New Fiction in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine

“English 398: Fiction Workshop”

Winner, Edgar Award for Best Short Story

Winner, Macavity Award for Best Short Story

Finalist, Agatha Award for Best Short Story

Finalist, Anthony Award for Best Short Story

Top Ten, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine‘s 2018 Readers Poll

Listen to the story here as part of the podcast series at Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine.

The full title for this story is “English 398: Fiction Workshop—Notes from Class & A Partial Draft By Brittany Wallace, Plus Feedback, Conference & More,” and fair warning that the subtitle does indeed preview the narrative’s various layers, which require a little sorting through. Hopefully easily and naturally on that latter point.

For several years at George Mason University, I’ve taught the ENGH 398 Fiction Workshop—and sprinkled through this story are the bits of advice that aspiring fiction writers might get in any college-level creative writing workshop. It was a real joy playing with those writing guidelines and letting them guide parts of the storytelling itself.

But while the story borrows on the kinds of things you’d see and hear in such a workshop, I need to stress formally and officially and strenuously that the story is not autobiographical… for reasons readers will recognize pretty quickly.

Hope folks will enjoy the playfulness of all this. Even if you have half as much fun reading it as I did writing it, I’ll be grateful!


“‘English 398: Fiction Workshop’ is the academic short story I didn’t know I wanted, but want it I did indeed. How [Taylor] weaves contemporary social issues into his stories without seeming contrived is a true gift.” — Kristopher Zgorski, BOLO Books

“This multiple award-winning author successfully experiments with a non-linear structure, interwoven points of view, and a bit of valuable pedagogy in this humorous crime tale, a unique twist on a familiar aspect of college campus life.” — V.S. Kemanis


Mentioned by EQMM editor Janet Hutchings in her column “A New Trend In Mystery Fiction?” about stories and novels that lean toward meta-fiction.

Included in the “Drinks With Reads” series at Mystery Playground.

Book categories: Magazines