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.

A Book of Chance

Writing Prompt: Go over to your bookshelf, close your eyes, and pick up the first book you touch. Open the book to a random page, read the first full sentence on that page, and use it as the inspiration for a story or scene. Please include the original line at the...

Belated Blume Day

Writing prompt: Take one of these Judy Blume book titles, fill in the blanks, and use it as the premise for a short story or scene. It does not need to relate to the original story in any way.

Going Viral

You have (or a character has) created a computer virus that is capable of spreading to every computer, tablet or smartphone in the world. It takes over the device's screen and displays something else instead—a message, an image, an animation, etc. What does it display, and why?

Handwriting Anatomy

Consider your handwriting, or a character's handwriting. What significance does it have, and what does it say about the type of person you/they are?

Unexpected Inking

You are showering one morning when you notice a tattoo on your body that you're quite sure you don't remember getting. What is it, how did you get it, and what does it mean?

The Vow of the Peacock

You're sipping champagne at the stroke of midnight on January 1, 2018, enjoying your celebration and not giving much thought to tomorrow. Suddenly, you notice that there is a large peacock standing beside you. You're not quite sure where it came from, or if the bird is even real. The peacock...

Whatever of the Year

For this week's prompt, write a story or a scene that involves someone or a group of people—or even something, given that personal computers were once awarded the title—doing something so historically or culturally significant that they could be named Person of the Year. Your honoree(s) could be entirely fictional, or...