Posts Tagged ‘writing prompts’

Recycle001With Earth Day looming, it’s only fitting that Maja Todorovic of Business in Rhyme should remind us of the Three Rs of Writing:

Reduce: Take an old draft or something that doesn’t quite work; cut out all the stuff you don’t like; make something new out of what remains.

Reuse: Take old books, magazines, junk mail, grocery receipts – anything with words; cut or tear out words or phrases that strike you; arrange them into a poem, a paragraph, an outline, whatever.

Recycle: Find something you wrote a long time ago, when you were in a different state of mind; turn prose into poetry (or vice versa), rewrite it in a different voice, change 1st person to 3rd (or vice versa), revise the bejeezus out of it – use your old work to inspire something new.

(Reminder: There are still ten days left in National/Global Poetry Writing Month. It’s not too late to get your poetry on!)


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Fifteen days of Lexington Poetry Month have passed; fifteen days remain. That’s plenty of time to take part in wonderful poetry events happening all over town this month and even write some poetry of your own.

To give yourself a leg up, try this: make a list of five things you’ve seen in the past 24 hours. Write a poem (or short story, book chapter, flash, whatever) that includes each of those five things. (Derived from a prompt posted by Bianca Spriggs on the Accents Publishing Blog.)

Happy writing!


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Today marks the end of the fourth week of NaPoWriMo – only two days left! Once again, the good folks at The Poet’s Billow have provided a quick and easy exercise that works equally well for prose and poetry.

With eyes closed, open the dictionary at random and place your finger on the page. Write about the origin of whatever it is that your finger landed on. (This would probably work with almost any book, but the dictionary also provides some reference information to help you along.)

Happy writing!

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We’re just a shade over two-thirds of the way through NaPoWriMo and heading into week four. Today features another excellent exercise borrowed from The Poet’s Billow, a variation on found poetry.

Choose 4 or 5 books – the more they differ in subject or format, the more interesting the exercise. Open to a random page and write down the first line that catches your eye. Repeat 10 times. Construct a poem or prose piece using these 10 lines.

For something quick, use each as the first line of a paragraph or stanza. If you’re into longer forms, begin a new chapter or section with each line.

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Perhaps it is because of T.S. Eliot’s famous observation (“The Wasteland”) that April has been designated National Poetry Month by the American Academy of Poets. The energy of the very planet is stirred up as the seasons turn from the extremes of one solstice toward that of the other. Whether you write poetry or not, April is full of inspiration in both the natural and online worlds.

Nothing could be more simple than the A to Z Blogging Challenge, even if you don’t blog. Every day except Sundays, you write something inspired by the corresponding letter of alphabet, beginning with A on April 1 (http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/).

Even if you’re not a poet, you can sign up to receive daily writing prompts from WordXWord’s 30/30 Poetry Challenge (http://3030poetry.com/). If you’d rather not have those pesky prompts popping up in your inbox every day, you can resolve instead to visit the Writer’s Digest’s Poem a Day Challenge (http://www.writersdigest.com/whats-new/2014-april-pad-challenge-guidelines/) for their daily prompts.

Then there’s NaPoWriMo — the poet’s version of NaNoWriMo (National Poetry Writing Month and National Novel Writing Month, respectively). Find ideas for taking your writing to the next level at http://www.napowrimo.net/

And for you novelists who were too busy in November to pound out your 50,000 words, the good folks at NaNoWriMo offer a month-long writing experience at Camp NaNoWriMo (https://campnanowrimo.org/sign_in). They also run a second camp session during July, so mark your calendars.

No matter what your genre, crack your fingers, get your tools and supplies lined up, and prepare to get some serious writing done in April!

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Something about April seems to inspire writers — maybe it’s the visibly changing seasons (spring or fall, depending on your hemisphere) or the even thirty days. Whatever the motivation, a number of month-long writing challenges offer daily prompts to inspire you.

To begin with, April is National Poetry Writing Month — NaPoWriMo for short. Even if you are not big on poetry, many of the prompts at the official site would work for any genre, even non-fiction.

April is also when the A to Z Blogging Challenge takes place. Again, the prompts and challenge are great motivation for any kind of writing.

Then there’s the 30/30 Poetry Challenge, which invites participants to contribute a poem a day for the month of April. Daily prompts are provided, and the great thing about this challenge is that you can subscribe by e-mail and get the prompt sent to your inbox each day, whether you contribute or not. Heck, whether you write poetry or not, for that matter.

With all this inspiration in the air, there’s absolutely no excuse for you not to do a whole lot of writing this month. If you know of any other writing challenges or prompt-fests, please let the rest of us know!

(So get writing!)

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