Day 14 – Caroline Kim Conjures Ghosts

The Prompt

Your character is doing something innocuous and habitual like washing dishes or driving in a car or picking up dry cleaning or taking a walk in the neighborhood when a ghost/spirit appears to them. Whether it is human, animal, or other, what is it saying and why has it appeared to the character at this moment?

(This is good for dredging up something from the character’s subconscious and also for throwing your character off track with something unexpected.)

The Author

CAROLINE KIM was born in Busan, South Korea but moved to America at an early age. She has lived on the East Coast, Midwest, and Texas but now makes her home in Northern California with her family.

Her poetry and fiction have appeared or are forthcoming in TriQuarterly, The Rumpus, Pleiades, Porter House Review, MANOA, The Michigan Quarterly Review, Spinning Jenny, Meridian, Faultline, Pidgeonholes, Cosmonaut’s Avenue, Ms. Aligned 3, and elsewhere. Her collection of short stories, The Prince of Mournful Thoughts and Other Stories, won the 2020 Drue Heinz Literature Prize and was longlisted for the 2021 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Short Story Collection.

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Day 13 – Monique Cuillerier Shifts Your Perspective

The Prompt

Write a story from the perspective of a character that is not a human or other animal.

The character could be something from nature, like a rock or a puddle or a tree, or it could be something built (for example, a lamp or a shoe or a fountain pen).

To consider:

How does your character think? And what do they think about it?

What is most important to them?

What happens to them and how are they able, or not able, to react?

How do they feel about this?

The Author

Monique Cuillerier is a science fiction writer living in Ottawa. When not writing, she likes to run, knit, garden, and get angry on Twitter (@MoniqueAC). Her most recent story was published by Diabolical Plots this month. Past work can be found at NotWhereILive.ca

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This year’s StoryADay May official bookseller is Reads & Company, a privately-owned indie bookseller in Pennsylvania. Any purchase from the site this month supports Reads & Co.

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Day 12 – Michael X. Wang Challenges Your Character To Survive

The Prompt

“One Thousand and Two Arabian Nights.” Story as survival: Your protagonist tells a story within a story in order to avoid some kind of disaster.

The Author

Michael X. Wang is the author of FURTHER NEWS OF DEFEAT: Stories, a finalist for the PEN/Bingham Prize. His novel, LOST IN THE LONG MARCH, is forthcoming from The Overlook Press. Find him on Twitter: @MichaelXWang3

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This year’s StoryADay May official bookseller is Reads & Company, a privately-owned indie bookseller in Pennsylvania. Any purchase from the site this month supports Reads & Co.

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Day 11 – Write a Story in 100 Words

The Prompt

Write a story in exactly 100 words

The Author

writer code lesson 1

Julie Duffy is a writer and the founder and host of StoryADay. She juggles and knits, though rarely at the same time.

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This year’s StoryADay May official bookseller is Reads & Company, a privately-owned indie bookseller in Pennsylvania. Any purchase from the site this month supports Reads & Co.

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Day 10 – Deesha Philyaw Encourages Letter-Writing

The Prompt

Write a letter to your 14-year-old self. Address that young person’s fears, concerns, questions, and insecurities. Offer reassurance based on what you now know as an adult.

The Author

Deesha Philyaw’s debut short story collection, THE SECRET LIVES OF CHURCH LADIES, won the 2020/2021 Story Prize and was a finalist for the 2020 National Book Award for Fiction, the 2021 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, and a 2020 LA Times Book Prize: The Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction.

THE SECRET LIVES OF CHURCH LADIES focuses on Black women, sex, and the Black church, and is being adapted for television by HBO Max with Tessa Thompson executive producing. Deesha is also a Kimbilio Fiction Fellow. Learn more at deeshaphilyaw.com.

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This year’s StoryADay May official bookseller is Reads & Company, a privately-owned indie bookseller in Pennsylvania. Any purchase from the site this month supports Reads & Co.

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Day 9 – JEM Wildfire Keeps Things Short

The Prompt

Write a six-word story complete with a beginning, middle, and end. Classic example from Hemingway: “Baby shoes for sale. Never worn.” Suggested prompt word: May. Could be the month, a person, a permission request, a game (e.g. Mother May I?). Or use another word. Bonus points if every word starts with the same letter.

The Author

J.E.M. Wildfire danced on the edge of creative writing throughout her life, culminating with lawyerly briefs and memorandums filled with facts presented as creatively as possible while remaining truthful.

After retiring, she decided to dispense with facts and concentrate on creativity. She discovered that the diversity of StoryADay May prompts sparked her late-blooming talent and led down writing paths she would not have stumbled upon otherwise. Most recently, her work has appeared in the April 2021, issue of “Love Letters to Poe.”

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Day 8 – Premee Mohamed Steals Souls

The Prompt

In a mysterious valley, two rival abbeys of nuns and monks serving the same strange god play a secret game unbeknownst to their superiors. When the stakes for the game become souls, how can the game be ended — and the debts to the demon of chance be paid?

The Author

Premee Mohamed is an Indo-Caribbean scientist and speculative fiction author based in Edmonton, Alberta. She is the author of speculative fiction novels ‘Beneath the Rising’ (2020), ‘A Broken Darkness’ (2021), and novellas ‘These Lifeless Things’ (2021), ‘And What Can We Offer You Tonight’ (2021), and ‘The Annual Migration of Clouds’ (2021).

Her short fiction has appeared in a variety of venues and she can be found on Twitter at @premeesaurus and on her website at www.premeemohamed.com.

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This year’s StoryADay May official bookseller is Reads & Company, a privately-owned indie bookseller in Pennsylvania. Any purchase from the site this month supports Reads & Co.

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Day 7 – Roxane Gay Wants You To Be Happy

The Prompt

Write a story that doesn’t use unhappiness as its narrative catalyst. That is to say, write a happy story, one that is textured, interesting, not overly sentimental, but that is at its core, a happy story, however, you choose to imagine that.

The Author

Roxane Gay’s writing appears in Best American Mystery Stories 2014, Best American Short Stories 2012, Best Sex Writing 2012, A Public Space, McSweeney’s, Tin House, Oxford American, American Short Fiction, Virginia Quarterly Review, and many others.

She is a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times. She is the author of the books Ayiti, An Untamed State, the New York Times bestselling Bad Feminist, the nationally bestselling Difficult Women, and the New York Times bestselling Hunger. She is also the author of World of Wakanda for Marvel. She has several books forthcoming and is also at work on television and film projects. She also has a newsletter, The Audacity.

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This year’s StoryADay May official bookseller is Reads & Company, a privately-owned indie bookseller in Pennsylvania. Any purchase from the site this month supports Reads & Co.

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Day 6 – Julie Duffy wants you to Interview Your Character

The Prompt

Write an interview with a character who invented something that changed the world…years after the change took place.

The Author

Julie Duffy is a writer and the founder and host of StoryADay.

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This year’s StoryADay May official bookseller is Reads & Company, a privately-owned indie bookseller in Pennsylvania. Any purchase from the site this month supports Reads & Co.

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Day 5 – Marta Pelrine-Bacon Makes Your Character Lose Something

The Prompt

A character has lost an object that is of great value to someone they love.

The Author

Marta Pelrine-Bacon is an artist and a writer. You can buy her art in her Etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/WordsAreArtStudio

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This year’s StoryADay May official bookseller is Reads & Company, a privately-owned indie bookseller in Pennsylvania. Any purchase from the site this month supports Reads & Co.

Leave a comment and let us know how you used the prompt, and how you’re celebrating!