Hello dreamers and night owls!
Forget everything you knew about sleep , dream, the night, the waking. Let go of the downward spiral into delirium, the steady fall into the arms of rest. Tonight, all of that goes away. Instead of a descent, for this one evening, it will be a climb. Because…
This week’s prompt is:
Stairway to Midnight
RULES AND GUIDELINES BELOW!
Make sure you scroll down and read them if you haven’t! You may not be eligible if you don’t!
This is exciting for a variety of reasons, the least of which is that this prompt goes back. It was in some our earliest polls, but until now never had enough support to make the cut. And that’s sad, because it’s a supremely cool concept.
I alluded to this in that moody, sonorous intro above, but I see this prompt as a really fun subversion. Wakefulness is effort, exertion. The daytime is for work and struggle. Sleep, though? We get there by letting go. We fall into it. It’s gravity and sinking and languid descent.
So what does it mean to take that symbol and put it instead at the top of a staircase? Well, that’s the riddle you storytellers get to solve. We’re all eager to see what you come up with.
But there’s more here, because after all this is Stairway to Midnight, not Stairway to Sleep. That was only one possible interpretation. If, for instance, you take “midnight” to mean “hour of change” or “end of a day”, suddenly this takes on a whole new meaning. Now you aren’t climbing a paradoxical path toward the veil of slumber, but the necessary hill that precedes all change.
This prompt is teeming with metaphorical goodness, so go wild. This text is only here to provide a springboard for your big, beautiful, creative mind. If you don’t find what you need in my rambling, I’m sure you’ll find it elsewhere.
I’m sure some of you will even find ways to lose the metaphor altogether and spin something extremely concrete and literal from this abstract thing.
I can’t wait to see what the the twelfth hour becomes in all of your hands.
Remember, this is part of our weekly Writing Group stream! Submit a little piece following the rules and guidelines below, and there’s a chance your entry will be read live on stream! In addition, we’ll discuss it for a minute and give you some feedback.
The whole purpose of this is to show off the creativity of the community, while also helping each other to become better writers. Lean into that spirit, and get ready to help each other improve their confidence in their writing, as well as their skill with their craft!
Rules and Guidelines
We read six stories during each stream, three of which come from the public post, and three of which come from the much smaller private post. Submissions are randomly selected from among the top ten most-liked of each post, so be sure to share your submissions on social media and with your friends!
- English only.
- Prose only, no poetry or lyrics.
- One submission per participant.
- Use proper spelling, grammar, and syntax.
- Submit your entry in a comment on this post.
- Submissions close at 4:00pm CST each Friday.
- Include a submission title and an author name (doesn’t have to be your real name).
- Keep submissions “safe-for-work”; be sparing with sexuality, violence, and profanity.
- Your piece must be between 250-350 words (you can use this website to see your wordcount).
- Write something brand new (no re-submitting past entries or stories written for other purposes).
- Try to focus on making your submission a single meaningful moment rather than an entire story.
- Please format your submission as “Submission Title” by Author Name and be sure to separate paragraphs. (Example Submission)
- No fan fiction without explicit permission from the source’s owner, and no spoilers for the source material if you are writing a fan fic.
- Original art may be included in your submission, but is not guaranteed to be shown on stream. Only .jpeg format images shared via a direct link will be accepted. (Example Submission) (Information on “Direct Links”)
- No additional formatting (such as italics or bold text) will be applied to the text of submissions. Symbols or instruction indicating such formatting may render your submission ineligible.
- You must like and leave a review on two other submissions to be eligible, and your reviews must be at least 50 words long. If you’re submitting to the private post, feel free to leave these reviews on either the private or the public post. The two submissions you like need not be the same as the submissions you review.
- Understand that by submitting here, you are giving us permission to read your submission aloud live on stream and upload public, archived recordings of said stream to our social media platforms. You will always be credited, but only by the author name you supply as per these rules. No other links or attributions are guaranteed.
Comments on this post that aren’t submissions will be deleted, except for replies/reviews left on existing submissions.