Hello, dear Wordsmiths!
Have you found any interesting internet things for writers, lately?
I just learned of the existence of an online lit mag called Off Assignment. It seeks submissions on just a few topics – most notably ‘Letter to a Stranger’ in response to the question, ‘Who haunts you?’ Some intriguing titles of pieces chosen are: To Paul, Who Sometimes Wore Red Cashmere Socks; To the Lost and Found Daughter; To My Parisian Gynecologist; To the Specter Who Haunts Our House. They beg to be read, don't they? I'll be revisiting until I've enjoyed them all.
During the first isolation of the pandemic, they also had a similar category – no longer operating – called ‘Postcard to a Stranger’. These pieces are described as ‘poignant messages to people we notice from a distance during this crisis’. Each message needed to be short enough to fit on one postcard. Titles of these, depicted as addresses on the postcards, include: To the Man No Longer in the Window; To the Man Doing Home Repairs; To the Stranger in the Park; To the Elderly Gentleman Dressed in a Royal Blue Velvet Suit.
If you're interested in submitting to Off Assignment, the link above will take you there. (They pay money and all!)
Meanwhile, I thought writing to a stranger would be a lovely idea to play with here, in either letter or postcard version. (We'll try the 'haunting' theme another time.)
So, for this week’s optional prompt, I invite you to write to a stranger. Not just any stranger, but someone specific you have in mind, whether observed or imagined. It doesn’t have to be someone you observed during the pandemic; but it could be if you like. Make the title of your piece 'Letter to' or 'Postcard to' the name or description of the person. E.g. mine will be, 'Letter to the Man Who Sits on the Steps Across from the Park'.
Our upper limit of 369 words is too long for a postcard – but we stipulate 369 words or fewer, so you could use the postcard idea. (Try writing your draft on an actual postcard if you're not sure of the length – or paper that size.)
On the other hand, 369 words would be far too short for a submission to the 'Letters' at Off Assignment (they really want essays) but plenty long enough for a letter you could share here.
Sorry we don't pay, lol, but we do read and comment.
And of course, if you would rather share something else entirely, please do!
Guidelines in either case: Old or new, poetry or prose, 369 words max, just one post per person.
(Don't forget, you can always subvert a prompt too – by doing the opposite of what it says, or by writing about why you refuse to write to it, or by deliberately misunderstanding it, or by going off at a tangent....)
Link to your post in Mister Linky below, visit each other’s posts, link back to us at your blog, and by all means have a chat to us in the Comments here too, if you wish.
Next week, Magaly will invite us
to create poetry or prose that includes a “bleeding heart” (figuratively or literally).
(Postcard image is from Unsplash by Ireland Rose.)