Hello, Vendors and Patrons!
Are you tired of your boring, old, plain, greyish-black shadow? Has it startled you one too many times from simply being there after you’ve watched too many scary movies late at night? Fear not, lovely people, for now there is a place just for you, because…
This week’s Writing Group prompt is:
The Shadow Market
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!
None of us are strangers to shopping. Whether it be malls, street vendors, small shopping centers, or in this case, markets. Almost everything we own has been obtained through some merchant or vendor, with a wide range of prices.
But this prompt isn’t about just any old market, is it? This gives an entirely different feel. Far less casual and fun, that’s for sure.
A prompt like this can be used to explore a darker side of such a thing. Perhaps you choose to wander to the more unsavory side of town where dealings are far more discreet… and far more dangerous. What have you come searching for? Is it your first time needing to come to such a place, or are you a regular? Perhaps you’re not a customer at all, but an “employee” of sorts, helping your boss obtain and carry out different deals and contracts. Maybe you’re not even leaving your own home. The internet has all sorts of dark and mysterious corners to shop around in, after all. Whether you’re after something you know you shouldn’t have, or you’ve been pushed to extreme measures to get your hands on something, the internet has everything you need, right at your fingertips and in the comfort of your own home.
Or maybe you choose a literal route with this one. You could be the lucky— or unlucky— patron that runs across a street market only ever talked about in paranoid whispers and fear-tainted voices. A market that appears only to those who need it, seeming to seep out of the shadows of dark alleyways and dingy passages. Or maybe it’s simply a place where one can buy and sell shadows. Want a shadow that can talk back? Maybe you want one that’s quiet, but can still emote along with your mood? What about a shadow that can actually change colours? Don’t mind the high prices, of course, there’s no real price for happiness, is there? Venture down to any shop and pick yourself out a new and improved shadow! Or just sell the one you have so you no longer have a shadow at all. Perfect for stealth!
So many choices! But act fast, for this deal doesn’t last forever!
Now go on, pick an idea, any idea, and show us what tales you can weave from the shadows of your imagination!
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! Get ready not just to share what you’ve got, but to give back to the other writers here as well.
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).
- Use two paragraph breaks between each paragraph so that they have a proper space between them (press “enter” or “return” twice).
- 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.
- Be constructive and uplifting. These submissions are not for a professional market, and shouldn’t be treated as such. We do this, first and foremost, for the joy of the craft. Help other writers to feel like their work is valuable, and be considerate and gentle with critique when you offer it. Authors who leave particularly abrasive or disheartening remarks on this post will be disqualified from selection for readings.
- 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.