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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 tragiccomic 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?