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 Stefanie Cole’s essay, "The Daughter I Need."

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Photo by Literary Mama photo editor, Heather Vrattos

Photo by Literary Mama photo editor,        Heather Vrattos

In her essay, Stefanie writes about struggling with her daughter’s reading difficulties. "As a librarian with a reading specialist degree, I knew that difficulties with the written word would greatly impact Lily's academic life for years to come," she writes.

For years, Stefanie watched Lily struggle to do homework and read, despite her own love of books. Then, one day, desperate for a way to complete a too-many-pages assignment, Lily tried an audiobook. And it worked—she was reading. Stefanie writes:

As a teacher and a librarian, Lily has helped me grow. She's making me less judgmental. . . . Because of her, I’ve moved past my black and white view of reading, arriving at the understanding that for many of my students, the activity I love so much can be more of a gray area. She's exactly the daughter I need.

Have you had a similar experience as a parent? How has your son or daughter shown you a third path beyond your black-and-white view of an activity or situation?

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Read Cole’s essay and submit a 500-word response to this writing prompt by April 7, 2017, for feedback from our editors. Email it to LMreflections (at) literarymama (dot) com and note "March 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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