Posted: by Debbie Taylor

The next theme for the Showcase section of the magazine is ‘roots’ –both in the form of hidden depths and ancestry, about what nourishes and anchors plants and humans alike. We’re inviting submissions of stories up to 2,200 words (equivalent to a 15-minute radio broadcast) and poems up to 40 lines (the maximum for a single page). Deadline: 7 June

Here are some ideas to get you started, by creative writing tutor, short story writer and playwright Margaret Wilkinson:

  • Think of a distinctive family characteristic you share with previous generations: strong nose, bottlebrush hair, long fingers. Using this as a focus, write about the relationship between two family members of different generations in a fictionalised text or poem. 
  • Explore beyond your own memories by adopting the voice or viewpoint of an older person from your past.
  • Create a fiction about the day your grandparents met.
  • For a magic-realist slant on the topic, write about a human character who literally grows roots that either absorb nutrients or trap them in one place. 

For information on the many other ways you can submit your writing to Mslexia, explore Submissions.

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Debbie Taylor

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