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Much of who we later become is formed in adolescence, and the lessons we learn in the school yard often stick with us for the rest of our lives. What was your main character like in elementary school? How did they adjust to high school? How did they handle their newfound freedom in college? Write about a lesson your character learned the hard way in their childhood or young adulthood. And if your story is 2000 words or less, consider submitting it to our Lessons Learned short story contest, which ends August 31, 2016. For more details, go to


For more inspiration, visit our database of writing prompts.

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