Day 18 – Rin Chupeco Talks to Llamas

Rin Chupeco writing prompts

The Prompt

There is a llama sitting on the seat beside you, drinking coffee. No one else finds this odd. He turns to you, about to speak.

The Author

Rin Chupeco has written obscure manuals for complicated computer programs, talked people out of their money at event shows, and done many other terrible things. They now write about ghosts and fantastic worlds but are still sometimes mistaken for a revenant. They are the author of The Girl from the Well, its sequel, The Suffering, and the Bone Witch trilogy. Find them at www.rinchupeco.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 17 – Robin Stein Helps Your Character Escape

Robin Stein Writing Prompt

The Prompt

Here’s a prompt from Edna St. Vincent Millay’s poem Travel:

. . . there isn’t a train I wouldn’t take,
No matter where it’s going.

Create a character who cannot wait to leave their town. Why do they want to leave? What or whom will they leave behind? Will the decision to start anew prove to be a good one?

The Author

Robin Stein writes fiction and memoir in Newton, MA. Her inspiration comes from music, family and nature. For information on her children’s book, My Two Cities, and her workshops, please visit robinsteincreative.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.

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

Day 16 – Janine Griffin Gives You A Sign

The Prompt

Janine Griffin writing prompt

It’s a sign!

This prompt idea came from an episode of Valley 101, a podcast about Arizona This episode was about who writes their funny highway signs, the history of them and what sort of messages they deliver. The idea of constraints appealed to me, often it drives creativity in unexpected directions.

Arizona’s highway sign messages are three lines long, with up to 18 characters per line. You can have commas, spaces, apostrophes, and dashes, which all count toward the 18 character limit. Now 18×3 characters isn’t long to tell a story, but it is long enough to deliver an important message. So the prompt is this:

Your character is in the middle of doing something mundane when they see a message that causes them to change course. The message could be something they see on a highway sign, a sign on the window of a store, a dashboard displayed in an office, or even a text message, but the limit is 18×3 characters and the message causes the character to change what they were doing/going to do.

The Author

Janine Griffin writes fiction and non-fiction, and things that fall in between.

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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!

Day 15 – Halfway House

Julie Duffy Writing Prompt

The Prompt

At the midpoint of May, I want you to write a story where your character is half way between one thing and another — at a transition. This can be literal, emotional, or metaphorical.

The Author

Julie Duffy is a writer and the founder and host of StoryADay. She sounds Scottish to her American friends, and American to her Scottish friends. Everyone else assumes she’s Canadian, which is no bad thing…follow her on Twitter and Instagram @storyadaymay

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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!

Day 14 – Caroline Kim Conjures Ghosts

Caroline Kim Writing Prompt

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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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!

Day 13 – Monique Cuillerier Shifts Your Perspective

Monique Cuillerier Writing prompt

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.

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

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

Michael X. Wang Writing Prompt

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

Read A Book, Support An Indie

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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!

Day 11 – Write a Story in 100 Words

Julie Duffy Writing Prompt

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.

Read A Book, Support An Indie

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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!

Day 10 – Deesha Philyaw Encourages Letter-Writing

Deesha Philyaw writing prompt

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.

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

Day 9 – JEM Wildfire Keeps Things Short

JEM Wildfire prompt

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.”

Read A Book, Support An Indie

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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!