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A Writing Prompt For Your Weekend

In a writing slump? Need a little nudge, a kiss of inspiration? Enjoy this prompt from our Advanced Fiction instructor from Chris Belden:


Ashtray by Marcus Jackson

Filling with my mother’s smolderings,

this tawny, six-sided, three-pound glass dish

has sat forty years at the table’s center. During lapses in labor or happiness my mother smoked Merit after Merit, her mind a crowded parlor of plans, self-hate, and urgent glimpses of encounters long past. She split the skin atop my father’s skull once with this ashtray as he grabbed her. Weekly, after she emptied and washed it, Friday’s light entered the drafty sash and upheld this ashtray

as the crown of one woman’s quiet country.

Think of an object from your life. It doesn’t ha

Think of an object from your life. It doesn’t have to be a super important object—it can be small and seemingly inconsequential, but sometimes when we start writing about things that we still remember, they start to become more important to us. Describe the object, then tell us what you remember about it. See where this takes you.

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