The subtitle of this story collection, Telling Stories, proves this author’s craft of telling stories to you that are also telling for you. Buckle up tight as her short, smooth non-fiction explores the highs and lows of life. She will pull you in and leave you emotionally changed.



TAYLOR JONES SAYS: In Skating on the Septic Tank by Genie Smith Bernstein we are treated to a collection of cute, fun, and inspiring short stories by the author, running the gambit from youth to being a grandma, and everything in between. With her vivid descriptions and deep POV, she makes you feel like you are right there in the scene.

Touching, charming, and witty, they will warm your heart and make you laugh, cry, and sigh—sometimes all on the same page.

REGAN MURPHY SAYS: Skating on the Septic Tank ~ Telling Stories by Genie Smith Bernstein is a collection of nostalgic and heartwarming short stories by the author. Bernstein takes us on a journey through her childhood in the Deep South at a time when life was simple and full of adventure for a child, and if you didn’t have a roller-skating rink close by, you could make do with a concrete septic tank. I have never been to the South, but I feel like I have after reading Bernstein’s stories.

The stories in Skating on the Septic Tank are charming, clever, and delightful. I couldn’t stop smiling.


By Terry Kay

We all know such people. The phone rings and we see the name on the Caller ID screen and a kind of gladness leaps up in our spirits. We know there will be no beating around the bush. Before a greeting is spoken, the caller will be word-deep into the sharing of something seen or heard, something having a pendulum swing of hilarity to pathos, for the caller is one of those people with a gift of observing, and the sharing he or she offers will be from language that transforms speech into literature.

Genie Smith Bernstein is one of those people. She reveals it in her collection, Skating on the Septic Tank. And she proves it in the subtitle: Telling Stories.

There are people who will think of these stories as a hybrid of blogs, but that would do them a disservice. These are miniature novels superbly crafted by a writer of immense talent. Influenced by her experience with magazines, they read smoothly and quickly, yet leave a lingering of delight, or a tremor of melancholy. It’s a trick as well as a talent: find the core of the story and write about it without wasting time on ‘author’ posturing. Genie Smith Bernstein could teach classes on that subject.

In this collection, you will find a fascinating assortment of life events, some in word-snapshots, some in word-portraits. Thankfully, none of the inclusions resort to the cliché of regional caricature that many writers rely on for attention. Instead, the author chooses to celebrate the soul of the moment and in that delicate balance, she soars above the average.

Read Skating on the Septic Tank. You might imagine you’ve just heard your phone ringing and you check the Caller ID screen and you see the name Genie Smith Bernstein.

If that’s the case, answer. You’ll be glad you did.

Terry Kay, Georgia Hall of Fame, Southeastern Library Association Outstanding Author of the Year, Appalachian Heritage Writers Award, Author of sixteen books, including:

To Dance with the White Dog ~ made into a Hallmark Hall of Fame television movie starring Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy.

The Valley of Light ~ Townsend Prize for Fiction

After Eli ~ Georgia Author of the Year Award

Run Down the Rabbit teleplay ~ Southern Emmy Award

© 2019 by Genie Smith Bernstein

Patricia Bell-Scott:

Skating on the Septic Tank is a collection of compelling stories that will make you smile, cry, and laugh. Genie Smith Bernstein has captured the essence of family and friendship in timeless fashion.” ~ Patricia Bell-Scott, author of The Firebrand and the First Lady: Portrait of a Friendship: Pauli Murray, Eleanor Roosevelt, and the Struggle for Social Justice

Judith Garrison:

“In the world of Southern storytellers, Genie is one of the best. She blankets the page with description and allows the reader to walk the journey. Everyone must experience our extraordinary South through Genie’s eyes.” ~ Judith Garrison, editor and writer

Terry Kay:

“These are miniature novels superbly crafted by a writer of immense talent. Influenced by her experience with magazines, they read smoothly and quickly, yet leave a lingering of delight, or a tremor of melancholy.” ~ Terry Kay, author of To Dance with the White Dog

Kenny Smiley:

“Genie has a special gift of being one of Georgia’s great story tellers. She evokes emotion with every story she tells. Her words make us smile, laugh, and sometimes even shed a tear. Genie’s contributions to Georgia Connector magazine are invaluable and are anticipated by our readers with each issue.” ~ Kenny Smiley, publisher of Georgia Connector