When Covid-19 hit this spring, nobody’s life was untouched by it. We pared our lives down to the necessities and sheltered in the best way we could. Sometimes we were surprised by what we didn’t need, sometimes by what we missed (and how much we missed it.) We celebrated birthdays and graduations with drive-by parties; Zoom cocktail hours kept us in touch. We mourned our losses without the comfort of loved ones surrounding us. We wondered if it would ever end.

Whether the personal consequences of the virus were tragic or just deeply disorienting, we’ve all had moments of fear, anxiety, anger, grief, and frustration, as well as moments of happiness, insight, and even joy. Living through this strange time has been different for each of us—yet, in many ways, the same.

What memories best tell the story of your unique experience? What memories might ease the burden of someone else’s suffering by letting them know they are not alone? What memories might be helpful to future historians attempting to understand this period of time or to novelists who want to bring it alive?

Imagine, too! Write about how day-to-day life, as well as special occasions, might be forever different because of the virus. Create an imaginary world with a “new normal” based on these changes.   

This year, the Indiana Writers Center, Dance Kaleidoscope, Jewish Community Center, and Indianapolis Public Library are partnering to present, “What Was and Will Be,” a Spirit and Place program recognizing that each of us felt the weight of this moment from a unique perspective and to build unity through our shared history.

We’d love to include your story in an online anthology that reflects the diversity of experiences in our community. DK dancers will choose 10-12 pieces to choreograph for our Spirit and Place program on Sunday, November 8.

Submission requirements:

Stories may be no more than 1,500 words

You may submit 1-3 pieces in a single document to spiritandplace@indianawriters.org

Work must be submitted by email. Exceptions will be made only you don’t have an email account.

Work will be evaluated by the Indiana Writers Center Staff. Before submitting, consider

  • Does the voice sound like a person talking?
  • Does your work have a strong, voice?
  • Did you use dialogue where appropriate?
  • Did you use vivid, specific, sensory details to create character and convey feeling?
  • Did you use vivid, specific, sensory details to create a strong sense of place?
  • Does your piece have a clear beginning, middle, and end?
  • Is your piece of writing likely to be about something different from what others might choose to write about?
  • Even if others write about the same topic as you do, is the reader likely to conclude that no other person could have written it exactly the way you did?


Only stories received by midnight, September 15 can be considered for choreography by DK dancers. Writers will learn of their choices no later than September 25. At that time, dancers and writers will be introduced via e-mail to begin their collaborative process.

Stories submitted by midnight, October 15 will be considered for our online anthology, “What Was and Will Be.” Writers whose work is chosen for the anthology will be notified by Friday, October 30.


To Jumpstart Your Writing

Visit www.indianawriters.org to sign up for a free Zoom workshop and/or download “A Very Basic Writing Process” and writing prompts guaranteed to generate loads of ideas and help you bring them to the page. Please direct any questions to spiritandplace@indianawriters.org.

Free Workshops:

Writing My Way through the Pandemic with Angela Jackson-Brown

Writing My Way through the Pandemic with Ashley Mack-Jackson

Download PDFs:

A Very Basic Writing Practice

Writing Prompts for Adults

Writing Prompts for Kids



Written by Rachel Sahaidachny — August 12, 2020

© Indiana Writers Center 2012