I’m not trying to make this competitive or anything, but I don’t think there’s anyone who could possibly be more excited for WORD’s edition of Books Beneath the Bridge than I am. WORD consistently puts together some of the best literary events around, so it was already a given that I was attending, but when I found out that their night in the BBB series was focusing exclusively on short story writers, I actually started wishing that July could end sooner. (If you aren’t already totally psyched, check out our writer Jack Palmer’s blog post on the last installment of Books Beneath the Bridge.) If you haven’t read a short story since school, this is the time to reacquaint yourself, since not only are they featuring five (count ‘em, five) short story writers, but they’re five of the best currently writing. From master of the form Jim Shepard, to Charles Yu, whose collection Sorry, Please, Thank You was released just this week, they’re all talents who’ve honed their voices into word lasers that stun and amaze with just one blow. Plus, there’s extra incentive to get there early, since compliments of the BPL’s new Espresso Book Machine, there’ll be a limited-edition chapbook available of all the stories read that night, signed by the authors. Beats any party favor I’ve ever gotten! –V.R.