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

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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

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.

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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

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.

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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.”

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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 8 – Premee Mohamed Steals Souls

Premee Mohamed writing prompt

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

writing prompt from Roxane Gay

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.

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

Day 6 – Julie Duffy wants you to Interview Your Character

The Prompt

writing prompt from Julie Duffy

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.

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

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

The Prompt

writing prompt from Marta Pelrine-Bacon

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

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 4 – Neha Mediratta Gives You An Ending

The Prompt

writing prompt from Neha Mediratta

Write a 1000 word flash fiction story that ends with the line: “That’s how a small cut in her finger led to the end of the world.”

The Author

Neha Mediratta is a freelance writer and editor based in Mumbai. Her interests include swimming, tai chi along with studying natural and human systems of organization. Check out her writing at https://www.amazon.com/Neha-Mediratta/e/B08CJSLD2H

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 3 – Matthew Salesses Looks Back

The Prompt

writing prompt from Matthew Salesses

This prompt comes from thinking about point of view and you could use it to write the whole story in two parts.

For the first part create a character who does something that you did during that week: e.g. go to the grocery store and you buy oranges. now. Now write about it in the third-person perspective and fictionalize it.

In the second part move your story 10 years into the future. Change perspective to make it a first person perspective. And it turns out that that non-momentous moment from your life (e.g. going to the super supermarket and buying oranges) ended up being extremely important to this character.

Don’t forget to include how the world has changed from 10 years ago to now and how the character’s world has changed, how they think of the world, and how they move through the world differently.

Would you like to wake up to a video pep talk and writing lesson from me every day during the challenge AND be invited to writing sprints with me and the Superstars during May?
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The Author

MATTHEW SALESSES is the author of the bestsellers The Hundred-Year Flood, an Adoptive Families Best Book of 2015, and Craft in the Real World, an Esquire Best Book of the 2021, which explores alternative models of craft and the writing workshop, especially for marginalized writers.

His latest novel is the PEN/Faulkner Finalist Disappear Doppelgänger Disappear, Matthew was adopted from Korea. In 2015 Buzzfeed named him one of 32 Essential Asian American Writers.

Matthew is an Assistant Professor of English at Coe College, where he teaches fiction writing and Asian American literature and studies.

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!