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Found Stories and Fake Texts: Literary Artifice [Elissa Washuta]

Stories, essays, and poems can pose as everyday verbiage or borrow from “found” sources like instruction manuals, comment cards, and ad copy. This offers an opportunity to angle into familiar material, dismantle it, and make it new. But how does a writer begin the facsimile, and what, at its best, can the form achieve? Please bring a “found” piece of text that you may wish to work from—as impersonal as a magazine quiz or as intimate as a doctor’s instructions.