Illustration by Ana Hinojosa.

Illustration by Ana Hinojosa.

Love it or hate it (or outwardly hate it—but secretly love it—like I always did), it’s time to go back to school. It can be exciting and anxiety-producing. There’s opportunity for new possibilities, friends, and romance. And there are challenges, heavy expectations, and maybe some conflict and rivalries. In other words, back-to-school time is rife with story possibility!

So let’s heighten and exaggerate those emotions by putting a little twist on the back-to-school setting. Even if you have lived in the same town all your life, I’m guessing you have had to start at a new school at some point. Maybe that’s happening right now, as you transition from middle school to high school, or high school to college. But what if the new school was in a completely different world? Maybe you are among the first class of people to go to college on Mars, or Neptune, or some unknown alien world. Maybe you were transported and now your classmates are the fairies, or the cat people, or the mermaids. Create an imaginary environment of your choice and show us what it is like to go back to school there. What is your daily routine? How do you feel? Who are your friends and enemies? What are your adventures and trials?

Write, draw, paint, collage, or create a comic about your new school in this new world. Then send whatever you create along with your first name, last initial, age, and city/state/country to submission@rookiemag.com with the subject line “Creative Prompt” by Monday, September 12 at 6 PM EST.

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