Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Writing Prompt: Literary Reflections

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For each issue of Literary Mama, Literary Reflections shares a writing prompt, inviting our readers to respond. Our editors provide feedback on the responses we receive and we post our favorites on the blog. This month’s writing prompt is inspired by Kathye Fetsko Petrie’s essay, “On Depression and the Drive to Write.”

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Photo by Amanda Morris

Photo by Amanda Morris

Kathye Fetsko Petrie tells of her drive, her need to write. When she found herself suffering from depression, she fought her way out by doing what she needed as much as oxygen: telling her story. She writes: “I see writing as a generous rather than a selfish act, a way for mother writers to stay healthy and happy so they can take good care of their families….I want to give moms the mental freedom to make time for writing, to see it not as ‘taking’ from family, but rather as giving to them.”

How has writing allowed you to give to your family or those around you? How has telling a story, yours or otherwise, been a gift? Write about a time when the writing itself is a story: what happened, why that tale, and how it affected those closest to you.

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Read Fetsko Petrie’s essay and submit a 500-word response to this writing prompt by May 3, 2016, for feedback from our editors. Email it to LMreflections (at) literarymama (dot) com and note “April Prompt” in your subject line. Please do not attach the essay, but paste the response in the body of the email.


Whitney Archer is a writer, librarian, and a mother living in northern Virginia. Her work has been published in The Washington Post, AOL, and Salvo Magazine.


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Thanks for the writing prompt. I went in a somewhat zany (or at least, candid) direction. What happens to a freelance writer when the spouse retires? (Uh-oh!) Vestiges of Voyages - A Rhyming Gale on Setting Sail
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