Dec 25 - 2018

54: From Writing Prompt to Published Story

About the Episode

For the next five weeks, we’ll bring you a story written and read by Writing Class Radio co-host, Andrea Askowitz, with commentary by her editor, co-host, Allison Langer.

Andrea took a weekly essay challenge, which was inspired by a quote by the author of Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury. He said, “Write a short story every week. It’s not possible to write 52 bad stories in a row.” This week, something cool happened. Andrea didn’t know what to write about, so she called Allison and they both set timers for 15 minutes and wrote to the prompt: Christmas.

On this episode, Allison and Andrea read the stories they wrote. And they talk about how to get from writing prompt to getting published. Andrea writes about what bringing a Christmas tree into her Jewish family meant for them. And why she thinks the Christmas tree is the gateway drug to Christianity. Allison reads her story, which was recently published in The Washington Post. The story is about her perspective as a photographer who takes holiday pictures of other families while suffering through the grief of losing her daughter. Andrea details exactly what was considered in the editing process and what ultimately led to the final paragraph, where Allison steps into the higher register and speaks directly to the reader/listener. They also talk about the question they always ask their students: What is this story about? We hope this process will inspire you to write and get published.

Writing Class Radio is a podcast where you’ll hear true personal stories from the students in our class and learn a little about how to write your own stories. Writing Class Radio is equal parts heart and art. By heart we mean the truth in a story. By art we mean the craft of writing. No matter what’s going on in our lives, writing class is where we tell the truth. It’s where we work out our shit, and figure out who we are. There’s no place in the world like writing class and we want to bring you in.

Writing Class Radio is co-hosted by Allison Langer ( and Andrea Askowitz ( Writing Class Radio is produced by Virginia Lora, Andrea Askowitz and Allison Langer. Writing Class Radio is sponsored by The Launchpad at The University of Miami which aims to make the practice of entrepreneurship available to all students and alumni. This episode is sponsored by Allison Langer, writing coach and editor. Theme music is by Justina Shandler. Additional music is by Podington Bear. You can find all our music on our website. There’s more writing class on our website (, twitter (@wrtgclassradio) and Facebook. Writing Class Radio is now open to submissions from our listeners. Go to the submissions page on our website for guidelines. We pay! If you want to be a part of the movement that brings people together through storytelling, please go to and hit the DONATE button.

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