The third issue is here!

PROMPTED is back with yet another volume of prize-winning short fiction from the world’s most popular weekly short story contest. Guest edited by international author and editor Martha Sprackland, PROMPTED #03 celebrates the power of inspiration, and the way beautiful storytelling can grow from the smallest of seeds. Join a cast of unexpected characters, from necromancers to secret agents, and be transported through genres in this latest edition.

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 guest editor Martha puts it, “from these simple beginnings spring whole worlds in which the reader might (deliciously!) lose themselves, as I have done in the course of editing these stories. I found myself stimulated and invigorated, impelled to begin new writing of my own; in this way the Reedsy prompts encourage the whole community, nourishing creativity through inspiring example and well-placed suggestion .”

Pick up PROMPTED #03 and discover what’s possible when writers face a deadline armed only with their talent, craft… and a writing prompt.

In this issue

Pari Ghodsi's LILIES • Paul Crehan's WHO ARE WE TO JUDGE THE MUSIC OF AN OCTOPUS? • Wendy Markel's LAST OF THE BRIGHT YOUNG THINGS • Old Adder's DO FLAMETHROWERS BELONG IN THE LIBRARY? • Ian E. Gonzales' THAT ALL-IMPORTANT FIRST SCENE • Parul Desai Shah's SHAMELESS • Lindsay Flock's THE WALK • Victoria Macleod's EMMA • Danny M. Grimes' FAE-TOUCHED • Bay Colt's CLEARANCE AISLE LIBATIONS • AnneMarie Miles' CERULEAN • Olivier Breuleux's THE DAY ALFRED GOOGLED HIMSELF • Peter Elliott's THE WINTERS OF MY DISCONTENT

About the authors

Ian E. Gonzales is a writer of fiction. He has earned multiple awards, most notably First Place in Genre Fiction in the Writer’s Digest 89th Annual Writing Competition, as well as Semi-Finalist from the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Contest, and First Place in the Write on the Sound Fiction Contest. He has been published in Daily Science Fiction, The First Line, and on Writer’s Digest’s website, among others. He currently resides in the Pacific Northwest, where he strives to live by the simple maxim of never taking anything so seriously that he can’t love it. To see more of his material, including links to his published works, visit his website at ianegonzales.com.

Lindsay Flock currently resides in northeastern Pennsylvania with her two teenagers. She has been creating stories since she was old enough to peck at a keyboard. Lindsay is a writer of truth, fiction, opinion, and everything in between. She also enjoys hiking, reading, tarot cards, and hanging out with her two black labs, Moose and Willow.

Bay Colt is a queer writer from Independence, Missouri, majoring in religious studies at Washburn University and angling towards a career in archiving. When they’re not studying for exams, they’re cuddling with cats, drafting eccentric stories, and praying for sunshine. Their poetry can be found in Whispering Prairie Press’s KC Voices Youth, Vol. 5, and Washburn’s spring 2024 edition of Inscape.

Paul Crehan is a decent man with decent intentions. He’s dull and would be your last choice as a plus-one, but at least he’ll have bathed and put on a decent tie, and he knows to smile pleasantly while others speak. He’d like to think of himself as a flâneur, but that’s too fine a word for the aimless, thoughtless wandering he does throughout the city of L.A., where he lives. He has a dog. He loves that dog. That’s about it. He once worked on a TV show with a serial killer — that might be worth mentioning.

Olivier Breuleux hails from Canada, the fridge of the world. Programmer by day, programmer by night, he sometimes scribbles a few words around dusk.

AnneMarie Miles is a mother, a published poet, and a children’s music teacher. When she isn’t writing, AnneMarie is doing yoga, cuddled up with family, or buried in a book somewhere, completely unavailable to the world. Nothing makes her happier than following choreographed dances to pop music in a room full of strangers. 

Oli Adder has spent 20+ years writing stories she wouldn’t let anyone read. If you are reading this… then that appears to have changed. She writes mostly in the fantasy/horror genre, and possesses an unhealthy obsession with skulls and yarn crafts.

Victoria Macleod was raised in Yorkshire, trained to be an Illustrator at the Glasgow School of Art and now lives in London with her lovely husband, lively children and lazy dog. She enjoys finding green & peaceful places in the city, scaring the locals with her native chattiness, writing songs & stories, and making miniature things. 

Danny M. Grimes is a queer writer from Maryland. They spend their time drinking too much coffee, crocheting, and painting birds. This is their first published story. 

Peter Elliott is a wind turbine technician from Northern Virginia. He was inspired to try writing stories last year after reading Tropic of Cancer on an offshore wind service vessel. When onshore he watches baseball and dotes on his wife.

“Like a weed,” Parul Desai Shah has been unwittingly popping her head up where she doesn’t belong her entire life. An Indian immigrant in the deep south. A female, Indian, copywriter in advertising. A yogi running a for-profit childcare center. She writes to reveal the gritty and glorious experiences of “weeds” like her.

Dr. Pari Ghodsi is a practicing Obstetrician Gynecologist and writer. She infuses her medical knowledge and experiences into her writing. She lives in Manhattan Beach, California with her husband and son. Becoming a mother has enhanced her desire to share her stories. 

Wendy Markel is a British writer of speculative, historical, and contemporary short stories. Her stories have been placed in competitions, including Globe Soup, The South Warwickshire Literary Festival, The London Society, Egg+Frog and Reedsy. When not writing Wendy enjoys the company of her husband and dog, and travelling to sunnier countries as frequently as possible.

About the editor

Martha Sprackland is an editor, writer and translator from the north of England. She was founding editor of independent publishing house Offord Road Books and of the multilingual arts zine La Errante, as well as a poetry editor for Faber and Faber and Poetry London; she has held numerous other editorial roles in literary publishing, both freelance and in-house.  You can view Martha’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.

What is PROMPTED?

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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