Illustration by Ana Hinojosa.

I have been a sucker for summer romance stories since I was grade school, reading Sweet Valley High and watching Grease, probably before it was age appropriate (and then, hello summer before freshman year discovery of soap operas). Warm nights, bonfires, fireflies, sleepaway camps, beaches, the person you grew up next door to suddenly transforming into a total god or goddess—there are just so many possibilities, so many elements of romance out there on a hot ‘n’ muggy day or night. A relationship for the ages could be formed or a fun summer fling. It could end in happily ever after or heart break.

There was something major lacking in the summer love stories that I grew up on, though. They were generally about cis, heterosexual white people, so I turn to you for new, diverse summer romances. Tell a story, write us a poem, or photograph/draw/paint/collage us a picture of what summer love looks like to you. It could be a real life experience or something fictional inspired by lazy, hazy weather and all those great smells like watermelon, sunscreen, and an abundance of flowers. Send your tale or depiction of summer love along with your first name, last initial, age, and city/state to [email protected] with the subject line “Creative Prompt” by Monday, August 7 at 6 PM EST.

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