Bradley Sands's picture
Bradley Sands from Boston is reading Greil Marcus's The History of Rock 'N' Roll in Ten Songs March 2, 2012 - 11:26am

I hope it's okay to post this:

Interested in writing bizarro fiction? If so, consider enrolling in the online workshop that I’m co-teaching with Garrett Cook in April. It should be a great time.

Garrett is the author of Jimmy Plush, Teddy Bear Detective, Archelon Ranch, and Murderland Part 1 and 2.

My own books include Rico Slade Will Fucking Kill You, Sorry I Ruined Your Orgy, Please Do Not Shoot Me in the Face: A Novel, and My Heart Said No, But the Camera Crew Said Yes! I'm also the former editor Bust Down the Door and Eat All the Chickens

I have taught writing at a rehab center, a high school, online, the summer writing program at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, online, and The Public School New York.

For more information about the workshop, click here.

Richard's picture
Richard from St. Louis is reading various anthologies March 2, 2012 - 11:30am

^cool. good luck, Bradley. if you write bizarro, this should be a great class.

Bradley Sands's picture
Bradley Sands from Boston is reading Greil Marcus's The History of Rock 'N' Roll in Ten Songs March 2, 2012 - 11:38am

Thanks, Richard.

.'s picture
. March 2, 2012 - 1:26pm

Very cool Mr. Sands. I might sign up for this.

Jay.SJ's picture
Jay.SJ from London is reading Warmed and Bound March 2, 2012 - 1:32pm

I signed up for it. So, just saying, it will be a cool class.

Jose F. Diaz's picture
Jose F. Diaz from Boston is reading Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel March 2, 2012 - 1:39pm

Interesting. Very interesting. Will there be pie? I'm not doing it if there is no pie.

Bradley Sands's picture
Bradley Sands from Boston is reading Greil Marcus's The History of Rock 'N' Roll in Ten Songs March 2, 2012 - 1:49pm

Pecan.

Jose F. Diaz's picture
Jose F. Diaz from Boston is reading Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel March 2, 2012 - 2:02pm

I looked through the site and didn't see a syllabus or anything or what we can be expected to learn in the course. Is it just Bizaro style of writing or is there more involved? It was just a little "Here is course, we teach you" and that was it. I will most likely sign up, I just want to get a better gauge of what kind of information will be taught.

Jose F. Diaz's picture
Jose F. Diaz from Boston is reading Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel March 2, 2012 - 2:03pm

Pecan you say.....I'm listening. 

Bradley Sands's picture
Bradley Sands from Boston is reading Greil Marcus's The History of Rock 'N' Roll in Ten Songs March 3, 2012 - 9:57am

You will learn the skills needed to write bizarro fiction, about the genre's conventions, and how to publish in the genre. You will be assigned weekly writing exercises that will improve your writing and dissect the elements of the genre. Some of these exercises will include writing a novel outline, a fight scene, using strange places to create a narrative, and one that focuses on archetypes.

Bradley Sands's picture
Bradley Sands from Boston is reading Greil Marcus's The History of Rock 'N' Roll in Ten Songs March 5, 2012 - 10:02am

.'s picture
. March 5, 2012 - 10:58am

For 30 dollars. Damn it, I'll sign up.

Bradley Sands's picture
Bradley Sands from Boston is reading Greil Marcus's The History of Rock 'N' Roll in Ten Songs March 6, 2012 - 3:28pm

I look forward to it.

aliensoul77's picture
aliensoul77 from a cold distant star is reading the writing on the wall. March 6, 2012 - 3:30pm

Wait 30 dollars??? That's it?

aliensoul77's picture
aliensoul77 from a cold distant star is reading the writing on the wall. March 6, 2012 - 3:35pm

I will sign up for this tonight.

Bradley Sands's picture
Bradley Sands from Boston is reading Greil Marcus's The History of Rock 'N' Roll in Ten Songs March 6, 2012 - 7:41pm

Yup. Sweet.

Chester Pane's picture
Chester Pane from Portland, Oregon is reading The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz March 6, 2012 - 9:20pm

Very interesting and very cool Bradley. Shit, that is a bargain. 

Is it the whole month of April? What are the rough dates?

aliensoul77's picture
aliensoul77 from a cold distant star is reading the writing on the wall. March 6, 2012 - 9:16pm

I signed up!  Look forward to it.  I wish it was sooner. April 15th seems so long away.  Oh well, until then I have WAR.

Nikki Guerlain's picture
Nikki Guerlain from Portlandia is reading Necronomicon Book Three March 6, 2012 - 9:21pm

totally a bargain ... maybe too cheap ... but then again bizarro hijacks a part of your soul.

 

Bradley Sands's picture
Bradley Sands from Boston is reading Greil Marcus's The History of Rock 'N' Roll in Ten Songs March 6, 2012 - 9:27pm

It's from April 15th and end May 15th.

Garrett Cook's picture
Garrett Cook from I'm currently residing in Illinois, but moving back to Massachusetts next month. is reading The Backwoods by Edward Lee March 8, 2012 - 3:17pm

Hi. I'm Garrett Cook. I'm teaching with Bradley. No, there is not a formal syllabus posted and yes, the class is quite cheap. It's cheap because I know fans and aspiring writers don't have tons of money to throw around. I charge 20 when I teach the workshops by myself and each one of them I've taught I've gotten a lot of compliments from students and many of them start getting stories placed in the genre. But, I didn't want Bradley only getting a ten dollar per person cut for a month of work, so I upped the cost to thirty per person. Both Bradley and myself have appeared in The Magazine of Bizarro Fiction and been published in Eraserhead Press' Bizarro Starter Kits. Bradley has a contract with Lazy Fascist Press and I have a contract with Eraserhead Press. I would like to cap the class at 20 students. We have 9 now.  I didn't want to cap it because I am willing to see what it's like working with a larger group if a bunch of Bizarro fans and writers are interested. We care about those who want to write in the genre, but would like to pass our skills on without charging a fortune. I don't see anything wrong with that. If any of you would like a breakdown of the exercises that will be done, we could write it up.

wickedvoodoo's picture
wickedvoodoo from Mansfield, England is reading stuff. March 10, 2012 - 3:18am

I signed up. Between this, the WAR, Solarcide related writing, and then just plain old real life I am really going to have to up my game for a couple of months. Wish me luck people.

 

Nikki Guerlain's picture
Nikki Guerlain from Portlandia is reading Necronomicon Book Three March 10, 2012 - 1:44pm

Nice! I'm so excited for you :-) I would totally take it too if I werent moving remodeling etc

aliensoul77's picture
aliensoul77 from a cold distant star is reading the writing on the wall. March 10, 2012 - 11:50am

I wouldn't mind seeing a breakdown of the exercises.  I signed up.

Jay.SJ's picture
Jay.SJ from London is reading Warmed and Bound March 10, 2012 - 11:59am

Yeah me too. No rush or anything. Also, any recommended reading.

Garrett Cook's picture
Garrett Cook from I'm currently residing in Illinois, but moving back to Massachusetts next month. is reading The Backwoods by Edward Lee March 10, 2012 - 12:13pm

I'm a big fan of surprise. As a writer, as a teacher, as a person. It's like a religion for me. But I can give you a breakdown of the intentions of each week's exercises, at least the ones I am doing. Each of you will be doing two exercises with me and 2 with Bradley. Here are mine:

 

Week 1: In Bizarro, strange places are important. Whether it's a character that carries someplace strange with them or someone that enters a place that's outside their ken, one of the first skills you will need is to take the reader someplace strange. The first week's exercise is about this. 

 

Week 2: Week 2's exercise is about transforming archetypal characters and situations to suit a Bizarro context. You will each be issued an archetype. You will work with it and you will use it to construct a unique piece of Bizarro flash fiction.

Week 3: You will turn a realistic piece of fiction into a piece of Bizarro fiction. The process will be painful. It will be hard. It will feel like you have dismantled an elephant and Scotchtaped it back together. I am on the fence about this exercise because participants in past workshops have told me it's excruciating. I may replace it with something else, depending on the progress you guys are making.

Week 4: You will pitch me and each other a Bizarro novella and learn about Bizarro publishing etiquette. There will be an optional 10,000 word weekend exercise at the end of this where you can try to actually bring this beast to life, if you've got the stones. 

Garrett Cook's picture
Garrett Cook from I'm currently residing in Illinois, but moving back to Massachusetts next month. is reading The Backwoods by Edward Lee March 10, 2012 - 12:15pm

For a recommended reading list:

The Bizarro Starter Kits are a good start. Quelle surprise. 

They Had Goat Heads by D. Harlan Wilson

Sorry I Ruined Your Orgy by Bradley Sands

Anything by Carlton Mellick

All of my books I guess. Why not?

Cameron Pierce. 

Mykle Hansen

Angeldust Apocalypse by Jeremy Robert Johnson

Zerostrata by Andersen Prunty

Jordan Krall's stuff is also good.

Jay.SJ's picture
Jay.SJ from London is reading Warmed and Bound March 10, 2012 - 12:17pm

Damn, that sounds good. The novella thing sounds good too. Especially if we have something to pitch at the end of it!

aliensoul77's picture
aliensoul77 from a cold distant star is reading the writing on the wall. March 10, 2012 - 12:22pm

Okay, now it's ruined!  I want my money back.  Just kidding.  Sounds cool, man.  Now you gotta create new surprises like in the middle of the week you email us and say, write me a a 5000 word story about mutant birds, go!

wickedvoodoo's picture
wickedvoodoo from Mansfield, England is reading stuff. March 10, 2012 - 12:45pm

It sounds great. I have put in for a week off from work during the time this workshop will run in an attempt to maximise my writing time.

 

 

Garrett Cook's picture
Garrett Cook from I'm currently residing in Illinois, but moving back to Massachusetts next month. is reading The Backwoods by Edward Lee March 10, 2012 - 2:04pm

That's the sort of thing I like to hear. That will come in handy for the Week 3 or 4 exercises. 

Chester Pane's picture
Chester Pane from Portland, Oregon is reading The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz March 10, 2012 - 2:50pm

I am intrigued by this pachyderm dismantling and remantling concoction. Just so long as we are allowed to loan one of the tusks to Randy the Unicorn until his limp horn has fully recovered. That way he will at least have something to prong around with. An ivory crutch.

Actually, that exercise sounds like the most fun. Excruciating is usually where I learn the most. Garrett, is that usually approached with pre-existing texts ala Seth-Grahame Smith? Or from our own texts?

Oh, and I am all for surprises. That seems like the epitome of Bizarro.

Garrett Cook's picture
Garrett Cook from I'm currently residing in Illinois, but moving back to Massachusetts next month. is reading The Backwoods by Edward Lee March 10, 2012 - 3:11pm

Unicorns need all the help they can get. What with Tim Curry still at large. Lesson 3 is done from your own texts. It's Bizarro from the bottom up, reality created and smashed. 

wickedvoodoo's picture
wickedvoodoo from Mansfield, England is reading stuff. March 10, 2012 - 3:14pm

Did you sign up then Chester? Rock on!

Nikki Guerlain's picture
Nikki Guerlain from Portlandia is reading Necronomicon Book Three March 10, 2012 - 3:15pm

Chestie you are so thoughtful with regards to Randy's welfare or shall we be all tongue in cheek and say Randy's lack of being randy? Glad to see you taking the course. One of these days I shall finally learn bizarros conventions but until then I shall happily be lumped into that category.

Mark Grover's picture
Mark Grover March 18, 2012 - 7:05am

Bradley,

 

is there a Bizarro Con scheduled for 2012 yet??

Bradley Sands's picture
Bradley Sands from Boston is reading Greil Marcus's The History of Rock 'N' Roll in Ten Songs March 18, 2012 - 10:59am

No, but it's almost definitely happening. I think either in October or November.

XyZy's picture
XyZy from New York City is reading Seveneves and Animal Money March 18, 2012 - 9:10pm

Elephant de-re-construction-uction? I'm in, science is cool.

Bradley Sands's picture
Bradley Sands from Boston is reading Greil Marcus's The History of Rock 'N' Roll in Ten Songs April 10, 2012 - 6:10pm

BizarrCon is happening Nov 15th-18th in Portland, Oregon: http://bizarrocon.wordpress.com/

aliensoul77's picture
aliensoul77 from a cold distant star is reading the writing on the wall. April 10, 2012 - 6:59pm

So is class starting on Sunday?

Profunda Saint-Sylvain's picture
Profunda Saint-... from Calgary, AB is reading Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy Series April 10, 2012 - 7:05pm

How often do you run these workshops? it's rare to find something I could potentially afford, but I really didn't notice this until today... Definitely looks fun, though.

Chester Pane's picture
Chester Pane from Portland, Oregon is reading The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz April 10, 2012 - 7:11pm

Fist Kitten, get yo wass in there.

Yeah, when does this kick off, I furgot?

PandaMask's picture
PandaMask from Los Angeles is reading More Than Human April 10, 2012 - 7:15pm

I don't know if emails were sent about the class.

Bradley Sands's picture
Bradley Sands from Boston is reading Greil Marcus's The History of Rock 'N' Roll in Ten Songs April 10, 2012 - 7:41pm

Yes, it begins on Sunday. Garrett Cook will send out emails over the weekend.

Profunda Saint: This is the first time that I've taught this particular workshop. Garrett usually teaches it on his own. He's done it a bunch of times before. Maybe 4 times a year? Maybe more? I can ask if you're interested.  There may also be one or two spots left for the workshop that is starting soon. Want me to find out?

PandaMask's picture
PandaMask from Los Angeles is reading More Than Human April 10, 2012 - 7:54pm

Thank you, Bradley.

I look forward to it.

Profunda Saint-Sylvain's picture
Profunda Saint-... from Calgary, AB is reading Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy Series April 10, 2012 - 8:05pm

Sure, let me know :) It seems like a great idea.

Bradley Sands's picture
Bradley Sands from Boston is reading Greil Marcus's The History of Rock 'N' Roll in Ten Songs April 10, 2012 - 8:09pm

Two slots left.

Nikki Guerlain's picture
Nikki Guerlain from Portlandia is reading Necronomicon Book Three April 10, 2012 - 8:10pm

Hmmm ... Two spots open, yeah?

Chester Pane's picture
Chester Pane from Portland, Oregon is reading The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz April 10, 2012 - 8:11pm

Come on, we need some hot chicks in here.

Nikki Guerlain's picture
Nikki Guerlain from Portlandia is reading Necronomicon Book Three April 10, 2012 - 8:13pm

Okay if there's still space I will sign up! Why not!

Bradley Sands's picture
Bradley Sands from Boston is reading Greil Marcus's The History of Rock 'N' Roll in Ten Songs April 10, 2012 - 8:16pm

Sounds good.