At Open Culture, Ayun Halliday introduces Kurt Vonnegut’s final assignment for his Iowa Writer’s Workshop class. Instead of a conventional essay, Vonnegut asks his students to role-play as short story publishers:
Proceed next to the hallucination that you are a minor but useful editor on a good literary magazine not connected with a university. Take three stories that please you most and three that please you least, six in all, and pretend that they have been offered for publication. Write a report on each to be submitted to a wise, respected, witty and world-weary superior.