September prompts (for October meeting)
- Dr. Seuss prompt — Start off the year with a fun prompt. Find a fiction or non-fiction poem or prose you admire and emulate it, but change the theme to one that deals with writing, much like Marcy McKay’s How the Grinch Stole Writing.
- Coach’s Speech 1 (a.k.a. Kick in the Pen) — Sometimes you need to dust off those Summer cobwebs and get back into writing mode. Occasionally the best way to do that is just write it, as Thomas Despin persuades us in Write It Anyway. Read Despin’s poem and let it inspire you to write something that you have been itching to write.
- Coach’s Speech 2 (a.k.a. Dog Paddle) — Okay, you broke the ice and wrote a fiction or non-fiction poem or prose, but it was not quite what you had in mind. Watch Ira Glass on Storytelling and start paddling. Write something new. Write in a form and style you never wrote in before. Write deliberately and play, and soon you will be swimming.
Ready. Set. Write.
- Why do you write? There are many writers who post reflections on why they write on the Internet. You don’t have to post your reflection, but to begin this year of writing why do you write?
- How do you write? Do you write impulsively or after planning? Do you explore as you write or consider the possibilities before writing? How do you approach your writing? You may respond to this prompt in fiction or nonfiction poem or prose.
- How do you invoke writing? A lot of writers write with music or television, the outdoors or some other stimulation playing in the background. How do you normally set the atmosphere for your writing, or do you have a favourite muse?
- What is the nature of muse? Tell or show us what you think muse is in a fiction or nonfiction poem or prose.
First-meeting Group-writing Game
- Weaving an Autumnal Tale: A Group Writing Game — For our first meeting in 2017, I modified our writing exercise, Weaving a Scary Tale: A Game, to create Weaving an Autumnal Tale: A Group Writing Game. These fun writing exercises require a group of writers and consistently get high reviews. Weaving an Autumnal Tale makes a great ice breaker to dust clear those off-time writing cobwebs.
From Observances to Prompts
- Need inspiration? The writing observances for August and September may inspire impromptu prompts.
- For instance, September 25 is National Comic Book Day. This month, write a comic, or a poem, story or article about a comic or comics. Be sure to share your comic or writing with us in October and tell us how writing a comic differs from writing a poem or prose. Hey, maybe mix forms: write a comic that reads like a poem. (I know for a fact some of you are quite good a writing comics.)
- September 22 is Dear Diary Day. Sometimes we can learn about our characters, plots and settings by writing about them in a new way. I was asked in Grade 9 history to write a journal of one of the men on the Franklin Expedition; I remember this because the journal brought the history and speculation alive for me. I’m not suggesting you begin a diary. But you can write something that involves a diary or the practice of keeping a diary. You could even write it in the form of a diary. Or you can explore your poems and stories in new light using this prompt.