Hello, Detectives and Diviners!
Leaves are amazing things, aren’t they? They can be so small, or absolutely huge. All different shapes and sizes, all kinds of textures. Some can give you a rash or even leave hair-like needles in your skin! But I think it’s time we took a closer look at how else these flora are so unique, because…
This week’s Writing Group prompt is:
The Leaves Tell a Story
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!
Leaves are a gorgeous adornment to nature, aren’t they? They can canopy an entire forest, they can waltz gracefully with the wind, or can blanket the ground in browns, reds, oranges, and golds, like a duvet of jewels.
But one thing that doesn’t always come to mind when thinking of nature’s beautiful dancing tapestry is a leaf’s ability to tell a tale. Yet, if we really think about it, leaves have been telling stories far longer than we have.
A prime example of this is about as simple as it gets; hunter and prey. While wolves can track with their noses, humans couldn’t do such a thing. We had to rely on our ability to follow the tracks our prey left as it bounded off in attempted escape. We’d look for broken branches, footprints in the mud, or for the leaves to be disgruntled enough to point out where our prey had fled after trampling over the small flora below. This practice didn’t end with just hunting, though. Over time, police and investigators, even the K-9 unit, all have to rely on nature to tell them where to go to find their answers. The leaves and trees witnessed everything, and all they can do as they shiver on the forest floor is to point the way to the scene of the crime. Or they join the search parties, waving frantically from their treetop homes in an attempt to tell everyone they found the missing child, yelling to the wind as they try to keep the little one warm.
Another way the leaves tell us stories is through divining them. They leap into fires, metamorphosing into a billowing smoke that allows the Seer to read them before they dissipate to become one with the air. They display their synchronised routine as they swim about the bottom of the teacup, ending their rehearsed number in a shape that communicates with the Reader what the future may hold. Or they wait patiently to dry until they are burnable, then dip their edges into the flame just enough to smoulder, telling unknown tales through their wispy dance to put a home at ease.
Past, present, or future, the leaves know so much more than we could possibly comprehend. Listen closely as you walk down the beaten path, and hear their whispers in the wind.
Dance with them, O Writer, and tell their tales in ways they cannot.
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.