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Your Wednesday Prompt: Here's To the Lion

Hey writers,

On Monday I read through last week’s pool of stories: How you all turn around such content so fast with innovative spins continues to baffle me. Moreover, it’s awesome to see Constant Writers (the Promptly pickpocketing of Stephen King’s Constant Readers terminology) developing—a sense of your voices is percolating to the surface. I’m proud to have you writing here, and I type that without flattery. To you, and our new writers this week, thanks for sticking around after the initial challenge. I’d like to call all of you out, but you know who you are.

As for the Notable Story pick of the week, the title goes to Loveskidlit’s story from “Photogenic Stranger.” Check out her well-written, haunting flash-fiction here. To me, she took an unexpected direction and nailed the prompt, down to the meditative final line.

For today’s story, let’s try the Literary Roadshow approach again (I’ll pull a normal, out-of-context line from a book, and use it as a prompt—is one writer’s line-in-passing another’s creative jackpot?).

Yours in writing,


From Ernest Hemingway’s short story "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber":

PROMPT:Here’s To the Lion
In 500 words or fewer, funny, sad or stirring, write a story inspired by or containing the following:

“Here’s to the lion,” he said. “I can’t ever thank you for what you did.”
Margaret, his wife, looked away from him and back to Wilson.
“Let’s not talk about the lion,” she said.
Wilson looked over at her without smiling and now she smiled at him.


Also, I run writing exercises in our InkWell section of the magazine, and yesterday stumbled upon Bonnie Neubauer's new WD "Take Ten for Writers" book, which is jampacked with endless prompts and exercises. If your prompt quota is still not filled, check it out or read an excerpt here—it inspires jealousy in even the finest prompt scribes.

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