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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 Maria Odessky Rosen's essay In Search of a New Writing Nook.


Photo by Literary Mama photo editor, Heather Vrattos

Rosen's essay is a humorous foray into the starts, stops, and dead-ends of trying to find the perfect place to write. She begins in an obvious place, her home study, but the purchase of a laptop lures her into writing in bed. That leads to a terrible bout of insomnia which in turn leads her to try a myriad of other places—the worn couch in her family room, the beach close to her parents' home, her town library—all of which prove deficient or distracting or dubious for some reason. Finally, Rosen, who was born in Moscow and moved to the United States as a child, comes to this realization:

It doesn't matter where I write. It doesn't matter if I'm a Muscovite living in a Russian hovel. It doesn't matter if I'm at the epicenter of suburban America. There is no such thing as the perfect nook. The perfect nook is wherever I am. Writing.

Rosen eventually settles for the beige, kidney-shaped loveseat in her bedroom by the window. It's comfortable, warm, and as a bonus, she can see the swaying maple trees outside. "This feels right," she says as her fingers start to dance across her keyboard.

While there may not be such a thing as the perfect writing nook, do you nonetheless have a favorite one? A closet cleared of clothes? Your car parked on a shady street? Tell us about your favorite place to write and why it's special. How did you discover it? What prompted you to find or create it?


Read Rosen's essay and submit a 500-word response to this writing prompt by April 11, 2018, 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.


Susan Bruns Rowe lives in Boise, Idaho, and has two children in college. She has an MFA in creative writing from Boise State University and teaches writing workshops for The Cabin and The Osher Institute. Her writing has appeared in BrevityCreative Nonfiction, The American Oxonian, and the book, Fighting the World’s Fight: Rhodes Scholars in Oxford and Beyond.

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