Novella-in-Flash Writing Prompt #10 – Separation

We’re very grateful at this month to welcome poet and fiction writer Nora Nadjarian as a guest. Nora has this new writing prompt to share with you…

“The prompt is based on my poem ‘Separation’, one of my personal favourites. It was published a number of years ago in the Poetry on the Lake anthology of winning and highly commended poems.


The time came when they longed to return.
My father walked circles in the living room,
my mother packed and unpacked her hands.
We will leave when the rain stops, they said.
The rain in this country is so unkind.

The time came when they could no longer return.
My father sat in his remote corner of silence,
my mother leant into lamplight and threaded sighs.
We will leave when the rain stops, she said,
hummed intricate tunes, sewed invisible tears.


Step One:

First, think of a time you were separated from a place you love and/or people you are close to. Free-write about the impact this separation had on you and the people involved.

Step Two:

Then take one character (or more) from your novella and draft a flash about what would happen if they were unable to return to a place of importance to them (this can be a country, a town, a club, a building, even a house).

Think about consequences:

  • Does the separation have long-term effects?
  • What happens to the characters during this separation?

Finally, see if you can channel some of the feelings, ideas, and sensations from Step One into Step Two.”

Author Biography – Nora Nadjarian is a poet and writer from Cyprus. She has been commended or placed in numerous competitions, most recently in the Live Canon International Poetry Competition 2020 and the Mslexia Poetry Competition 2021. Her work was included in Being Human (Bloodaxe Books, 2011), Capitals (Bloomsbury, 2017), Europa 28 (Comma Press, 2020) and Poetry International (2022). She was chosen to represent Cyprus in the Hay Festival’s Europa28: Visions for the Future in 2020. Her short fiction has appeared, among others, in Sand Journal, FRiGG, MoonPark Review, Lunate and was placed in the Reflex Fiction flash competition (2021). In 2022 her story “Doors” was selected by Kathy Fish to be included in the Wigleaf Top 50 Short Fictions of the year.

Twitter: @NoraNadj

Nora Nadjarian

More about Michael Loveday’s Novella-in-Flash mentoring:

You can sign up to this novella-in-flash writing prompt series here: