Hello, Hexen, Familiars and Satanic Dancers!
Why, you look lost, my dear! Come into my cottage! I’m just setting up a cauldron of, erm, soup! Don’t mind the cat, she does that sometimes, because…
This week’s Writing Group prompt is:
Season of the Witch
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!
It most certainly is! As October begins, so do the festivities within our writing. Now is the time to bring out your most witchy of characters and stories. Bring out the cauldrons, the brooms, the ramshackle huts with the spires and strangely smoking. Give us full moons, black cats, magic mirrors, and stolen children’s souls…
What is the season of the witch, and why is it named as such? Do witches grow stronger as the days grow shorter, the air colder?
Perhaps Autumn isn’t the season of the witch; perhaps a kind flower witch grows stronger in the spring. You don’t have to write about a literal season either. Solstices and equinoxes could be times of power for your witches. The time between three and four am is said to be the “Witching Hour” when supernatural creatures are at their most powerful. Walpurgis Night could also be a very fitting direction to take this prompt. The night is named after the Christian Saint Walpurga who is said to have fought against witchcraft. But the night is also said to be a time when witches gather on the Brocken to hold a sabbath. Whether you are for or against witches, it’s certainly a time for them.
The story of Hansel and Gretel was inspired by a real and terrible famine. Perhaps the season of the witch is not necessarily one in which magic is stronger, but instead one in which the fear and desperation of the world at large leaves children vulnerable to witches, or the terrible things their mothers might do to them themselves…
A witch doesn’t have to be a pointy-hatted, warty-nosed old lady. You could write about a good witch. Perhaps your story takes place in a fantasy world where male magic users are also referred to as witches too.
You could take this prompt in a more comedic and/or cute direction too. Perhaps the season of the witch is like hunting season for deer…except for witches. Maybe it’s the season of a tv show in which a witch features prominently. You could write about a teenager going through her “witch phase.” Or perhaps it is the season when the baby familiars are born, and it is time for a young witch to pick out a baby raven, or frog, or cat.
When things go wrong, people start to look for someone to blame. There have been many times in history when witches have been the wolf that angry mobs have cried. When someone—particularly a woman—has unorthodox views, or is outspoken, or simply seems a little off, their town often comes with torches. Perhaps this is not a season of power for witches, but instead one of fear and unrest in which they are persecuted.
In our modern day, even if someone is not directly accused of being an actual witch, they still could serve as scapegoat, and be accused of doing something they didn’t do. After all, witch hunts can be held when there is no actual witch…
Yes, very good choice. One of my favorite dishes on the menu. And, how would you like your witch seasoned?
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 five stories during each stream, two 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).
- 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.