Author Archives: Jess Zafarris

About Jess Zafarris

Jess Zafarris is the Content Strategist of Writer’s Digest and an energetic multimedia journalist with more than 7 years of experience in digital and print publishing, writing and editing. She spends much of her spare time researching curious etymologies and writing about them at UselessEtymology.com. Follow her at @jesszafarris or @uselessety on Twitter.

That’s Not What I Meant

Writing Prompt: Write a story that involves confusion over homonyms (words that have the same spelling but different meanings) or homophones (words that sound the same but are spelled differently). You can use any homonym or homophone you can think of, but here are a few examples to get you started.

Interview: Jessica Strawser Discusses the Journey from Editor to Author, and Her New Book ‘Not That I Could Tell’

In her nearly 10-year tenure as the former editor-in-chief and editorial director (and now editor-at-large) of Writer’s Digest, Jessica Strawser has interviewed hundreds of globally recognized authors, learning what she needed to write her 2017 debut novel, Almost Missed You. Now we turn the mic around to talk to Jessica about her...

Spoken Stories

For World Storytelling Day, share the best story you've ever heard or told by word of mouth, or have a fictional character recount their favorite story.

Lucky Day

You're making your way down a cobbled street when a stocky, red-bearded man beckons you into an alley. He reaches into his coat, produces a locket on a long gold chain, and hands it to you. Upon opening the locket, you find a four-leaf clover pressed beneath a small glass pane....

Simile But Different

Pick an item from each column in the chart to create a simile. Use the following starting phrase for your story, making sure to include the simile(s) you’ve created somewhere in the piece. "I (or she/he) took a sip of …"

Thou Mayest

Write a scene or story about a character who has committed a misdeed—a crime or a more minor indiscretion—and must decide whether to face the consequences and make amends for the act, or to conceal or avoid it.