make-believe and what is essentially our own hurt. Characters, settings, imagery, all these tools can be used to create a piece that is coming from our own truth, but not necessarily nonfiction. It’s all in how we tell it. We will look at tools to help dig up your ghosts and write about them, all within a safe space. The memories and images you have buried deep that need a voice are the ones this class will help you unbury. Reading examples from other writers we will examine what is successful and how you can learn to utilize these techniques, as well as the tools to write your own traumas or memories, dig up the ghosts, and find the voice you want others to hear.

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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