Weekend Writing Challenge: Take your fiction to the skies (and win some books)

Publish date:

After spending some time in New York with the awesome John Moir—the writer who won our 78th Annual Writing Competition—and dropping by The New Yorker, Harper’s, The New York Times and Audubon, I’ve landed back at WD headquarters. (More details on that to come, plus some of John’s insights on meeting with editors.)

Image placeholder title

But, before arriving home, I had to hit the skies. Hard. Most people who know me (or have had the entertaining experience of flying with me) are well aware that even though I’m constantly doing it, I hate flying and maintain a hearty nervousness, not to mention a vice grip on whatever magazine or books is unlucky enough to be in my possession, for the duration of the flight.

This time around, my irrational aviation fear was on high alert as I waited to board the plane and watched a spectacularly apocalyptic lightning theater roll toward the city. Trapped on the runway in a stuffy plane for a few hours while Mordor came and went, I eventually escaped into a series of plane-infused prompts, one of which follows below.

When I arrived back at the office, I couldn’t help but notice the towering stacks of books at my desk. They feature everything from writing texts to fantasy novels to literary fiction, and before they fell me, I think it’s high time for a Promptly swag giveaway. Post a response to the prompt below any time between now and next Friday, and I’ll pick four random writers next week to each win five books and a copy of the latest issue of WD magazine.

Happy (jet-free) weekend! (And a special thanks to Jessica Strawser for holding down the Promptly fort.)

* * *

Feel free to take the following prompt home or post a response (500
words or fewer, funny, sad or stirring) in the Comments section below.
(If you’re having trouble with the captcha code sticking, please feel
free to 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 that takes place somewhere extremely high—space, an airplane, a tower—but that features two characters doing the lowest things for what they believe is a worthy cause.


Why not award your writing with some fresh fuel? Save big with these great new bundles of books to help you one your craft:


For the Travel and Nature Writer: Keeping Your Mind Sharp and Words Insightful

Dr. Caitlin O'Connell shares some insight for travel and nature writers, including how travel helps keep your mind sharp and words insightful, whether you're writing fiction, nonfiction, sports, politics, or something else entirely.


Olga Grushin: The No Man's Land Between Genres

Award-winning author Olga Grushin discusses what it meant to wade into a new genre and how she put her spin on the fairy tale retelling.

Poetic Forms

Rannaigecht Mor Gairit: Poetic Forms

Poetic Form Fridays are made to share various poetic forms. This week, we look at the rannaigecht mor gairit, a variant form of the rannaigecht.


The Writer, The Inner Critic, & The Slacker

Author and writing professor Alexander Weinstein explains the three parts of a writer's psyche, how they can work against the writer, and how to utilize them for success.


Todd Stottlemyre: On Mixing and Bending Genres

Author Todd Stottlemyre explains how he combined fiction and nonfiction in his latest book and what it meant as a writer to share his personal experiences.


Plot Twist Story Prompts: Take a Trip

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, have a character take a trip somewhere.


Making the Switch from Romance to Women’s Fiction

In this article, author Jennifer Probst explains the differences between romance and women's fiction, the importance of both, and how you can make the genre switch.


Stephanie Wrobel: On Writing an Unusual Hero

Author Stephanie Wrobel explains how she came to write about mental illness and how it affects familial relationships, as well as getting inside the head of an unusual character.


Who Are the Inaugural Poets for United States Presidents?

Here is a list of the inaugural poets for United States Presidential Inauguration Days from Robert Frost to Amanda Gorman. This post also touches on who an inaugural poet is and which presidents have had them at their inaugurations.