Write to the River — Summer 2019 call for submissions

Summer on the Mississippi River. Hues from dense green leaves reflect upon the river, while a mother deer and her fawn go for a swim. Photo by Tom Reiter.

One sure sign of summer is the array of growing vegetation along the riverbank. Plants and trees explode with vivid color, providing shade and beauty throughout the season. Of course humans are not the only ones who find the welcoming summer river irresistible. We share this valuable waterway with many species. What brings you to the river during the summer? We'd like to know.

Write to the River is a creative writing project to inspire artistic engagement with our river environment. We invite you to share an original poem or short prose response to seasonal images along the Upper Mississippi River. Our summer 2019 photo prompt by photographer Tom Reiter features the green hues of leaves reflecting upon the river and wildlife swimming.

No previous creative writing experience is necessary and all ages and styles are welcome — short prose works, free verse, formal verse, your own verse! All submissions will be published in our next online edition. We may also showcase some submissions in future issues of Mississippi Messages, our biweekly e-newsletter. Sign up to get each season's prompt and news of edition releases.

Need a few ideas or prompts to get started?

  • List the first words that come to mind.  
  • What story is being told? What is the subject?
  • What feelings are evoked? Does it remind you of a past experience?
  • Imagine being here — what sounds, smells and tastes might you experience?

Ready to share?

Submit your piece via our submission form by Wednesday, July 31, 2019. If you're under 18 years old, please include your age and a contact number where we can reach a guardian or parent in case we're able to publish your work.

Remember, this is a friendly call for submissions. There is no grading, only appreciation. If you have any questions or comments, please contact Write to the River Coordinator Leslie Thomas at writetotheriver@fmr.org.

Happy writing to the river! We look forward to hearing from you.

Photographer: 
Tom Reiter