[Prompt] May 24 – Epistolary

Not quite a POV today, but still playing with character and point of view, today’s prompt is a secret love of mine:

Write an Epistolary Story

I’ve always loved stories played out through letters  – though now you can tell these stories in emails, phone texts, even Facebook updates and Tweets if you want to update the form. (Here’s an example from the very first StoryADay May, written by Amanda Makepeace).

You can write this as a series of exchanges between two or more people, or as letters, diary entries, or text messages from a single person (as in Amanda’s story).

  • What if you discovered a cache of letters in the attic of a house you just bought. What would be in the one-sided conversation?What would be missing?
  • What if you were a 13 year old who has finally got  on to Facebook?
  • What if you were an increasingly-enraged citizen writing letters to the editor of your small-town newspaper?
  • What if you were caught in a flame war in an online forum and all we, the reader, get to see is what goes on the screen?


3 thoughts on “[Prompt] May 24 – Epistolary”

  1. Your story was amazing, Amanda. Mine is rather mundane. But I did get it done.


    Jennifer was cleaning out her grandmother’s attic. She came across a small wooden box. When she opened it, she found letters postmarked in the early 1900’s. She took them down to the kitchen to read.
    March 4, 1909: Dear Mother,
    I do miss you. I am pregnant. I wish there weren’t an ocean between us. I knew when I leftEngland, that I wouldn’t see you for a long time, but I never guessed how much I would miss you. The midwife tells me the baby is due in early October. Please pray for us. I know I’ll feel your prayers on wings across the ocean.

    April 14, 1909
    Dearest Susie,
    I am thrilled that you are expecting. I wish I could be there, too. Dad sends his love and his joy, also. Are you sick in the mornings? If so, try some dry toast before you get out of bed, and of course tea. There’s nothing like tea to settle your stomach. Stay active. Sitting around feeling bad is the worst thing you can do. Plant a garden like you did last year and work in it every day. There’s something special about working in the dirt. Just raises your spirits. Walk every day, as much as you can. That will strengthen you for the labor.

    I love you, Susie. Take care of yourself and that man of yours. Give him my love, also.
    My love and prayers are with you always.


    June 10, 1909
    Dearest Mother,
    I have planted the garden and is it growing! Just like me. I’m getting so big. I feel like an ox. But Samuel says he thinks I look prettier than ever. Bless him!
    I walk to the village nearly every day. I have lots of friends there, and I enjoy seeing them, even if there is not time to stop and visit. There is a general store there which carries all kinds of goods. I bought some soft cotton cloth and Mrs. Kimbrel helped me cut out baby gowns and nappies. I’m having fun sewing them. Thank you, Mother, for teaching me to sew.
    The midwife, Mrs. Strong, comes by about once a month. She says I am doing well. She agrees with you for me to walk lots and work in the garden. I’m hoping to put up lots of vegetables for the winter before the baby comes.
    Some of the vegetables are different from what we had in England. Of course we have potatoes. There is a different kind of root vegetable, called yams. I’m growing some of them, also. They are like potatoes, but they are orange in color and taste more sweet, almost like our winter squash. Sally Sue has given me some recipes. Sally Sue is our nearest neighbor. She has two young boys, and we have become good friends. I’m sure she’ll be a lot of help to me when the baby comes. She suggested that I ask Mrs. Kimbrel, a dear older lady, to stay with me for a couple of days after the baby comes. I may do that, but I wish you could be here. I know you’ll want to meet your first grandchild. Samuel said that we might make the voyage to you next Summer. I can’t wait.
    That’s all for now.

    June 15, 1909
    Dear Samuel,
    Don’t tell Susie, but her father and I have purchased passage to Boston on the Skipper III. We should arrive in the middle of September. Please send directions to your farm. We’ll hire someone to bring us to you. I just can’t let Susie have my first grandchild, without me.
    Mother Bright

    July 20, 1909
    Dear Mother Bright,
    Your letter arrived today. I am posting one back immediately. I have enclosed a map and have made arrangements for a friend of mine, Thadeous Jones, to meet your boat. He lives in Boston and he’ll will watch the notices at the harbor. He will have train tickets for you to come south to Georgia and my brother, Jeremiah, will meet your train and bring you here. What a great surprise that will be for Susan. Thank you so much for making the journey.
    Your loving son-in-law,

    Jennifer knew well the story of the surprise visit of her grandmother’s parents when she was nearly ready to deliver Johnny, her own father. She was delighted to find the letters and set them aside to share with her mother.

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