In March 2016, Madcap Retreats held an Aspiring Writers Workshop in Lyles, TN, and it was life-changing.

With 40+ participants, we learned from best-selling authors for one full week, and the lessons were ones that will stay with us. Not wanting to lose the friendships we created while on the trip, we created an online group for us all to stay in-touch with one another. After the excitement of the week died down, we began talking about how three of the authors there (Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton, and Brenna Yovanoff) had practiced idea generation by writing one short story a week for a year. Inspired by this and always wanting to improve our craft, a few participants from that Madcap workshop decided to do something similar. However, many of us weren’t in the position to commit to one story a week, so many of us are doing two stories a month. One story a month will be from a prompt and the other will be an original idea of our own.

As far as the backstory on the name of the blog, it goes something like this: When we first arrived at Madcap, we were all given cardboard boxes. Each day, we were instructed on different things to put on the box (greatest fears, new story ideas, writing goals). While doing this, we also were to decorate the box with things that made them unique to us. After a week of working on them, many of us became quite fond of our boxes, which represented so many pieces of ourselves. On the last night, we were invited to come down to the river where a bonfire blazed…and were told to bring our boxes. Maybe you can see where this is going. After a speech about metaphors and how sometimes we need to burn an idea down for it to become even better, we all burned our boxes on the blaze. Hence, burn the box down!

We hope you enjoy our stories!

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