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Roll your sleeves up and create a working piece of fiction in 500 words or less in a lab-like environment. Short short stories are a great way to spur writing, to deal with blocks, to play with form and to experiment with how compression and withholding can bring meaning and mystery to your work.
Jess Walter is a former National Book Award finalist, winner of the Edgar Allan Poe Award, and the author of eight books, including, most recently, We Live in Water, Stories (2013) and Beautiful Ruins (2012), a New York Times No. 1 best-seller and Notable Book of 2012. He also wrote The Financial Lives of Poets in 2009, which was Time Magazine’s No. 2 novel of the year.