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Archive July 2011

Melville House Publishing, pioneer of book-trailer appreciation, is offering its entire novella library to the literary filmmaker who can come up with "the most awesome book trailer of all time."

Posted by Writing Prompter on 7.28.11

Go for a walk, paying careful attention to your surroundings, until you find something that doesn't belong. It could be a piece of garbage on the street, a coin, an animal, a car battery in the woods, anything out of place. Tell the story of how it got there.

Posted by Writing Prompter on 7.28.11

The late English poet Philip Larkin was born eighty-nine years ago this month. Begin a poem using the first lines of Larkin's oft-studied poem "Church Going," from The Less Deceived (Marvell Press, 1955): "Once I am sure there's nothing going on / I step inside, letting the door thud shut."

The Man Booker Prize panel has announced its 2011 "Booker dozen," the semifinalists for the fifty-thousand-pound novel award (approximately eighty-two thousand dollars).

Posted by Writing Prompter on 7.27.11

In a radio interview this week on Fresh Air with Terry Gross, fiction writer Donald Ray Pollock, whose most recent novel, The Devil All the Time, was published this month, talked about how he learned to write by typing out a story by an established author once a week. Use Pollock’s strategy this week, typing a story by an author whose writing you admire. After typing it out, print out a copy and carry it with you, reading and rereading it, making notes along the way.

The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest announced, for the twenty-ninth year running, the worst sentence submitted to its annual race for the most wretched first line of an imaginary novel.

Posted by Writing Prompter on 7.25.11

Approach a poem (or revise an existing poem) as if you were writing a fable. Keep a third-person point of view. Address the anthropomorphic qualities of the objects you introduce. Invite an animal or creature into the poem. Allow an invisible force to alter time and space. Instead of ending with a lesson or moral, try closing the poem with a question.

Earlier this month the Guardian revealed the one hundred thirty-six nominees for its annual First Book Award, posing the question, "what have we missed?"

Posted by Writing Prompter on 7.21.11

Create a main character assigning basic characteristics, such as gender, age, and physical attributes. Imagine this character having dinner with three other people. At the end of this dinner, the character will have lost something significant—a job, a partner, a home. Write this scene at dinner, and then use it as a turning point for a larger story

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