For each issue of Literary Mama, Literary Reflections shares a writing prompt inviting our readers to respond. Our editors provide feedback on these responses, and we post our favorites on the blog. This month’s writing prompt is inspired by Jennie Robertson’s essay, “She Writes,” and Miriam Mandel Levi’s essay, “Raising Readers: A Mother’s Tale From The Trenches.”
In her essay, “She Writes,” Jennie Robertson peruses her parents’ large home library for volumes to discard and, in so doing, discovers her mother’s shared passion for writing. Robertson reconsiders her quest to pare down the stack, realizing “two of the main reasons for having lots of books: so that my children can enjoy them, and reference.” She begins to see her mother as not only a fellow writer but also a source of her own inspiration: “Mum read stories to me, and she made books come alive. She made me who I am, a reader and writer, a lover of stories.”
Miriam Mandel Levi hopes to instill this love of reading in her children. In her essay, “Raising Readers: A Mother’s Tale From The Trenches,” Mandel Levi writes: “I want them to know what it’s like to find yourself right there on the page, in disbelief that someone else feels or thinks the way you do; to understand the world in a different way because someone has described it so; to sojourn in a foreign country or remote century and know it as if it were your own; to read a sentence so breathtaking, you have to stop, close the book and sit humbly in its wake.” In describing her desire, she relates a common goal of parenthood: we want our children to be successful, and we hope they will share our passions.
Who is the literary heroine in your life? Did your mother encourage your passion for reading or writing, and do you strive to do the same for your children? Tell us about your muse or how you hope to inspire your own children.
Read Jennie’s and Miriam’s essays and submit a 500-word response to this writing prompt by September 29 for feedback from our editors. Email it to LMreflections (at) literarymama (dot) com and note “September Prompt” in your subject line. We’ll publish our favorites on the blog.