Have you ever read an autobiography or biography of someone famous or notable in history and wondered what it would be like to have a conversation with them? Or wondered what questions you would ask them if you were able to talk to them one-on-one? If given the opportunity, what would you ask women in history like Ada Lovelace or Hypatia or Harriet Tubman or Eleanor Roosevelt? 

For the second week of women’s history month, and to honor International Women’s Day today, I want to imagine what it would be like to have a dialogue, or conversation, with a notable woman in history. Or to imagine what it would be like to witness a dialogue between two notable women in history who have never met. For instance, what would a dialogue between Dorothy Vaughan and Harriet Tubman look like or entail?

As I complete this week’s writing prompt, I’ll be reading Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft & Mary Shelley by Charlotte Gordon.

Why am I reading this book for this week’s writing prompt? Two major reasons:

  1. Both mother and daughter changed how we read and understand literature, women, and women’s work with their seminal works like A Vindication of the Rights of Woman and Frankenstein.
  2. They never really met because mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, died ten days after giving birth to her daughter, Mary Shelley.

I am going to write an imagined dialogue between these two women based on what I uncover in this book, their writing, and other articles I come across about their writing, philosophies, and lives.

To get started with this writing prompt, it might be helpful for you to answer some of these questions first:

  • Of all the influential and notable women in history (dead or alive), who would you want to invite to your dinner table to talk to for one evening?
  • If you had the opportunity to interview only one woman (dead or alive) on live television, who would you want to interview?
  • Which woman’s personal or professional story from history has influenced you or inspired you most since you were a child?
  • If you could have one influential woman from history (dead or alive) as your mentor for an entire month, who would it be?

Stay tuned for my completed writing draft for this writing prompt. I’ll share it on the blog on Friday.

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