Harris Burdick became a legend when he left 14 eerie illustrations with a publisher and then promptly disappeared. More than 25 years later, the Burdick enigma has been complicated by the publication of a new work: a collaboration between the still-missing Burdick and 14 writers. (Read some of the entrancing results for a limited time here.)
Depending on which version of the story you believe, each of these 14 writers was part of a secret chain, aiding and hiding a fugitive illustrator and receiving a story apiece for their efforts. That, or they all wrote stories that got put in a book together. (It’s the first one).
We put three of these authors—Lois Lowry, Linda Sue Park, and Kate DiCamillo—under a bare bulb and threw the phonebook at them, interrogating them about their relationship to Harris Burdick. They didn’t say much, but what they said was pretty mysterious. We later realized they were uttering writing prompts, but not until we’d already released them . . .
Our second prompt comes from author Linda Sue Park, author of A Single Shard. Four randomly chosen responses to this prompt will be featured as Handpicked Figs on the Figment homepage! Here’s the prompt:
Write a short scene with the following three characters:
–kid accused by the store manager of stealing and eating a donut
–kid’s best friend, who actually DID the stealing and ate the donut
Write the same scene three times, using a different character’s point of view each time!
Tag your story ParkHidingBurdick. Your story can be as long or as short as you’d like, just make sure to get your piece up and tagged before 12:01 a.m. ET on October 30th.
Missed the first prompt? Click here to get a story starter from Lois Lowry.