Workshop Update: The Season of the Bear

There are only TWO seats open for the Season of the Bear! Both openings are for the Tuesday night section. (Note: This translates to Wednesday morning/early afternoon in Australia). The course will begin in three weeks with the first meeting scheduled for March 7. The Season of the Bear meets for twelve consecutive weeks with the final class (portfolio presentation) scheduled for May 23.

This course won’t be offered again, so make sure to secure your seat before the workshop fills up!

Currently, the proposed schedule is as follows:

SECTION II: Tuesdays from 4:30-7 pm (PST), 5:30-8 pm (MST), 6:30-9 pm (CST), 7:30-10 pm (EST); Wednesdays 10:30 am-1 pm (AEDT)

Daylight Savings Time starts on March 12 on November 6 in the United States in Canada and on March 26 in Central Europe. Daylight Savings Time ends in Australia on April 2. For conversion check If there is enough interest, we may add an additional workshop on Friday afternoon or on the weekend.

Note: All sections are limited to six participants plus the workshop facilitator. Inquire for additional times & days.

THE SEASON OF THE BEAR workshop is twelve weeks long and includes five modules. Participants are encouraged to write a poem, short story, or essay (3K maximum word count) for each module. Alternating weeks are dedicated to study, discussion, and writing prompts. At the end of the course, writers will present one revision (5K maximum word count). The price to join THE SEASON OF THE BEAR is $600 with a 10% discount for returning participants.

Materials for THE SEASON OF THE BEAR include:

  • MODULE 1: Bear Tales & Hibernation
  • MODULE 2: The Girl Who Trod on a Loaf & Extremophiles
  • MODULE 3: Baba Yaga & Fairy Tale Architecture
  • MODULE 4: The Boy Who Did Not Know What Fear Was & The Science of Fear
  • MODULE 5: Hades and Persephone & Sinkholes

REGISTRATION: To save a seat for The Season of the Bear, send an email request for an invoice to Carina Bissett at The fee to attend the workshop is $600, payable to via PayPal. There is a $100 non-refundable deposit required to hold your spot with payment in FULL prior to the first class. Returning students receive a 10% discount. Space is limited. Payment plans available.

This series of interactive and generative workshops offers and opportunity to explore fairy tales and other traditional tales, paired with strange and marvelous concepts. You’ll have an opportunity to workshop five new stories or poems, and a portfolio piece you’ve revised based on the workshop discussions. This is a supportive and generative workshop that combines reading, discussion, writing, and feedback.


Week 1 (3/7): Retellings: Into the Dark Woods & Discussion of Module 1 reading material

Week 2 (3/14): Module 1 Story Workshop

Week 3 (3/21): Discussion of Module 2 reading material & prompts

Week 4 (3/28): Module 2 Story Workshop

Week 5 (4/4): Discussion of Module 3 reading material & prompts

Week 6 (4/11): Module 3 Story Workshop

Week 7 (4/18): Discussion of Module 4 reading material & prompts

Week 8 (4/25): Module 4 Story Workshop

Week 9 (5/2): Discussion of Module 5 reading material & prompts

Week 10 (5/9): Module 5 Story Workshop

Week 11 (5/16): Revision & Submission Strategies

Week 12 (5/23): Portfolio Presentations

What you get:

  • An introductory lesson exploring the history of the fairy tale, and various approaches to creating new works that draw on this rich and strange tradition.
  • Five lessons that combine a tale and a scientific or cultural concept, each of which includes traditional and contemporary tales, writing prompts, and stimulus information about the paired concept.
  • Twelve face-to-face workshops, delivered via Zoom and facilitated by The Storied Imaginarium’s passionate writers and teachers.
  • Access to a private Facebook group where you can interact with your facilitator and fellow workshop participants.
  • Access to a shared drive to upload your stories for workshopping.
  • An opportunity to share and discuss five of your original stories, plus an extra week when you can resubmit one story you’ve revised on the basis of the workshop discussion.
  • Written and oral feedback on the five stories + portfolio that you submit from both your peers in the workshop, and your workshop facilitator, including advice on potential markets for your work.

Publication News: Dark Matter Presents

It is publication day for Dark Matter Presents: Zero Dark Thirty, and we are excited to cheer on Roni Stinger for the inclusion of her story “The Ground Shook” in this highly competitive “best of” compilation. We enjoyed this story in its early workshop stages at The Storied Imaginarium, and we loved it even more when it appeared in its final form in Dark Matter Magazine (May 2022).

Rob Carroll included a little tidbit about Roni’s piece in the May issue’s letter from the editor: “‘The Ground Shook’ declares two truths: 1) the world is often cruel and uncaring; and 2) choosing to carry on amid such circumstances is heroic.”

Trust us. This is a story you want to check out. Order your copy HERE.

Every story published in Dark Matter Magazine is a best-of story to us, and that’s why we had to do something different when choosing stories for the magazine’s first ever trade paperback anthology. Enter ZERO DARK THIRTY, a curated collection of the 30 DARKEST stories to haunt our magazine’s pages during the first two years of publication (2021-2022). These are the most depressing and deranged tales the magazine has to offer. Enter if you must, but beware.

Dark Matter Editor-in-Chief, Rob Carroll.

Roni Stinger lives in Vancouver, Washington. When she’s not writing strange dark stories, she’s wandering the forests, beaches, and streets in search of shiny objects and creative sparks. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Dark Matter MagazineMetaStellarHypnos Magazine, All Worlds Wayfarer: Through Other Eyes, and The Molotov Cocktail

Author Website:


Amazon Author Page:

Facebook: Roni Stinger

Twitter: @roni_stinger

Instagram: @roni_stinger

What Roni has to say about the workshops at The Storied Imaginarium:

Carina Bissett is a knowledgeable, kind, and honest instructor who provides invaluable feedback, as well as collaborative brainstorming to help participants through places they may be stuck. I highly recommend The Storied Imaginarium workshops to anyone looking to get quality writing done in a supportive and creative community with a fantastic instructor. The Storied Imaginarium workshops have helped me generate many stories, poems, and story ideas. While being primarily generative, I have learned more from Carina and my fellow workshop writers, through discussions and critiques, than I have in more instructionally focused workshops. The modules cover an expansive and in-depth selection of retellings, research, and related articles. I’ve come back to them again and again when looking for creative sparks. — Roni Stinger, author of “The Ground Shook,” Dark Matter Magazine and “Worm Bagging,” Unnerving Magazine.

Registration is currently open for the Season of the Bear (March-May). For more information, click HERE.

Nomination News: “Fracture” by Mercedes M. Yardley

The Storied Imaginarium wants to congratulate Mercedes M. Yardley for her recent presence on the preliminary ballot for the Bram Stoker Awards® for 2022! Her story “Fracture” is featured in the category of Best Short Fiction. Mercedes wrote this workshop story in response to the module “The Princess on the Glass Hill” & Glassworks (Season of the Hare), and we are super excited here to see this lovely piece about a glass girl get the attention it deserves.

“Fracture” was originally published in the anthology Mother: Tales of Love and Terror by Weird Little Worlds (October 2022). The publisher has made it available to read online for free HERE. Enjoy!

NOTE: Active members of the Horror Writers Association can cast their votes on the preliminary ballot no later than MIDNIGHT US West Coast time on February 15.

She was safe and she was loved, but that wasn’t enough. One night when the moon was full and the air was as clear as Crystal herself, she donned her warmest cloak and fled into the night.

She ran like a rabbit. She ran like a stream. She ran like her mother so many years ago, her human heart thumping against her fragile ribs, her legs shining in the dark. While her mother had carried a precious unborn child of glass, Crystal carried her fragile, human heart.

It wasn’t easy for a glass girl in a city. There were cobblestones to trip on and carriages that run past. Crystal’s pinky finger was caught in a door and broke off in the jam. Her tears plink, plink, plinked as they fell and shattered on the ground. Children hurried to collect them before they broke, sucking on them like candy.

Mercedes M. Yardley is a whimsical dark fantasist who wears stilettos, red lipstick, and poisonous flowers in her hair. She is the author of many diverse works, including Darling, Beautiful Sorrows, the Stabby Award-winning Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu: A Tale of Atomic Love, Pretty Little Dead Girls: A Novel of Murder and Whimsy, Detritus in Love, and Nameless. She recently won the Bram Stoker Award for her story Little Dead Red, and was nominated for “Loving You Darkly” and the Arterial Bloom anthology. Mercedes lives and creates in Las Vegas with her family and menagerie of battle-scarred, rescued animal familiars. Mercedes is a member of the Horror Writers Association and co-chair of the Las Vegas HWA Chapter.


“The best writing career money I ever spent was on the Storied Imaginarium Monstrous Women writing course presented by Carina Bissett. We studied together, wrote stories based on that week’s module, and then critiqued each other’s work. I immediately sold two pieces that I had written in the workshop, and made dear friends that I still associate with. I’m planning to sign up for another one of Carina’s classes next time they open. It was astronomically helpful and inspiring.”


Registration is currently open for the Season of the Bear (March-May). For more information, click HERE.