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 Mimi Thebo’s essay "Whale Watching in Iceland."


Photo by Literary Mama photo editor, Heather Vrattos

Photo by Literary Mama photo editor, Heather Vrattos

In her essay, Mimi Thebo writes of taking her infant daughter on a research trip to Iceland. Mothering came as a surprise to her, both as a desire and as a life situation. Her writing career developed plot twists, too, veering from contemporary literature to cozy stories to children’s literature.

"But I wasn't interested in big questions about power or sex or money anymore. I was interested in love and sacrifice and live-saving friendships. I was interested in what we might call 'God' after the scientific advancements of the last century. I wanted to experience loss and yet triumph, with Lyra Silvertongue and Harry Potter and Skellig's Michael. I didn't need to read grit anymore. I needed to read hope—intelligent hope. And I found it in the incredible explosion of talent that was taking place in children's fiction," she writes.

As a parent and a writer, what plot twists have come about in your life? Do you wish your story were expected and predictable or do you find value in looking back at the surprises?


Read Thebo’s essay and submit a 500-word response to this writing prompt by February 10, 2017, for feedback from our editors. Email it to LMreflections (at) literarymama (dot) com and note “January 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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