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.

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 30 – An Old Favorite

Today it’s another post from the archives, one of my favourites. And this time you get a peek into the kind of content the Superstars group gets throughout the challenge– perhaps you’ll be able to join us next time!

The Prompt

Write A Story As A Series of Letters/Tweets/Memos

Julie’s Notes

Continue reading “Day 30 – An Old Favorite”

[Write On Wednesday] Holiday Story

Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at 5.12.57 PMIf you haven’t written a story for the the Nov/Dec holiday-of-your-choice, now’s the time.

The Prompt

Write a Christmas/Other Religiously-Affiliated Seasonal Story, a Thanksgiving Story, or a New Year Story To Include With Your Seasonal Greetings Cards.

Tips

  • Write a short piece that you could include with your holiday cards instead of the dreaded ‘family update’ letter.
  • Think about a few of your friends and what kind of story they’d appreciate (make it your most fun/twisted/dearest friends)
  • Keep the story to about 500 words, so it fits on one side of a printed page.
  • You don’t have to actually send the story, just imagine delighting these particular people, as you write.
  • Feel free to send it to them, with a note saying you were thinking of them.
  • You could do a parody of a traditional seasonal story, or a parody of the family update letter.
  • You could write a sweet, sentimental seasonal story, or a dark piece especially for the friend who you know hates the holidays (especially useful as cathartic therapy when you’ve been out trying to shop in the holiday crowds!)
  • You can post it as your holiday greeting on Facebook or your blog.
  • Get creative. Let loose.

Go!

P.S. I collected a few of my holiday stories into a little ebook collection. You could try this too!

[Write On Wednesday] – Write A Letter

dear joe
Photo by Meredith Harris CC Some Rights Reserved

Today’s prompt was suggested by the story I read yesterday, Incognito by Susan M. Lemere.

The Prompt

Write a story in letter form

Tips

  • Use two or more voices, or let us see only one side of the conversation.
  • The ‘letters’ can be email exchanges, text messages, Facebook updates, or imaginary hand-written correspondence from sweethearts separated by war, an ocean, feuding parents…whatever makes sense to you.
  • Try to introduce some mystery, some misunderstanding, or some desire on the part of one of the participants. Frustrate us, tease us, keep us guessing about how it’s going to turn out.

Go!

[Write On Wednesday] A Letter To A Friend

Sometimes, while writing, I get hung up on my style.

(Am I using too many adverbs? Am I describing the setting vividly enough? Even if it doesn’t mattter?)

This is an absolute killer for a first-draft of anything.  It’s fine to worry about these things in the editing process. The important  thing for a first draft, however, is getting into the flow.

To help my writing flow, recently I’ve found myself imaging I’m writing for my best friends from high school – to whom I wrote real, paper letters after we went our separate ways.

BFF

Photo by tifotter

In the letters I told stories about stuff that had happened to me, or stuff I was thinking about or what I could see out of my window. They were gleeful, ridiculous, and great fun to write. I wrote as fast as I physically could (apologising at the end for my handwriting) and got equally gleeful and ridiculous letters in return.

Now, whenever I’m having trouble with a story I imagine I’m telling it to Linda or Miranda, who are the perfect audience for me: always supportive, always ready to have a good time and listen to my ramblings.

The Prompt

Write a story as if you were telling it to your best friend.

Tips

  • It doesn’t have to be in the first person (though this might help), but imagine it is being written only for your best friend to read.
  • Write fast, as fast as you can.
  • Make sure your story travels from start to end: don’t just write a scene, make someone or something change between the first word and the last.

    The Rules:

  1. You must write the story in one 24 hr period – the faster the better.
  2. Post the story in the comments — if you’re brave enough.
  3. Find something nice to say about someone else’s story and leave a comment. Everybody needs a little support!

Optional Extras:

Bonus points if you stick it in an envelope and mail it (yes, actually mail it) to the person you wrote it for.

Share this challenge on Twitter or Facebook

Some tweets/updates you might use:

Don’t miss my BFF-inspired short story:  #WriteOnWed #storyaday

This week’s #WriteOnWed short story prompt is What Makes You Mad?: #storyaday

Come and write with us:  #WriteOnWed #storyaday

See my story – and write your own, today:  #WriteOnWed #storyaday

If you would like to be the Guest Prompter, click here.