Don’t Be Afraid of #OwnVoices

In which Julie has opinions about someone else’s (terrible) opinions…

On May 12, 2023 Kathleen Porter published an opinion piece entitled “Limiting What Novelists Can Write is Bad For Readers.”

I think she almost entirely missed the point of the diversity movement and I am…irritated. Please join me for a walk through some terrible opinions and what YOU can do, as a sensitive, thoughtful writer, to avoid this kind of knee-jerk reaction and keep writing.

Video Version

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And finally a remainder that know you can support this podcast, if you would like to, which some people have asked me about and to do that, you go to, and you can make a one-time or recurring donation to keep the show going. And I really appreciate your support. That’s it from me this week. Happy writing. And I’ll see you again soon.

Transcript available here

Day 13- Disappointment & Delight by Meghan Louise Wagner

Let’s get emotional with today’s prompt from Meghan Louise Wagner

The Prompt

Imagine a character who is older (interpret that as you like!) who returns to a place they visited once when they were younger.

There should be some emotional importance to the place, but this prompt works best if it’s a place the character only went to one or two times (not anywhere they’re super familiar with).

Start the story with the character returning to the place. When they arrive and see the place in its present state, have them either be:

a) greatly disappointed or

b) greatly delighted.

Then weave in memories of the place (or memories associated with the place) from when they were young.

Try to jump back and forth between them in the present and the past. By the end of the story, try to show a change in how the character views the place, either in the past or present. (for ex: if it started with them being delighted, have the story end with them being disappointed–or vice versa.)

Meghan Louise Wagner

Meghan Louise Wagner lives in Northeast Ohio. Her work has recently appeared in such places as Nashville Review, Cutleaf, Story, AGNI, Okay Donkey, and The Best American Short Stories 2022. More about her can be found at:

Join the discussion: what will you do with today’s prompt OR how did it go? Need support? Post here!


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