The second issue drops now!

Featuring winning works from the world’s most popular weekly short story contest and guest edited by Senica Maltese (Pushcart prize nominated short story author and editor), PROMPTED celebrates the power of inspiration, and the places our imagination can take us with the slightest nudge. In this genre-crossing second issue, you’ll find gryphon-slaying bards, aging stars, stressed-out moms, and many more original characters.

The weekly Reedsy Prompts contest has a simple thesis: Whether an opening action, a common phrase, or a specific setting, the smallest kernel of an idea can spark creativity. The stories in PROMPTED are living proof — each was spurred by a one-sentence prompt, written in a week, and crowned a winner. As Maltese puts it, the stories are “a testament to the artistic adaptability of the form, and to the fact that creative prompts are not merely writing exercises “for practice.” Complete, evocative stories can be sparked by anything, even an online prompt.” 

Pick up PROMPTED and discover what’s possible when writers face a deadline armed only with their talent, craft… and a writing prompt.

In this issue

Charlene Boyce’s FLOUR AND FIRE · Rachel Dzengelewski’s SUZANNE · Rachel Kenley Fry’s I LEAVE THE SIX BLANK · Patrick Samuel’s SOUTHERN COMFORT AND THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS · CJ Rodgers’ DINER AT THE END · Laurel Hanson’s OF HARPERS AND HEROES · Laura Jarosz’s NO FORWARDING ADDRESS · Tom Bombadil’s THE FIRST IDOL · Shane Ransom’s FAVORITES · Beth Jackson’s THE HALLOWED GROUND · Deidra Whitt Lovegren’s WHAT YOU CAN DO WITH YOUR BOOK · John Merino’s SLEEP STORY 

About the authors

Deidra Whitt Lovegren lives in Virginia with her husband, three children, and a smokey-black cat (named Van Halen). Over her career, she has taught scores of English classes to students from preschool to college. She enjoys placing commas in the perfect place and overindulging on Italian butter cookies.

Patrick Samuel is a French writer and translator who lives in Paris with the computer he bought thanks to his Reedsy win. The two of them spend most of their time bickering about plot, dialogue, style and which one of the two needs the other more.

​​Beth Jackson is a writer from New Zealand, where she lives with her partner, four children, multiple cats and two excessively large bunnies. When she’s not at her computer writing, she can be found fending off middle age at the local ice-skating rink, or in a cupboard, eating chocolate, while hiding from her children.

Laurel Hanson is an aspiring writer who has spent a lifetime trying to figure out what it is all about. The quest will continue until further notice.

Shane Ransom is based in New York City. He loves TV, movies, and wandering around Central Park with a bagel and coffee in hand. Every once and a while he dreams up a story worth writing down.

Rachel Dzengelewski lives on the South Coast of Massachusetts with her husband and two daughters. She earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College in 2009. Her writing has been featured in the New Bedford Light, the Pitkin Review, Portland Monthly Magazine and Rituals. 

CJ Rodgers is from seven different states in America and has a difficult time understanding face to face social interactions so rather than deal with them, they write about them. They can most often be found hunched over their laptop with a dog curled up next to them.

John Merino is a writer and filmmaker living in San Antonio, Texas. His influences include Martin Scorsese, J.G. Ballard, Warren Zevon, Karl Marx, and the Marx Brothers (no relation to Karl.) He obsessively quotes Norm Macdonald, and life is best for him when he has a full pack of smokes, working headphones, and a place to read outside while it's raining.

Laura Jarosz is from Chicago, Illinois, where she works for an academic journal and writes short stories for fun. She is mildly obsessed with tea, Star Wars, and the works of Terry Pratchett

Tom Bombadil is a Virginia native, who'd rather live in the Shire, and soon-to-be PhD student who struggled greatly to write this bio. When he's not enjoying second breakfast, he can be seen gardening, reading something from the 19th century, and deleting the YouTube app from his phone for the thirty-second time. He is "of an unsocial, taciturn disposition, unwilling to speak, unless [he] expects to say something that will amaze the whole room, and be handed down to posterity with all the eclat of a proverb."

Rachel Kenley Fry was born and raised in Alaska and, after moving all over the United States, has come back home for good. She is a former journalist and current stay-at-home mom to five wonderful and exhausting young children. Every now and then she retreats with her laptop to a quiet corner to try to keep her writing skills sharp.

Charlene Boyce has written since she learned to read and write at age three. In spite of this, it took her nearly five decades to begin taking it seriously. She has written two unpublished novels, and has recently had her story “Road is Another Word for Lonely” accepted for publication. Her day job is with a nonprofit systems change organization.

About the editor

Guest editor Senica Maltese specializes in literary fiction, creative and critical nonfiction, and children’s literature, but her true passion is the short story. Few narrative forms are as conducive to experimentation and artistic exploration, while demanding such linguistic precision, and she thrives on the unique challenges presented by each story she edits. In her spare time, Senica writes her own fiction and reads anything she can get her hands on. You can view Senica’s Reedsy profile here.

Interested in being featured?

All of PROMPTED's stories are selected from submissions to Reedsy's weekly Prompts contest. Enter for your chance to be printed in a future issue!

Previous editions

Browse our collection of published work.


PROMPTED is a quarterly short story magazine, edited by the Reedsy Prompts team. Selecting from thousands of contest submissions, PROMPTED gathers some of the most exciting writing of the quarter into one volume, edited and introduced by professional guest editors. Available to purchase in print on Amazon, or to download for free from Amazon, Apple Books, and Kobo.

Submission guidelines

Learn more about how to get featured in the next issue of Prompted by reading our submission guidelines.

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