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February prompts (for March meeting)

Story is a shared medium, whether told, read or written. February observes fairy tales, children’s tales, folk tales, libraries, family, heritage and culture. This month’s archived prompts recognize these themes. Enjoy.

A Celebration of Creatures

  • Talking to Animals — If you could talk to animals, with which animal would you have the most interesting conversation? What would you talk about? Why? Tell us in dialogue.
  • Groundhog’s Valentine — In February, twitchy groundhogs anticipate Spring and tremulous hearts seek recognition. Write a hilarious prose or poem about a groundhog’s Valentine’s Day.
  • Favourite Fairy Tale — What is your favourite fairy or folk tale? Why? Rewrite it, changing it as you like.

Culture and Heritage

  • Belonging — February celebrates Aboriginal storytelling in Saskatchewan, Louis Riel in Manitoba, heritage in Nova Scotia and family in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario. Heritage — the reverence of unity, commonality and being part of (belonging) — a common theme of each of these observances, transforms us from mere everyday individuals to dynamic components of larger contextual cultures. What are your rituals and your heritage? Describe a niche where you belong.
  • Favourite Place — Libraries are places that store places and people and events. For many, libraries provide a means to infinite worlds and candy machines of inspiration. What is your favourite place? Why? What does it mean to you?

Re-envisioning

  • January is a month of reflection and goals. February is one or re-envisioning.
  • Darkness in Children’s StoriesGuillermo del Toro believes the best children’s stories must have a touch of darkness in them. Do you agree? Is darkness synonymous with evil, or is it more or something else? Can it be beautiful? Pick a children’s story you like and rewrite it so that it features a crucial element or current of darkness.
  • Poems Come From Perception — Naomi Shihab Nye describes what poems are and how they originate in her poem, Valentine for Ernest Mann. Read her poem. Then find an item that you don’t think is particularly beautiful. Look at it for a long while. Find its beauty. Then describe your beautified object in a poem, story or nonfiction piece. (Since February is Haiku Writing Month, perhaps you can respond in a Haiku or a poem with multiple Haiku stanzas.)

From Observances to Prompts

  • Observed Themes — Writing, oral storytelling, reading, libraries and culture are celebrated in February. Many of these themes are precious to us. Find a February observance that interests you and respond to it in either prose or poetry, fiction or nonfiction. Write, perhaps, a story or poem about one of these themes or observances being demonized instead of recognized in society.
  • Doodles — Also observed this month are doodles. Doodling is an act of creative play, like writing. Sketch a doodle that inspires a story, poem or nonfiction piece. Write the story and attach the doodle that inspired it.
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