REVISED: Writing Prompt from Kate DiCamillo

Hey Figs! This may be hard to believe because we seem so perfect, but there was a glitch with the original tag for this prompt. If you entered last week, please RE-TAG your story “dicamilloburdick.” And if you haven’t entered yet, we’re giving everyone ONE EXTRA DAY to write a story that includes the line Kate wrote for us. So tag your story “dicamilloburdick” by 11:59 p.m. EST on Wednesday, November 9. Four randomly chosen stories will be featured on the homepage on Thursday. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email Ellen at ellen@figment.com. 

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 third prompt comes from author Kate DiCamillo, author of Because of Winn-Dixie. Four randomly chosen responses to this prompt will be featured as Handpicked Figs on the Figment homepage! Here’s the prompt:

In late autumn of that year, the ship arrived.  My grandmother, holding a sign with a single word written on it, stood at the dock waiting.

Include that line somewhere in your story and tag it DiCamilloBurdick. Your story can be as long or as short as you’d like, just make sure to get your piece up and tagged before 11:59 p.m. EST on November 9.

Missed the first two prompts? Click here to get a story starter from Lois Lowry and here to get one from Linda Sue Park.

11 thoughts on “REVISED: Writing Prompt from Kate DiCamillo

    • Hi Megan,

      Four randomly chosen responses to this prompt will be featured as Handpicked Figs on the Figment homepage. Include the prompt as a sentence somewhere in your story. Good luck!

  1. Do we include the sentance “In late autumn of that year, the ship arrived. My grandmother, holding a sign with a single word written on it, stood at the dock waiting.” in the short story or is it just the prompt?

    • Hi Breonia!
      I think I answered this question in my other response, but yes! Please include the sentence as part of your story. Have fun!

  2. I think I have the same problem. I tag my story “DiCamilloHidingBurdick”, press Save Changes, and the tag disappears. I’ve tried it numerous times, and it always happens the same. Please help.

    • Hi Charlotte,
      Technically, the prompts were supposed to be submitted by 12:01 a.m. this morning. Did you try tagging it before then? If so, and the tag still isn’t working, please send your entry as an email to admin@figment.com.

  3. Hey, I got a different prompt for this about a room with ivy walls, a spiral staircase, and a figure standing in the doorway.

    … Has the prompt been changed, does it change every day, or what?

    • Hi Bellethiel,
      The prompt you’re referring to is for the “Harris Burdick Contest,” which is separate from, but related to, the writing prompt from Kate DiCamillo.

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