Hello, dear ones.
It’s time to peer into yourselves. Look over the tangle of red threads and strangling cords there, see whether you can tell them apart. And then, if you can, begin to think about how you might re-weave them, because…
This week’s prompt is:
Close to the Heart
MASSIVE RULES CHANGES BELOW!
We’ve made some really big changes to the rules! Make sure you scroll down to the bottom of this post to see them before submitting!
This one sounds really simple up front, but there may be an angle you’re not seeing here.
Yes, we hold things we love close to our heart. We also hold things less beloved there. Things we may never have chosen. A bullet can land as close to the heart as true love’s kiss; trauma can lie just as deep.
We’ll have plenty of stories this week of things held dear, and that’s good—I hope we see lots of that. But the heart is a tender organ, and love is tied to much of the misery we experience. This week, instead of just thinking about “close to the heart” as “beloved”, try to think a little more literally.
“Close” to the heart. This is about proximity.
So, think about what “heart” means to you, think about something which manages to get close to it… and then, show us what that closeness means.
This could be a very literal story about a parasite’s journey through the bloodstream through the heart. It could also be a very figurative story about a mother who can’t help but love her child, even though they never cease to let her down. You could even extrapolate this out into a story about a scientist who’s managed to come very close to the heart of a complex problem… but for some reason cannot or has not quite solved it.
No matter what direction you go, the heart is at the core. Whoever’s—or whatever’s—heart you choose, it ought to embody the soul of that thing in the story.
Find what lies at the center, and bring us near.
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 at least 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 by a bot, but likes on your post will improve your chances of selection, so be sure to share your submission on social media!
Text and Formatting
- English only.
- Prose only, no poetry or lyrics.
- Use proper spelling, grammar, and syntax.
- Your piece must be between 250-350 words (you can use this website to see your wordcount).
- Include a submission title and an author name (doesn’t have to be your real name). Do not include any additional symbols or flourishes in this part of your submission. Format them exactly as you see in this example, or your submission may not be eligible: Example Submission.
- No additional text styling (such as italics or bold text). Do not use asterisks, hyphens, or any other symbol to indicate whether text should be bold, italic, or styled in any other way. CAPS are okay, though.
What to Submit
- Keep submissions “safe-for-work”; be sparing with sexuality, violence, and profanity.
- Try to focus on making your submission a single meaningful moment rather than an entire story.
- Write something brand new (no re-submitting past entries or pieces written for other purposes
- No fan fiction whatsoever. Take inspiration from whatever you’d like, but be transformative and creative with it. By submitting, you also agree that your piece does not infringe on any existing copyrights or trademarks, and you have full license to use it.
- Submissions must be self-contained (everything essential to understanding the piece is contained within the context of the piece itself—no mandatory reading outside the piece required. e.g., if you want to write two different pieces in the same setting or larger narrative, you cannot rely on information from one piece to fill in for the other—they must both give that context independently).
- One submission per participant.
- Submit your entry in a comment on this post.
- Submissions close at 12:00pm CST each Friday.
- You must like and leave a review on two other submissions to be eligible. Your reviews must be at least 50 words long, and must be left directly on the submission you are reviewing, not on another comment. 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.
- Use the same e-mail for your posts, reviews, and likes, or you may be rendered ineligible (you may change your username or author name between posts without problem, however).
- You may submit to either or both the public/private groups if you have access, but if you decide to submit to both, only the private group submission will be eligible.
- 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.