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Archive August 2012

Posted by Writing Prompter on 8.09.12

The letter is one of the earliest and most widely practiced forms of the personal essay: It tells a story about the author's life; it poses questions; and, perhaps most important, it's a way of connecting to a reader. Write a letter to someone you know, keeping the basic tenants of the personal essay in mind. The letter should be about you, but should also somehow address a larger question or idea.

The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (VCCA) is currently accepting applications for the 2013 Wachtmeister Award. The biennial prize, which is offered in alternating genres, will be given this year to a poet.

The Canadian social reading website Wattpad has named its new poetry awards for author and literary icon Margaret Atwood. The first annual Attys, which include a grand prize of $1,000, will be given for a group of ten poems. Other prizes will include feedback sessions with Atwood and the chance to be a character in the Man Booker Prize-winning author’s next novel.

Posted by Writing Prompter on 8.07.12

Write a story in which one of the following objects triggers a flashback: a child’s keyboard, a bag of Werther’s Original Caramels, a taxidermied animal, a bar of lavender soap, or an old travel brochure.

Posted by Writing Prompter on 8.14.12

In his poem “Refrigerator, 1957” (originally published in the New Yorker, July 28, 1997), Thomas Lux writes about a jar of “lit-from-within red” maraschino cherries that, as a boy, he never ate from. Write a poem about something that you longed for when you were younger, but was always off-limits.

Posted by Writing Prompter on 8.07.12

Write a poem whose title is “Preface to________.” Fill in the blank. Is the poem a preface to a love note? A preface to a confession? Write the poem as if it were an introduction to another written work.

Rochelle Spencer teaches at LaGuardia Community College in Queens, New York and is the author of  the ebook, Ella Jones and Her Magical Vagina. Rochelle blogs about the P&W sponsored reading with Jina Ortiz at LaGuardia Community College.

In July, P&W-sponsored poets Sally Delehant, Mark Leidner, and Douglas Kearney read with the Dollhouse Reading Series in Chicago. Series director Dolly Lemke reports.

The summers of youth—and the unparalleled magic carried with them—have inspired many great works of literature. In "Once More to the Lake," E. B. White's classic coming-of-age essay about the August when he was twelve, the author writes: "Summertime, oh summertime, pattern of life indelible, the fade proof lake, the woods unshatterable, the pasture with the sweet fern and the juniper forever and ever, summer without end." Write an essay about being a child in the summertime. It may be about one particular moment or one particular summer, or about the season as a whole.

The Chicago Tribune announced today that author Elie Wiesel has been awarded the 2012 Chicago Tribune Literary Prize for Lifetime Achievement.

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