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Short Fiction and the Political Long Game

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We're back from our holiday spree of rich food, unsustainable booze consumption and entirely too much Netflix. We hope your table, glass and queue stayed full, too, and you're as happy as we are to change out of our sweats and get cracking on 2017.

As is our custom at Boise Weekly, we'll be ringing in the new year with one of our favorite traditions: the Fiction 101 Contest. This annual competition pits writers from around the country (but mostly in Idaho) against one another in a round of blind-judging by a panel of local literary luminaries. The rules are simple: The length of each story has to be exactly 101 words. Everything else we leave to the able creative minds of our entrants, which for the 15th annual Fiction 101 numbered just under 160.

Read the winning stories on Page 7, and join us for a live reading at Rediscovered Books on First Thursday, Jan. 5. Thanks to all those who submitted stories—they get better every year.

Another feature of the new year is the gaveling into session of the Idaho Legislature, which is set to happen Monday, Jan. 9.

As politics dominated 2016 (and 2015... and 2014...) we're betting the same will be true in 2017 as local, state and national lawmakers wrestle with the implications of a Donald Trump presidency. In the Gem State, the fallout from the Nov. 8, 2016 election fell particularly hard on Democrats, who saw their already miniscule representation in the Statehouse shrink even further.

Boise Weekly News Editor George Prentice checked in with Rep. Mat Erpelding (D-Boise), who takes the reins as House minority leader from longtime Lewiston Democrat John Rusche, who was among the vanquished on Nov. 8. Erpelding told BW about how his party plans to change in the coming session and what's on his agenda. Find that report on Page 5.

BW Staff Writer Harrison Berry, meanwhile, got a different perspective on how Idaho Dems will approach the new political landscape in an interview with Idaho Democratic Party Legislative Services Director Shelby Scott on Page 20.

Finally, get all the info you need to navigate the inaugural First Thursday of 2017 on Page 10.

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