The Original School of Creative Writing and Thinking, est. 1987

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The Writers Studio Tucson Write-to-Read Competition

January 3, 2020 @ 12:00 am - 5:00 pm EST

The Writers Studio Tucson announces its 2019 Write-to-Read contest, featuring guest judge Wren Awry. Past and current students are invited to submit a short story, creative nonfiction piece, or 3-5 poems in response to a special prompt provided by Wren. Entries will be read blind and judged based on both how well the writer achieves the goals of the prompt and the overall quality of the writing and narrative voice.

Winners will read their entries during a special event hosted by The Writers Studio Tucson at Antigone Books on Sunday, March 29, 2020.

Submissions are due Friday, January 3rd, midnight MST.

Here’s a link to the official competition rules:

2019 Write-to-Read Writing Prompt: Smell is one of the most powerful activators of remembrance. “The smoke travels deep / to the seat of memory. / We walk away from the fire; / no matter how far we walk, / we carry this scent with us,” writes Ofelia Zepeda in her poem “Smoke in Our Hair,” in which mesquite, piñon, juniper, and cedar smoke become durable ties to the speaker’s desert home. In Scent Memories, a series on New York Magazine’s The Cut, actor Michael B. Jordan recalls, “Antibacterial hand soap from elementary school. You know, the orange-yellow color kind? I actually love that smell. Takes me back to good ol’ third grade.” And in the documentary Cave of Forgotten Dreams, about Upper Paleolithic paintings in France’s Chauvet Cave, a perfumer uses his nose to sniff out secretions in the ground where another cavern, potentially containing paintings, might be found. This perfumer is utilizing scent to access the stories of ancient humans in a search for historical recollection.

This is your challenge: Write a short story, poem, essay or hybrid piece where scent conjures memory. You might link these scent memories to a wider context, bringing in history, science, art or another discipline. You might use smell as a jumping off point to deeply explore a character, excavating the memories it instigates and what they reveal. You might have the scent show up right away or let it arrive unexpectedly later on, or it might linger poignantly in the background throughout the piece. The specifics are completely up to you, but do try to use detailed language and imagery to bring the smell, and what it recalls, to life on the page.

Happy writing!


January 3, 2020
12:00 am - 5:00 pm EST
Event Category: