Illustration by Ana Hinojosa.

Illustration by Ana Hinojosa.

This week I (Stephanie) had the great honor of interviewing the author Lois Lowry. We talked a lot about her memoir, Looking Back. In the book, she shares personal photographs and uses them to reflect on moments in her life, some of which inspired her many novels. I really loved Looking Back, and I’ve also adored fictional books like Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children that use old photographs to build their stories.

Photos can be such powerful vehicles for storytelling. When I teach writing classes, one of the very first things I do is ask my students to bring in an image that reminds them of the story they want to write. So today I would love for you to go through your photos. They can be as recent as a summer or two ago; old family photos of your childhood, your parents, grandparents or even great-grandparents; or a collection of pictures that you thrifted or found at a garage sale. Find a photo that speaks to you, and write a fictional story, make a collage, or recount the real-life events it depicts. Show or tell whatever story this picture has to share, in whatever way you’d like, and send it to [email protected] with the subject line “Creative Prompt” by Monday, August 1 at 6 PM EST. As usual, please include your first name, last initial, age, and city/state. (And with written submissions, include a copy of the photo, if you’d like.)

Last week, we asked you to tell a tale about lost balloons—you know the ones that you sometimes see popped on the sidewalk, or stuck high up in a tree? Here’s where you imagined they come from…