»

| Give a Gift |

  • Digital Edition

Archive April 2011

Posted by Writing Prompter on 4.28.11

In a Paris Review interview, fiction writer Amy Hempel talks about a workshop she took with legendary editor Gordon Lish in which he assigned  the class to "write our worst secret, the thing we would never live down, the thing that, as Gordon put it, 'dismantles your own sense of yourself.'" From this came her story, "In the Cemetery Where Al Jolson Is Buried." Follow Lish's assignme

Posted by Writing Prompter on 4.25.11

Write a prose poem, a poem that doesn't use line breaks to convey its meaning. Read [the siren's story] by Barbara Jane Reyes for an example.

Posted by Writing Prompter on 4.19.11

Eavesdrop on two people having a conversation in a public place. (Avoid small-talk, conversations about the weather.) Write down exactly what they say, including their "ums," "uhs," "likes," and stutters for two pages. Then rewrite that page, using only dialogue, but making it more suited for the literary page; clean it up, keeping the sentiments, but getting rid of all the inconsequential words and lines, and even changing the language to make it more engrossing.

Posted by Writing Prompter on 4.18.11

Write a poem that explores how you were named and the meaning of your name. Include at least one bold lie.

Posted by Writing Prompter on 4.14.11

Choose a social-media Web site, and click on the profile of a person you don't know. Look at his photos, interests, and friends. Give this person a new name, and write a story about something you imagine happened to him ten years in the past, an event that altered the course of his life.

Posted by Writing Prompter on 4.11.11

Snip apart a draft of one of your poems, line by line or in chunks. Rearrange the elements and rerecord the original work.

Posted by Writing Prompter on 4.07.11

Take a standard medical form from a doctor's office and fill it out in the persona of a character you're working on. Generating even basic information—the name of her street, her family's medical history, her emergency contact—may lead to new insights about her life and her background that you can explore later.
This week's fiction prompt comes from fiction writer Eleanor Henderson, whose first novel, Ten Thousand Saints, will be published by Ecco in June.

Posted by Writing Prompter on 4.04.11

Take a cue from Raymond Queneau's Exercises in Style, which tells a single narrative in ninety-nine ways, and write a poem based on what happened just after you got up this morning. Then use one or more of these filters to revise the poem: onomatopoeia (integrating the sounds of your morning into the language of its telling), litotes (a supremely understated start to the day), overstatement (embellishing every detail), olfactory (emphasizing the morning's smells), tactile (emphasizing the morning's physical feel), gustatory (emphasizing the morning's particular taste).

Subscribe to P&W Magazine | Donate Now | Advertise | Sign up for E-Newsletter | Help | About Us | Contact Us | View Mobile Site

© Copyright Poets & Writers 2014. All Rights Reserved