Our Editors Recommend

Where (not) to look for meaningful material

Don’t go slumming, suggests one writer to her fellow essayists … Read More “Where (not) to look for meaningful material”

Story rules, plot drools

The three crucial storytelling elements every novel needs to succeed … Read More “Why story trumps plot”

Do you really have to write every day?

What does an ideal writing life look like? We asked successful authors to share their essential goals, habits, and routines … Read More “Do you really have to write every day?”

Ross Gay: Finding joy in the process

The writer spins essays and poems by observing the world around him and questioning his relationship to it. He is delighted by what he sees … Read More “Ross Gay: Finding joy in the process”

Writing Prompts

These boots were made for talking

Write a short story or poem from the perspective of a pair of shoes. What kind of shoes are they? What kind of life have … Read More “Writing prompt: These boots were made for talking”

Chasing the muse: What does your ideal writing space look like? This photo shows part of a white woman's face and arm, surrounded by watercolor rainbows. Her lips are bright red, as are her painted fingernails and large ring.

You may not be able to force your muse to appear on command, but you can replicate the settings in which she most … Read More “Chasing the muse: What does your ideal writing space look like?”

School's out: An end-of-the-school-year writing prompt. In this photo, a lone chair is silhouetted in a darkened school hallway.

A school teacher is packing up the classroom for summer vacation when a student walks into the room. The student reveals something that will change … Read More “Out for the summer: An end-of-the-school-year writing prompt”

Summer 2019 Flash Contest

Summer seems like the right time to write short. Show us your very best work in any genre, fiction or nonfiction. The catch? We’ll only accept works that are 1,000 words or less.