Countdown to the Deadline

April 1st: Day 1

Writers, April is going to be great! We are shedding winter, welcoming spring, and blooming as writers!

In the month of April we will be counting down the 13th Floor Literary Magazine’s deadline! Each day, check in with us on Facebook and on our website ( to walk through 14 days of the writing and submission process. For day one, we need some inspiration!

This exercise is fun! It can sometimes seem burdensome to pick out the perfect story to tell. Sometimes there are so many, and sometimes there doesn’t seem to be a single idea. Go through your family photos and look at each one of them. Perhaps you live in a house where many family portraits are hung on the walls. Or perhaps you have to dig out a photo box. Either way, examine each person in the photos. Examine the ones of yourself as well. Look back and laugh at your eighth grade school photo – were you wearing one of those obnoxious plastic choker necklaces? Was your hair spiked blonde like JT’s?

How did the people who grew up to be your family and friends influence you throughout your life? If you are writing fiction, take inspiration from your uncle, who you have photos of drunk at your parents’ wedding, and extract a character from him. How did that character end up years later?

Then, when you’ve examined the photos, take a step outside the room, or away from the photo box, and free write for 10 minutes. It doesn’t matter what you write about, just let the inspiration from looking at the photos influence your pen. Once you are done, take a break from this and go work on another piece for the rest of the day. Sometimes as writers we have to take things in strides. Rome wasn’t built in a day, after all.

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