The Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library opens in Indianapolis

Author:
Publish date:


The last time I was ready to set out for Indianapolis on a literary pilgrimage, I’d charted a course to my alma mater, Butler University, to see one of my favorite writers of all time speak—Kurt Vonnegut Jr. After a brief Indiana sighting and a failed attempt to catch him at the ACLU’s annual event a few years earlier, I had wrangled a ticket, and everything was set—except Mr. Vonnegut passed away a few short weeks before the speech in 2007.

Image placeholder title

And thus I found myself on another voyage Saturday, visions of Bokonon and Tralfamadorians dancing in my head, driving back to the author's Indianapolis hometown for the grand opening of the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library.

Located downtown at 340 N. Senate Ave., the intimate nonprofit features an array of Vonnegut's history and personal effects. On display: His typewriter. His purple heart. Numerous photos. His art. His legendary Pall Malls. His reading glasses. Everything is also supplemented by a smattering of moments from Vonnegut’s life, including a vast wall-spanning time line. (And of course, there’s a gift shop area offering everything from books to mousepads to bags to mugs to hats.)

Image placeholder title

Look for more on the library in the May/June issue of Writer’s Digest, and hopefully something special on Vonnegut’s writing (pending the results of a phone call I’m about to make). And better yet, if you want to drop by the library in person, it’s free and open 12-5 p.m. every day except Wednesday.

Here's to you, Mr. Vonnegut. A Vonnegut-infused Promptly prompt series follows.

***

WRITING PROMPT: Literary Roadshow, Kurt Vonnegut Jr. Edition
Literary Roadshow: Will one author’s stray sentences be another’s writing exercise gold? Feel
free to take the following prompts home or post a
response (500 words or fewer, funny, sad or stirring) in the Comments
section below. By posting, you’ll be automatically entered in our
occasional around-the-office swag drawings. If you’re having trouble
with the captcha code sticking, e-mail your piece and the prompt to me
at writersdigest@fwmedia.com, with “Promptly” in the subject line, and
I’ll make sure it gets up.

Write a story inspired
by or including any of the following (from Vonnegut’s Breakfast of Champions):

1. “On judgment day, when they ask me what bad things I did down here, I’m going to have to tell them, ‘Well, there was a promise I made to a man I loved, and I broke it all the time.’ ”

2. “I’m going to ask you to do something I have never asked you to do before. Promise me you’ll say yes.”
“I promise,” she said.

3. The fan letter came much too late. It wasn’t good news.

From Our Readers

Describe the First Time a Book Transported You to Another/Magical World: From Our Readers (Comment for a Chance at Publication)

This post announces our latest From Our Readers ask: Describe the First Time a Book Transported You to Another/Magical World. Comment for a chance at publication in a future issue of Writer's Digest.

About Us: How to Handle Your Story That Involves Other People

About Us: How to Handle Your Story That Involves Other People

Your story belongs to you but will involve other people. Where do your rights end and theirs begin?

Identifying Your Book's Target Audience

Identifying Your Book's Target Audience

Editor-in-chief Amy Jones navigates how to know your target audience, and how knowing will make your writing stronger.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 575

Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write a safe poem.

ryoji-iwata-QKHmi6ENAmk-unsplash

I Spy

Every writer needs a little inspiration once and a while. For today's prompt, someone is watching your narrator ... but there's a twist.

Brian Freeman: On "Rebooting" Another Writer's Legacy

Brian Freeman: On "Rebooting" Another Writer's Legacy

In this article, Brian Freeman, author of Robert Ludlum’s The Bourne Treachery, discusses how he took up the mantle of a great series and made it his own.

Sole vs. Soul (Grammar Rules)

Sole vs. Soul (Grammar Rules)

Learn how to distinguish the sole from the soul with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.

How to Make the Most of a Virtual Writing Workshop or Conference

How to Make the Most of a Virtual Writing Workshop or Conference

In this brave new world of virtual learning and social distance, Kristy Stevenson helps us make the most of the virtual conference.

When Is Historical Accuracy Inaccurate?

When Is Historical Accuracy Inaccurate?

Writers of historical fiction must always ride the line between factual and fictitious. Here, author Terry Roberts discusses how to navigate that line.