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A month-long virtual workshop literary festival



GENRE FEST is a month-long literary virtual event full of workshops hosted by talented genre writers in the literary world to raise funds to help us with expenses for AWP. Instead of just creating a fundraiser, we wanted to give back to the literary community in ways we knew would be helpful (and affordable!) to all writers. Each workshop is $10, so if you are interested in only attending one or two, you can add them a la carte. Each workshop will last 45-90 minutes. We’re extremely excited to kick off this month-long fundraising event and hope you can join us!

Workshops Schedule

She Doesn’t Smile for You: A Woman’s unfiltered body through confessional poetry

Taught, by Em Fullenwider, this workshop will dive into the genre of confessional poetry and how it works. We will be looking at specific poems on a woman’s body that show it in the way media refuses to acknowledge or present praise or kindness towards. We will look at poets who are well known for being women who write about their own body or other women’s bodies in a striking way. Then discuss how the form of a confessional poem relates and blooms this topic. Some of the poets in discussion: Sharon Olds, Lucille Clifton, Anne Sexton, etc.

2.9 | 2pm CST

Exploring Divine Desire and Erotic Ecstasy

Taught by Isra Cheema, this workshop will dive into the intersection of erotica and the divine/religion. Poetry and erotica have always worked in tandem, but how do we as writers weave godly themes into our fantasies? We will be examining poems by Sappho, Lucille Clifton, Rumi, Mary Oliver, Ibn Al-Arabi, Pablo Neruda, and more. Then, we will work through generative exercises to write our own poems of religion, ecstasy, religious ecstasy, and everything in between.

2.16 | 7pm CST

Shapes of Horror

Taught by Kolton Ammerman, this generative workshop will cover the foundations of contemporary and literary horror. From the importance of strong characterization to the utilization of the "uncanny," we will discuss the narrative shapes used in horror fiction, and review horror genre cliches to subvert them into something more personal. There will be generative exercises for writers of all levels to learn from. So come join us in exploring the dark!

2.10 | 7pm CST

Still Spooky: Modernizing Gothic Tropes

Taught by Rebecca Cuthbert, this workshop is designed to cover the Gothic aesthetic with a look at settings in Gothic texts, including Jane Eyre, The Hacienda, and Sundial. In addition, it will cover gothic tropes, must-haves for gothic works, and generative writing time and discussion. 

2.17 | 7pm EST

Once Upon a Time: Making Fairy Tales New

Taught by Charlie Tobin, this workshop will focus on discussing and writing contemporary fairy tales. Looking at excerpts from contemporary writers, we will discuss some of the formal elements of fairy tale (both contemporary and classic), how fairy tale can be explored through different interpretive lenses, and ways we can lean into and/or subvert fairy tale tropes as we create new stories. All styles and genres welcome. 

2.11 | 10am CST

Monstrous Fiction: Crafting Human Stories

Taught by Mike Zendejas, this generative workshop seeks to discover everything monsters can
teach us about being human. From Frankenstein to The Shape of Water, these creatures have
much to say about the virtue of disobedience and our right to be imperfect. Writers of all levels
are encouraged to join as we explore ghosts, ghouls and goblins, and learn what they can offer
our stories!

2.18 | 12pm EST

Meet The Workshop Leaders

RSVP for Workshops
* a la carte 

(All times are in CST or EST. To view specific times, click on each event.) 

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Our Sponsors

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