Muse Of The Month: January 2014

Posted: January 16, 2014

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Each month this year, we’ll be hosting a writing theme, with a ‘writing cue’ from an iconic female author. The 5 best entries get published here!

What you need to do:

Step 1. Read the writing cue and get inspired.

Step 2. Write your own story/narrative based on the cue. You could use it as the opening line, the closing sentence, or somewhere in between! You could choose not to use it anywhere in your story too – just write a story using the cue as a prompt. (And ‘story’ can be fictional – or not – as you wish).

Step 3. Send your story to us.

Where to send:

Send in your story to with ‘Muse of the month’ in the subject line, and your story as a word/txt attachment. Please avoid typing the story as inline text. Do include the name we should use if we publish it, and a brief introduction to yourself (2-3 lines) in the mail.


Please send in your stories by January 24th 2014. The 5 best stories will be published on Women’s Web the following week, i.e. January 27th onwards.


– The material should be previously unpublished elsewhere. (Copyright stays with you and you’re free to subsequently publish it elsewhere).

– Keep it between 250 and 800 words.


The 5 best entries will each win a Flipkart voucher worth Rs. 250.

Muse of the month (January 2014)

Joan Didionjoan didion

Joan Didion is known for her incisive, intimate novels on loss and transition, as well as for her literary journalism. She believes that writing is a process where one person (the writer) convinces another (the reader) to listen to her dream!

Didion counts Ernest Hemingway, Henry James and George Eliot among her influences. She is the author of The Year of Magical Thinking and We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live: Collected Nonfiction.

And now for the writing cue!

Cue for January 2014

“We tell ourselves stories in order to live”.

– from The White Album, Joan Didion

Get started with that as your inspiration, and we hope to hear from you on or before Jan 24th!


Here are the published entries, each taking off from that cue.

Shades of Orange: Deboshree writes a poignant story – of a story a young mother tells herself.

The Connoisseur: Shruthi has a funny story of the stories we make up when we need to.

Returning Home: Rajlakshmi tells a tale in which stories are all that are left, when everything else vanishes.

Stories: Deepthi narrates a story in which some forgotten stories need to remembered, and then put away

The Last Goodbye: Prasanna tells a story in which stories act as consolation – and inspiration

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  1. I have been thinking about how to revive my idea of writing again. And this is such a wonderful way for me to restart! Thank you for creating this avenue.

  2. What is the word limit for the story?

  3. Great idea, I am super excited.

  4. Can a male participate in this contest?

  5. Anwesa Chattopadhyay -

    That’s it I always get interested in.

  6. This is a great idea. I love Joan Didion and that particular quote says it all doesn’t it? Looking forward to reading the best stories.

  7. Great concept…Love it already…sent my entry 🙂

  8. What a super initiative! Just sent in my entry. 🙂

  9. Hope we have the feb theme coming up! I missed participating last month!

Share your thoughts! [Be civil. No personal attacks. Longer comment policy in our footer!]

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