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 Sarah Curtis Graziano’s essay, "Why We Still Need Ramona’s Realism" and Erika D. Walker’s "Farewell to the Boy Wizard."

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Photo by Amanda Morris

Photo by Amanda Morris

In her essay, Sarah Curtis Graziano talks about the world of Beverly Clearly’s Ramona: how its mundanity of bills, family arguments, and job loss reflect a realism lacking in other children’s literature. She writes of the struggle to find her happiness as a family who often seem more like the Quimbys: full of daily drudgery. "But therein lies the brilliance of the Ramona series: it reflects the fact that sometimes, the only resolution in life comes from within."

In Erika D. Walker’s essay, she talks about how her son, Stephen, grew up alongside Harry Potter. His growth, while mirroring Harry’s, inspired her to write that she has more she wants to tell him before he’s fully grown into manhood. "I hope he learns to trust himself and find his own strength."

In both essays, the writers discuss how children’s literature has influenced their parenting: either by illuminating how seemingly mundane moments drive the flow of a happy home or by inspiring a growing boy to view himself as powerful and strong. How has a book, particularly a children’s book, illustrated an aspect of motherhood? How does a simple story of another child shed light on the relationship with your own?

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Read Graziano’s and Walker's essays and submit a 500-word response to this writing prompt by June 28, 2016, for feedback from our editors. Email it to LMreflections (at) literarymama (dot) com and note “June 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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