Hello, everyone! I hope you’re keeping safe.
This week’s prompt was originally something else, but in light of everything that’s going on right now, we wanted to change things up a bit. So that prompt is going to be postponed, and this week’s stream is instead going to be a charity event.
All the same rules, but instead of Tale Foundry keeping the revenue from cheers, subscriptions, and ads, for this one stream, it will all go to the ACLU. We have an opportunity to use our fiction—just 350 words of it—to help change history. Together, we can write the best possible story for ourselves. One that isn’t a dystopian horrorscape.
So, raise your voices and your pens, because…
Our writing prompt for a better future is:
Write a Better Future
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!
If you ever wanted to change the world with your writing, this is your chance.
This week, we’re gathering together to share fiction that carries one shared ideology: no one should be afraid of their protectors. No innocent citizen should be scared that their law enforcement will harm them.
But in America, the truth is that we are.
If you’re not familiar with what’s going on, an unarmed man named George Floyd was suffocated to death over the course of eight minutes by American police. He hadn’t been convicted of any crime, and wasn’t posing any threat to the officers. He cried out that he couldn’t breath. He cried for his mother. He knew he was going to die. On-lookers filmed and screamed at the officers to let him go, but they wouldn’t. Even after the paramedics arrived, they had to convince one officer to stop kneeling on the man’s neck.
This is not the first time this has happened in our country. Not by a long shot. But we want it to be the last.
Our police have near-impunity to harass, antagonize, and harm citizens. And because the majority of us here are white, much of this injustice is turned onto people of color. Now, after the murder of George Floyd, the country is at a turning point. We cannot accept this anymore. Protests have broken out across every major city, and many of them are being met with violent—sometimes lethal—force. Even peaceful protests are being dispersed with tear gas and rubber bullets. The country’s president ordered a passive gathering outside a church, including the church’s proprietor and priests, to be violently removed so that he could hold a bible up in front of the building for a photo opportunity.
It’s a scary time to protest. Not all of us want to, not all of us can. I understand that. I’ll admit that I’m among you.
But there are many other ways to help.
We are artists. We have the power to turn eyes and change minds. We can use our creations to affect actual change in the world around us.
So, this writing group is going to do just that. Every cent earned through cheers, subscriptions, and ad revenue over the run-time will be donated to the ACLU to support the peaceful actors in this movement.
If we aren’t going to be on the streets, then let our pens become picket signs.
Write a piece of fiction that shares your true feelings about all of these events, but make sure it’s fiction. We still want you to use your creativity, we still want this to be an alternative to the reality we occupy. Do what we fiction-writers do best, and wrap all of this up in a strange and beautiful package. Give us a new lens to see all of this through, not just a re-dressing.
Good luck, and thank you.
I love all of you.
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.