The cult section of the literary world

Bizarro Writing Workshop in January with Special Guest Instructor J. David Osborne

by Garrett Cook

Bizarro is not an easy genre to get into. It might seem that because of our enthusiastic fanbase and numerous free webzines and fiction blogs that it’s a community that’s easy to move around in or a genre that might be easy to write. Writing Bizarro takes a unique skillset, one that needs to be honed by writing and reading Bizarro and sometimes by working with authors in the genre. This is why I teach a Bizarro writing workshop. And because even famous cult writers like myself can use some extra cash time and again for lion food and such. The workshop, through a series of exercises and critiques helps attune writers to the genre and remind them of the skills they need to improve their Bizarro work. It’s not like a conventional creative writing class, it’s a hands on weirdness dojo, since I feel Bizarro is best taught as one would teach a martial art or something of that ilk, by teaching the philosophy then encouraging handson execution. By the end of my workshops, students have created four flash fiction pieces and if they choose to participate in the 10,000 word weekend challenge following the workshop, they also get a long story or a novelette finished too.

This January, I am teaching one of these workshops with the help of J.David Osborne, author of By the Time We Leave Here, We’ll Be Friends. His short fiction has appeared in such notable anthologies as Demons and Warmed and Bound, he has interviewed cultural giants and been interviewed about his work. He is young, cool and edgy and a man who will provide students with a fresh Bizarro perspective that they’re sure to appreciate. I look forward to working with him and you should too.

The workshop will be conducted online via either Facebook group or a messageboard. Each week students will be given an assignment due that weekend.  These assignments will focus on specific facets of the writing of Bizarro fiction. Your instructor and colleagues will critique your work and discuss it with you. On the third week of the workshop, participants will switch groups so that they’ll have had a chance to work with both me and J. David Osborne. And it will be awesome.

The cost is forty dollars, there are nineteen more  slots. Enrollment is open now until December 11th. Since there are a limited number of spots and Mr. Osborne is a very popular man, I recommend getting on this early. Email at thecentercannothold@gmail.com or hit me up on Facebook and I’ll tell you what you need to do to sign up, which really isn’t much.

I leave you now with some testimonials from former students. This workshop will help you. I have had many students see print , one of whom even wrote a novella that got accepted to the New  Bizarro Author Series during the 10,000 word weekend challenges!

“Taking Garrett Cook’s writing workshop helped me focus my creative energy and hone my writing skills. Since the workshop I’ve sold three pieces to paying markets and anticipate many more.”- Lee Widener

“I’ve taken two Garrett Cook bizarro workshops, and they’ve done wonders for my writing. Mr. Cook creates a friendly working environment with a fair share of compliments, and constructive critiques that are none too harsh for the amateur writer of bizarro. I’ve since had one workshop story accepted for print publication, and another in the market.:”- Joseph Bouthiette Jr.

Last workshop, Joe submitted his first week’s homework to an anthology. It was accepted.

“Garrett Cook’s writing workshop was awesome. It helped me be more confident with my writing. He knows what he is doing. He is a published author in the Bizarro genre so he knows what works and what doesn’t. Two of the stories I worked on in the October workshop have since been published.”- Daniel Vlasaty

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