Monthly fiction writing exercises!

Welcome to my monthly newsletter containing a custom-designed just-for-the-newsletter fiction writing exercise (intended to produce a whole flash fiction or a start to something longer) as well as reading recommendations and other writing craft discussion. It might later evolve into something else! But that’s where it’s starting.

Why this?

I’ve come to truly love creating new writing exercises for my classes every semester: I tend to write brand new ones for each class, rather than reusing them, and I like to link them to what we’ve been reading together as well. I’ve written exercises for generative novel-writing workshops; for a course on genre writing in climate fiction, eco-fabulism, and the New Weird; for classes on prose style and acoustics; and many other topics. (In the fall, I’m teaching a class on Worldbuilding for Sci-Fi and Fantasy: so many exercises I can’t wait to write!) Making custom exercises just for the people in a particular class is a joy. This newsletter is a way of getting to do the same for a broader group of people. Plus I love talking craft and technique, so I’m hoping this will be a conversation starter for me too.

Who am I?

I’m the author most recently of the novel Appleseed (a New York Times Notable Book) and the craft book Refuse to Be Done, a guide to novel writing, rewriting, and revision. I’m also the author of the novels Scrapper and In the House upon the Dirt Between the Lake and the Woods, as well as the short story collection A Tree or a Person or a Walla non-fiction book about the classic video game Baldur's Gate IIand several other titles. My writing has appeared in The New York Times, Esquire, Tin House, Fairy Tale Review, American Short Fiction, Orion, and many other publications. A native of Michigan, I teach creative writing at Arizona State University.

My personal website can be found at

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Fiction writing exercises, craft essays, and reading recommendations from Matt Bell, author of APPLESEED and REFUSE TO BE DONE. Publishes monthly.


Matt Bell

Author most recently of the novel APPLESEED and the craft book REFUSE TO BE DONE. Husband, teacher, runner, writer. Born in MI, living in AZ.