Hello, givers and receivers alike.
What? Oh relax, it’s not like it’s going to explode… at least it shouldn’t. No, it doesn’t tick either. Why don’t you trust me? It’s just a gift. Pretty paper, little bow, what’s suspicious about that? I think you should open it up and see what’s inside, because…
This week’s Writing Group prompt is:
I Left You Something
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!
With the holidays upon us, this prompt brings one main thing to mind: gifts! But knowing the talent here like we do, we know the word “gift” can be twisted any which way.
Some of you could write about the sad side of this, like a father needing work on his child’s birthday, and leaving their gift on the table with a note. Perhaps it could be a long lost relative who has left a note and clues about their disappearance so many years ago. It could be about a parent who has passed on, and left something for their child or children to help them remember the happy days past. It could even be the loss of a pet who has left behind their toys, their collar, and their empty bed. Maybe that something that is left is simply loneliness and sorrow. Or maybe… that something is a warning.
You could write about a man finding a baby on his doorstep with a note from the mother, surprising him by telling him the baby is his. It could be some powerful artifact left to a simple assistant who is then tasked with completing their master’s work. Maybe what’s left for someone is a simple gift that brightens their day in a way they really needed, like a note in a locker or flowers at the front door.
One thing to remember is that not all gifts are wanted. Sometimes it’s a power given to someone who just wanted to live a normal life. Other times it’s a curse bestowed upon a person simply by poor circumstance. And sometimes, the something left is simply the dead mouse that your cat has decided to leave on your bed first thing in the morning because it thinks you can’t hunt on your own. Maybe the “something” isn’t even a thing at all, but a feeling. Maybe even just an interaction that left a bad taste in your mouth.
This prompt can be woven in so many intriguing ways, whether sad, mysterious, wholesome, or some weird amalgamation of the three, and maybe even more.
Now then, we’ll leave you to your devices and imagination. We look forward to what you do with them.
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 four stories during each stream, two of which come from the public post, and two 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.