Aw, you sweetheart.
I know why you’re here. You play it off like you’re just trying to find good stuff to write about, but I get it. There are a million-and-one other things you could be doing instead, but you’re here because you care. You’re here because…
This week’s writing group prompt is:
Anything for a Smile
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!
Don’t be fooled, this week’s prompt is actually a question:
“What would you do for a smile?”
What would you trade to bring someone else joy? What would you give up to find happiness yourself? This is a question of values. How much do we value happiness, and how does it compare to the other things we value? Is there a worthy exchange we can make, one for the other?
An easy way to navigate the prompt this week is to just slot things in for both of the prompt’s keywords: “Anything” = [Something of deep personal value]; “Smile” = [Someone’s happiness]. So, off-hand, we could do “My Career” for “My lover’s happiness”. The final step would be to figure out how one gets in the way of the other. Why is the “anything” at odds with the “smile”? Maybe this is a story about someone who’s picked up a line of work that absorbs all their time and leaves them an exhausted husk of their former self, robbing their lover of the person they once were. Maybe this is a story about someone who has to decide between traveling far away to a place their lover can’t go in order to pursue a career path, and staying by their sides. There are a lot of places to take even this simple substitution. If you can’t think of anything, give it a try!
Of course, you can write more than just tragic sacrifices. It could also be a harebrained scheme to bring someone happiness; a total farce for something extremely simple.
Whatever direction you go, consider one thing…
What will your story do to make us smile?
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.