Bizarro Fiction 101 with Rose O'Keefe

Think Bizarro is just weird for the sake of weird? Think again. Learn to utilize weird elements to engage the reader in this four-week workshop with Eraserhead Press publisher Rose O'Keefe.

Your Instructor: Rose O'Keefe, publisher of Eraserhead Press

Where: Online — Available everywhere!

When: This class is not currently enrolling. To be notified when it is offered again, Click Here

Enrollment: 16 Students

Price: $350

Class Description

Bizarro fiction, according to the Greatest Source of All Internet Knowledge (Wikipedia), is a contemporary literary genre, which often uses elements of absurdism, satire, and the grotesque, along with pop-surrealism and genre fiction staples, in order to create subversive works that are as weird and entertaining as possible.

Skim through Amazon for bizarro titles and you'll find stuff like Time PimpPus JunkiesArmadillo FistsShatnerquake, and The Haunted Vagina.

And you know what? As a genre, it's really taking off. We did a piece on it. So did The Guardian. So did Flavorwire. So did Cracked...

But bizarro fiction isn't weird for the sake of being weird. There's a method to the madness. 

No one knows that better than Rose O'Keefe, publisher of Erasehead Press. Under O’Keefe’s direction, Eraserhead has released over three hundred titles and developed an international cult following for its cutting-edge weird fiction, which has been praised by The Guardian, Chuck Palahniuk, Jack Ketchum, Boing Boing, and, among others.

And she's published LitReactor workshop instructors and columnists, like Stephen Graham Jones, John Skipp, Patrick Wensink, and Cameron Pierce. 

In Bizarro Fiction 101, Rose will teach you how to write weird fiction that connects with an audience.

Because the weird elements in bizarro fiction should serve the story—they should build character, create conflict, and establish the setting. Over the course of four weeks, Rose will critique your work, answer your questions, and show you what it takes to get weird. 

What This Class Covers

Week 1 - Setting

Anyone can come up with a crazy setting. A good bizarro story needs to be grounded in a weird setting that, despite its off-kilter nature, feels real to the reader.

In the first week you'll learn how to find that place, and then write a piece of flash fiction, with a focus on weird setting

Week 2 - Character

Crazy characters are easy. Crazy characters you care about and connect with—not as much. Learn to write characters that feel real, despite the madness surrounding them.

Then you'll write a flash fiction story with a focus on building character through weirdness.

Week 3 - Conflict

Stakes matter. A story needs conflict. Even if that conflict is a little... odd.

Rose will help you nail the necessities, and you'll put your new skills to use by writing a flash fiction story with a focus on creating weird conflict.   

Week 4 - The Bizarro Trifecta!

Congratulations! You've achieved The Bizarro Trifecta: setting, character, and conflict.

Now you'll put those all together into a synopsis for a Bizarro story!

Goals Of This Class

  • Leave with a deeper understanding of how to write engaging Bizarro Fiction
  • Make the weird elements in your story serve a purpose
  • Ground your story with a strong setting
  • Create characters the reader can engage with—despite the madness
  • Build effective conflicts
  • Put them all together to achieve the Bizarro Trifecta
  • Develop an understanding of what editors are looking for in a synopsis
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