DaguerreoTyped #29: June 2023 Photo Prompt Writing Challenge

The Coil
The Coil
Published in
3 min readMay 22


Each month, The Coil presents an ekphrastic challenge (photo prompt) for writers and lovers of history: We feature a different public-domain historical photograph or illustration, and ask writers to respond to it. There is no wrong answer, and no set style guidelines. Poetry, prose, hybrid, fiction or nonfiction, experimental — anything goes that has a history bent. The best response(s) will be published on The Coil after the challenge ends. See all past challenges and responses.

We present to you: DaguerreoTyped #29! Go write!


1.) Write a piece about or evoked by the image above.

2.) The piece can be any style or genre. Poetry, hybrid, and all sorts of prose are welcome, including flash, short stories, essays, or creative nonfiction. Soft word limit of 2,000 words.

3.) The piece should have a history bent to it. Use the historical nature, setting, and atmosphere of the photo to evoke the sense of history in your piece. If we can’t find anything historical about it, we won’t accept it. But that doesn’t mean it has to be stodgy. Surprise us. Wow us. Make us laugh. Make us cry. Make an alternative history. Be bold. Be clever. Think outside the box. Make history vivid. Take risks.

4.) Please note: We utilize the Medium platform, and due to its limitations with formatting, we are not a good home for heavily-formatted pieces that are anything other than left-aligned (poets, take heed).

5.) Deadline for #29: June 30, 2023.

6.) Submit your piece(s) HERE.

7.) There is a $2.00 administrative fee that we have to charge to use the Submittable platform, but you may submit as many pieces as you’d like in one file under one submission. If you are unable to pay the fee, please email us for further instructions on submitting for free.

8.) If we like your piece, it will be printed on The Coil alongside the photo. The winning piece will receive $30, paid out via PayPal after publication.

9.) We reserve the right not to pick any winner and not to print any pieces if there aren’t any that grab us; likewise, we may also choose more than one.

10.) Being familiar with what we publish increases your chances of winning and being considered for print. You can read past finalists and winners of the Charter Oak Award for Best Historical online, or you can support our press by purchasing print or ebook copies of our current history journals, Footnote #1, #2, #3, and #4. We promise you will not be disappointed.

11.) Please share on social media! Use the hashtag #DaguerreoTyped. (Make sure you spell it correctly, or no one will find it!)

We acknowledge that we are headquartered on what should be Arapaho land on a street that is instead named for a dead white male president who owned enslaved people and severed Native American Nations apart irrevocably. To honor the reparations that this entire country needs to make, Black writers and Native American Indigenous (United States and Canada) writers may submit for free to this journal (please note that if the portal is not open, then we have reached our free-submission monthly cap until the beginning of the next month).



The Coil
The Coil

Indie press dedicated to lit that challenges readers & has a sense of self, timelessness, & atmosphere. Publisher of @CoilMag #CoilMag (http://thecoilmag.com)