Day 3- Limit Spaces by Megan Alongi

The Prompt

Write a scene in which your character’s physical space is smaller than usual.

Tips

Maybe the scene will take place in a vehicle.

Perhaps place a limit to one particular room in a house.

A whole dramatic scene could be set in an elevator.

Limits on physical space could be as large as one planet in a solar system or as small as one fairy treehouse.


Megan Alongi

Megan is a writer who lives in New Jersey.

Bingo!

3
make sure you set your printer to print this at original size, not full-page!

Here’s your next Bingo Piece. Download the pic, print it out and paste it onto your bingo sheet. Then share a picture of it on social media with #storyadaybingo

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

Day 2- New Words on an Old Theme by Julie Duffy

Today’s writing prompt encourages you to keep things short

The Prompt

Write a 100 word story inspired by an aphorism

Tips

Remember: the prompts are only here as inspiration if you need them. Some people decide to write to all the prompts no matter what (to force themselves to stretch), but you can play any way you want!

Writing a 100 word story is a wonderful way to warm up and get some writing done even on a day when you are busy. It’s not necessarily faster to craft a 100 word story than it is to dash off 1200 words, but it is incredibly satisfying, and it sharpens your word-choice skills.

Today I’m going to suggest that you choose an aphorism or proverb to inspire you story (here’s a handy collection).

You’ll need to choose a character who embodies (or defies) the message of the aphorism, pop them in a situation where they can take an action and, ideally, give us an idea of how they are changing through their experience.

100 words isn’t a lot, but I believe in you!

If you need some inspiration here is a site full of 100 word stories.


Julie Duffy

Julie Duffy is the Founder and Director of StoryADay.org. She began thus challenge in 2010 and is proud to have encouraged thousands of writers, since then. She never tires of hearing from writers whose StoryADay drafts turn into published stories, or gifts for friends, or other forms of art, so do please keep in touch!

Bingo!

2
make sure you set your printer to print this at original size, not full-page!

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

Remember: I don’t recommend posting your story in the comments here (and I talk more about why not, here). Best practice: Leave us a comment about how it went, or share your favorite line from your story.



Day 1- Opposites Attract (Readers) by Julie Duffy

A writing prompt that focuses on a limited set of characters and locations, so you can start and finish your short story with success

Welcome to Day 1 of StoryADay 2022!

I’m sure you’re nervous and excited and eager to get on with it, so I’ll just say good luck, be good to yourself, never worry that you’re ‘failing’ because someone is doing something different from you (are you writing at all? Then you’re learning what you need to know!).

Keep reading to the end to find out what to do with that Bingo Sheet..

The Prompt

Write a story with 2 characters eating a meal together, who want different things

Tips

Limiting the setting and the number of characters is a quick’n’dirty way to keep your story from growing into the opening of a novel (not guaranteed, but…).

With two characters and one setting (a meal table) you are limited to focusing on these characters.


You can write this as a dialogue or allow the characters’ phsyical reactions tell the reader what they are feeling and thinking (how the character fidgets in their seat, what they pick up and put down, what they look at).
Remember that even if the characters want two different things, they will both believe they are right and have valid reasons for wanting what they want.

(They may even want the same thing, but have different approaches to achieving the goal: i. e. they want to keep their child safe, but for one that means letting them go on the school field trip with their friends, for the other, it might mean keeping them at home, away from physical danger).


Remember that people are rarely clear on what they want (or why they want it) so a conversation between two people gets messy quickly. Play with that.


Julie Duffy

Julie Duffy is a writer and the founder and director of StoryADay. When not working on her own writing or hanging out with the fine folks at StoryADay, she can be found playing board games, or music, or finding a quiet corner in which to read and/or knit. She looks forward to traveling again.

Bingo Pieces

make sure you set your printer to print this at original size, not full-page!

Here’s your first Bingo Piece. Download the pic, print it out and paste it onto your bingo sheet. Then share a picture of it on social media with #storyadaybingo

I know, 31 days of this is going to be a lot of wasted paper, but you can use the scraps as book marks, places to catch story sparks, opportunities for origami…and more

Or you can use your fave image editing software to add layers to this image.

But I think rewarding yourself every day with a bit of scissors-and-glue hands-on crafting, is a much better idea!

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


Please note, I do not recommend posting your whole story in the comments here, for various reasons. Best Practice ; post about your experience of writing the story, or share an excerpt.

Day 0 of the StoryADay Challenge

Are you excited (nervous?) about StoryADay May? I have an invitation that might help settle you into your writing chair.

I know it’s last minute, but if you’re around, I’d like to invite you to join me live on Saturday, April 30 for some writing and  Q&A

Live With Julie – Saturday, April 30

When: 9:30-11 AM (Eastern US)
Where: Zoom (link will be emailed an hour before the meeting)

Over the next month I’m going to be sending you lots of prompts, to help develop your writing practice.

But for any of that to matter, you have to really believe that you can be a writer and can fit it into your life.

I’d like to invite you to start that process tomorrow morning. 

If you can, I’d love for you to join me on Zoom  for a Q&A session, and stay for a writing sprint, where you’ll have a chance to stretch your writing muscles, and get warmed up before May starts.

You can work on your Creative Challenge Workbook or your Story Prompts, even your Short Story Framework brainstorming, or you can read some inspiring short stories or work on your first, warm-up story.

Q&A will start at 9:30 AM (Eastern US) CHECK YOUR TIME, and we’ll get down to some quiet writing, in community. (If you’ve never been to a Zoom writing sprint, you’ll be amazed how productive you can be, writing quietly in the presence of others!)

You don’ t have to stay for the whole thing. Come and go as you please.

I’ll send another email tomorrow morning around 8:30 AM with the link.

Until then…here’s a little gift for you. Save this picture, cut it out, stick it to your notebook or your laptop, because you are, an official StoryADay Writer! Congrats!

Leave a comment and let me know if you’ll be there

Keep up with all the Classic Challenge Posts Here

Fun Size Challenge – Day 0

(You weren’t expecting a Day 0, were you?!)

Two quick things for you today before the challenge gets rolling: A bonus task and an invitation to join me live on Saturday, April 30 for some writing and  Q&A.


to find all the fun-size prompts click here

Your First Fun Task

I promised to make the fun-size challenge low-commitment and I will, and I am starting early for a good reason:

I’ve discovered that the busier I get as a writer, the more important it is for me to know where I put stuff. 

Set Up Your Workspace

Today, I’m going to encourage you to take a moment to set up a digital folder or a notebook (physical or digital), or a three-ring binder, where you can keep all your materials related to StoryADay’s Fun-Size Challenge

It might not seem important now, but a month from  now, when you are in a completely different place as a writer, you are going to thank Past-You for being kind and making it easy for you to find all the moments of brilliance and insight you racked up.

You might have re-wired your brain so thoroughly that you can’t even imagine where Past-You would have put that amazing idea you had when you were on a walk…

So make a home for your StoryADay Fun-Size materials today.

(I’d love it if you would send me a picture or a screenshot of your folder/binder/notebook, all ready to go)

Snap a picture with your phone and email it to julie at storyaday dot com and you might see it pop up on the site!

Live with Julie – Saturday, April 30

Over the next month I’m going to be sending you lots of tasks, to help develop your writing practice.

But for any of that to matter, you have to really believe that you can be a writer and can fit it into your life.

I’d like to invite you to start that process tomorrow morning. 

If you can, I’d love for you to join me on Zoom  for a Q&A session, and stay for a writing sprint, where you’ll have a chance to stretch your writing muscles, and get warmed up before May starts.

Q&A will start at 9:30 AM (Eastern US) CHECK YOUR TIME, and we’ll get down to some quiet writing, in community. (If you’ve never been to a Zoom writing sprint, you’ll be amazed how productive you can be, writing quietly in the presence of others!)

I’ll send another email tomorrow morning around 8:30 AM with the link.

Until then…here’s a little gift for you. Save this picture, cut it out, stick it to your notebook or your laptop, because you are, an official StoryADay Writer! Congrats!

Right-click to save

Leave a comment letting me know if you’ll be there

Keep up with all the Fun-Size Challenge Posts Here

Stay Weird – A Writing Prompt

The Prompt

Write a story just for you

A Story and Some Tips

When I was working for the first company to help authors publish using digital print on-demand tech, I talked to a LOT of authors,

  • Best-sellers like Piers Anthony who had grown disillusioned with traditional publishing;
  • Mid list authors who had been dropped by their publishers and wanted to republish out-of-print books or finish out that series their fans wanted;
  • Unpublished authors who hadn’t been able to place their novels with traditional publishers not because of the writing quality but because the publishers couldn’t see a large enough market for it.

Publishing is a business, and it’s hard to get picked, and it’s hard to stay lucky.

And if you want to ‘be published’ traditionally, you must convince someone that there is a large enough audience waiting for it.

But what if that’s not what you’re writing? Should you just stop?

The Woman Who ‘Invented’ a Genre

Continue reading “Stay Weird – A Writing Prompt”

Healing – A Short Story

Yesterday morning, my iPad and iPencil kept telling me they needed recharged (yes, normally I write on paper, but I was working with electronics for…reasons).

I charged the iPad for a while, then, impatient, pulled the cord and moved around with it.

It worked for a while then complained it needed charged.

The same thing happened with the iPencil.

In my impatience to get things done I was trying short-term, stop-gap fixes.

Finally, I realized my devices were trying to tell me something I often ignore when my body tells me the same thing:

Continue reading “Healing – A Short Story”

[Reading Room] Cosmogramma by Courttia Newland

This collection is a great example of what modern speculative fiction can be: fascinating, compelling, peopled by sympathetic (and not-so sympathetic) characters; surprising and familiar, inspiring, filled with mystery and a sense of discovery for the reader…and I love it when stories are connected, so I enjoyed piecing together the connections between some of the stories in the collection.

Continue reading “[Reading Room] Cosmogramma by Courttia Newland”

Everything Else, We Can Learn

Do you believe that you have a right to write? Not that people in general have a general right to be creative. Do you believe that you, specifically, have a right to write? Even if it takes time away from your partner, even if it takes time away from your kid, even if, even if, even if…

Do you believe you have a right to write? Do you believe your voice is important? Do you believe your voice matters?

Mindset is I’m coming to believe more than half the battle when it comes to writing. Everything else? We can, we can learn as we need it. I think getting that in place is huge.

If you need a place that’s snug and safe, to work on your writing practice, consider joining us in the I, WRITER Course. Find out more.

The Value of Morning Pages

Some writers become discouraged by the Morning Pages practice: It can feel like running on a treadmill to nowhere, never sure if you’re making progress.So how do you know if you’re ‘doing Morning Pages correctly’?

This morning when I had a realization that might convince you to try (or enjoy) Morning pages, yourself.

Do you write Morning Pages?

Julia Cameron popularized this free-writing practice in her book The Artist’s Way and many writers swear by it.

The idea is that you write 3 pages of no-obligation, possibly-stream-of-consciousness ‘stuff’ every morning, to warm up.

But some writers become discouraged after doing Morning Pages for a while. It can feel like you’re running on a treadmill to nowhere, never sure if you’re making progress. So how do you know if you’re ‘doing Morning Pages correctly?

I’m sporadic with the ‘morning’ part of Morning Pages, but I do tend to journal most days and/or free-write before I try to write anything ‘proper’.

That’s what I was doing this morning when I came to a realization that I thought you might enjoy sharing. it might even convince you to try Morning pages, yourself.

Julie’s Morning Pages 21 Jan 2022

I am at my desk and facing the classic writers’ dilemma: there is so much I could work on. I can feel the clock ticking away the minutes I have carved out for writing and the first stirrings of panic bubble low in my chest.

I want to write. I don’t want to waste this precious moment but the task seems so huge—and it is! I either find my way back into a dormant story or begin building a whole new world full of decisions about the world (is there gravity? Are we even on earth? Which Earth? When? Where?) and people with full, complex histories before we meet them on the page. And then, how do I make something interesting happen, and keep happening?

The whole thing weighs on me like heavy cloth and I begin to feel the gravitational pull of busywork, the need for the affirmation of a thumbs up or little red heart on social media (It’ll just take a moment to check and I might get an idea for a story!) or perhaps it’s time I learned to use Scrivener properly—whatever that means. (I’m sure I bought a whole course on that.Surely when I have mastered a new tool, THEN it’ll be easier to write…)

Luckily for me, I have been pursuing my writing goals with a will for over a decade now and I know, beyond a doubt, that my only hope of doing anything like ‘good writing’ rests in one practice:

Continue reading “The Value of Morning Pages”

You Can Do It!

I’m guest posting at Writer Unboxed today and it’s all about how to make writing Feel more Fun. Check it out and join in the discussion


A Message from Julie

I read a lot of blogs and articles, researching the best ideas from creative folks; gems that I can share with my beloved writers.

This holiday season, I’ve definitely seen a theme emerge in posts from writers, coaches, artists, and teachers from all over the English-speaking world:

Acceptance.

And I’m excited about it.

Continue reading “You Can Do It!”

Getting Great Feedback – A Process

After a challenge like StoryADay (or a lifetime of writing) you may be asking, “How can I revise my writing so I can get published, without becoming distracted, discouraged or overwhelmed?”

I have a system for figuring out that very thing, that will help you identify and work on the stories that will keep you making consistent progress towards your writing goals.

Part 1 of this process is to assess the material you have, to see what you should work on, first. That’s what this article is about. Part 2 is about identifying what’s working and what needs to be improved in your writing. Part 3 is about strategies and techniques for making those improvements as you revise your writing.

Listen to the accompanying podcast episode

Part 2 – Identify What’s Working

It can be hard to see what’s working and what’s not in your own writing when you’ve stared at it for so long…and that’s when you need to get it in front of fresh eyeballs.

Do you freeze at the thought of revision or feedback, because you think it’s all about seeing how badly you screwed up your story?

Don’t panic!

It’s as important to identify what’s working in your story as what isn’t, to ensure you don’t revise away what made it special.

Continue reading “Getting Great Feedback – A Process”

Revise Your Writing – A Process

After a challenge like StoryADay (or a lifetime of writing) you may be asking, “How can I revise my writing so I can get published, without becoming distracted, discouraged or overwhelmed?”


For more, listen to episode 226 of the StoryADay podcast

I have a system for figuring out that very thing, that will help you identify and work on the stories that will keep you making consistent progress towards your writing goals.

Part 1 of this process is to assess the material you have, to see what you should work on, first. That’s what this article is about. Part 2 is about identifying what’s working and what needs to be improved in your writing. Part 3 is about strategies and techniques for making those improvements as you revise your writing.

Part 1 – Assess

The first thing to do is read through all the stories you think you might want to work on. As you do so, pay attention to your gut and ask yourself a few questions about each story:

Continue reading “Revise Your Writing – A Process”

Day 30 – Looking Back & Looking Forward

The Prompt

Write a story about someone who has just completed a huge challenge. What have they learned? What did they sacrifice? Was it worth it?

The Author

Julie Duffy has hosted 12 StoryADay Mays and almost as many StoryADay Septembers. That’s quite a lot.

Read A Book, Support An Indie

Reads & Company Logo

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 29 – Three Sides of the Same Story

The Prompt

Write a story in three sections, each section recounting the same event from a different character’s point of view

The Author

Julie Duffy is the author of several guides for writers, available on Kindle. She is also an occasional columnist for WriterUnboxed.com

Read A Book, Support An Indie

Reads & Company Logo

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 28 – Leslie Stack Objects To This Marriage

Leslie Stack writing prompt

The Prompt

“Loretta’s face was hidden by the wide brimmed hat boldly covered in ribbons and one rose. Rising slowly from the fourth pew, she raised her chin towards the minister and declared, “I object.”

The Author

Leslie Stack

Leslie Stack is a writer, musician, camper, and teacher who loves being on the water or in a museum. You can usually find her doing research behind dark glasses on a park bench. She lives in a house  with her husband where the books are plotting a takeover.

Read A Book, Support An Indie

Reads & Company Logo

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 27 – Miriam Laundry Cites The Golden Rule

Miriam Laundry writing prompt

The Prompt

Write a story for children. Prompt is “The Golden Rule,” treat others are you wish to be treated.

The Author

Miriam is a best-selling children’s author who loves to empower children to believe in themselves. She does this through her own books and by helping other authors write and publish their books.

Learn the formula Miriam uses for outlining every single one of her award-winning books:

The Children’s Book Blueprint [free training & PDF]
www.miriamlaundry.com/blueprint

Read A Book, Support An Indie

Reads & Company Logo

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 26 – A Story In Memos

Jul0ei Duffy Writing prompt

The Prompt

Like the list story, this prompt encourages you to break the narrative rules. Let the story unfold through a series of updates, memos, social media posts, a technical manual, or some other document that creates gaps the reader must fill in.

Remember that each memo will be written in real time, reporting on an event, before the character experiences the next ‘episode’ and writes about it.

The Author

Julie Duffy’s Gallup Strengths finders results accuse her of sometimes making logical leaps that other people find it hard to follow…

Read A Book, Support An Indie

Reads & Company Logo

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 25 – Anita G. Gorman Is Mysterious

Anita Gorman Writing prompt

The Prompt

Someone finds two dates listed on a piece of paper. The dates are in their own handwriting, but they do not know what the dates mean. They have to find out what the dates signify.

The Author

Anita G. Gorman grew up in Queens and now lives in northeast Ohio. Since 2014 she has had 85 short stories and 20 essays accepted for publication. Her one-act play, Astrid: or, My Swedish Mama, produced at Youngstown Ohio’s Hopewell Theatre in March 2018, starred Anita and her daughter Ingrid.

Anita’s website is anitaggorman.com

Read A Book, Support An Indie

Reads & Company Logo

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 24 – Fleet Sparrow Sings A Song

Fleet Sparrow writing prompt

The Prompt

I love concept albums, albums in which a singular story is told throughout the tracks. Some are silly, some are deep, but all of them are fascinating. Write the story that comes to you out of this lyric from Eagles’ Desperado album:

“The towns lay out across the dusty plains like graveyards filled with tombstones waiting for the names.”

The Author

Fleet is a queer trans author usually found hanging out around the DC fandom waiting to be picked to write comics. Zie also does original work, some of which zie posts on Archive of Our Own (AO3). When not writing, zie can be found reading, thinking about writing, or slipping slowly into madness in Southern California.

Original work can be found here:

https://archiveofourown.org/users/FleetSparrow/works?fandom_id=2692

Read A Book, Support An Indie

Reads & Company Logo

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 23 – I’ve Got A Little List

Julie Duffy Writing Prompt

The Prompt

Two options today: write a story in the form of a list, OR use this list of words in your story: gallery, contemplated, identity, point, behind, tastes, followed, forty, like, generations.

The Author

Julie Duffy loves to make lists.

Read A Book, Support An Indie

Reads & Company Logo

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 22 – Soleah Sadge Turns Tarot Cards

Soleah Sadge writing prompt

The Prompt

The banging on the cabin’s door is incessant. Your character throws the soufflé into the oven and rushes to open the door. No one is there, but on the floor, they see three antique brass keys and a Tarot card (JUSTICE, MAIDEN OF CUPS, or any other card). Write what happens next.

The Author

Soleah K. Sadge is a contemporary fantasy author. She enjoys traveling to places tied to legends and folklore that she can use in her stories.

She resides in the United States where she reads, writes, knits, and teaches. Her work includes flash fiction and short stories.

For more information, visit Soleah’s website at https://soleahkennasadge.com

Read A Book, Support An Indie

Reads & Company Logo

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 21 – C McKane is Reflective

C. McKane writing prompt

The Prompt

Write about the boy you see on either side of the reflection.

The Author

C.McKane writes flash fiction, enjoys Italian poetry, and blogs about herbalism and aging. You can find her at @cmckane on Twitter or at https://cmckane.com.

Read A Book, Support An Indie

Reads & Company Logo

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 20 – Windy Lynn Harris is Making Me Peckish

Windy Lynn Harris writing prompt

The Prompt

Food can trigger visceral memories and strong emotions. Think of your favorite thing to eat and also your least favorite. Today, write a story inspired by food. Maybe your character is at a grocery store, or maybe they’re cooking at home with the kids. Maybe they’ve come across a fruit stand on the side of the road. The item you choose can be of central importance to the story or not. Anything goes!

The Author

Windy Lynn Harris

Windy Lynn Harris is the author of Writing & Selling Short Stories & Personal Essays: The Essential Guide to Getting Your Work Published (Writer’s Digest Books). She’s a prolific writer, a trusted mentor, and a frequent speaker at literary events. Her long list of short stories and personal essays have been published in literary, trade, and women’s magazines across the U.S. and Canada in places like The Literary Review, The Sunlight Press, and Literary Mama, among many other journals.

P. S. A little bird tells me it’s Windy’s birthday today, so feel free to celebrate in the comments! – Julie

Read A Book, Support An Indie

Reads & Company Logo

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.

Writing & selling short stories and personal essays by windy lynn harris book cover

Buy Now

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

Day 19 – Michele E. Reisinger Sends You Thrifting

Michele E. Reisinger Writing prompt

The Prompt

Venture into an unfamiliar thrift shop or antiques market and find an object you’ve never seen before. Even better–one whose function you can only guess! Then, tell a story in which that object plays a key role. Perhaps you can explain how it arrived there; perhaps it’s a lost heirloom or the key to unimaginable power. Or perhaps the object itself isn’t as important as how it brings two strangers together–or sunders a seemingly impenetrable bond.

The Author

Michele E. Reisinger’s short fiction has been featured online and in print, most recently in editions of Stories That Need to be Told, Sunspot Literary Journal, and Dreamers Creative Writing.

She studied English and Political Science at the Pennsylvania State University and received an MA in English Literature from the University of Delaware. She teaches senior and AP English at a New Jersey high school and lives near Philadelphia with her family. You can find her online at mereisinger.com.

Read A Book, Support An Indie

Reads & Company Logo

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 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.

Read A Book, Support An Indie

Reads & Company Logo

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 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.

Read A Book, Support An Indie

Reads & Company Logo

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.

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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.

Read A Book, Support An Indie

Reads & Company Logo

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!