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Our Fiction Writing Workshop

By Kirk Shimano

Welcome to the fiction writing workshop. You don’t need to sit in the same place

you sat last week – this isn’t Math 51.

That’s Suzanne Imovadar. She’s been published in a fairly reputable literary

magazine, so act impressed the first five times she tells you about it. Don’t ask any

specific questions, though, or she’ll sticky you with a copy to read. Suzanne adores

Sylvia Plath. Comapre anything she writes to The Bell Jar if you want to see her go

absolutely orgasmic.

Sitting next to Suzanne is Rick Fong. His favorite word is “esque.” If you use

small words, he will call you “Hemmingway-esque.” If your story doesn’t quite go from

Point A to Point B, your piece is “Ulysses-esque.” Most of Rick’s stories tend to be

Dawson’s Creek-esque, but we don’t rub it in his face.

Over there is Joanie Whitman. No one ever knows what the hell Joanie is writing

about. Just say you like her “descriptive imagery” and move on.

See that guy who just walked in? That’s Steve Farsen. Notice how he sits as far as

possible from Cyndi Lackenham. The two of them used to date. All of Steve’s stories are

about manipulative power bitches who realize their soulnesses just before their tragic-

comic demises. Cyndi’s stories often feature insensitive assholes who cling to their

misogynistic preconceptions to protect their feeble masculine egos. Restrict your

commentary on their stories to matters of plot and setting only, or you’ll be sorry.

But the rest of us are all friends here. I’ll be sitting here today. You can sit next to
me if you want. The fiction writing workshop is your home. All that we ask is that you

reach in your chest, tear out your heart, arrange the contents into eight and a half by

eleven sheets of paper, then make fifteen copies for everyone else. I promise you that

we’ll all have nice things to say.

Unless, of course, your story really sucks. Because if we said nice things about

your total lack of talent, we really wouldn’t be helping anyone, now, would we?