Today’s Daily Theme comes from Nathan Englander, who has been raking-in raves for his newest book of short stories, What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank. The acclaim is no surprise, given that his last collection, For the Relief of Unbearable Urges, (besides having one of the best titles ever) was an international bestseller. He’s also a PEN/Malamud award-winner, a playwright (his first play premiers at New York’s Public Theater this fall), a translator, and–lucky for us–a teacher of emerging writers. His tricky-clever-fun writing prompt below is adapted from one he’s used with his writing students.
This is a prompt I love to use when I first meet a new class. I tell them to take out their pens and write me a piece–the theme is up to them. It need not be long. But it needs to be a real scene. And the sole rule that frames what they write is this: You may not use a word with more than one syllable. It sounds hard, but “syllable” is the lone word used here that has more than one.
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