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Prompt 3/5/13: Yoga for Writers

Ever have writer’s block? We share your pain. Some days writing feels utterly impossible! But, compared to the hefty, Sisyphean weight of living each day when you’d much rather crawl back into bed and go back to sleep, writing is the easiest thing in the world! During a yoga class the yogi once said to me, “my … Continue reading

Prompt 2/26/13: Time Warp

4.54 billion years ago the Earth was formed, 2.1 billion years ago the first cell with a nucleus was formed, 530 million years ago the first vertebrates popped up, and then 0.2-0.07 million years ago we humans crawled out of the primordial muck in our earliest form. Think about that! Think about all the cool … Continue reading

Prompt 2/12/13: Many Voices

It’s time to get out of your head. Stop thinking about everything you’re trying to write or say and get headless; just go. Grab a crowd and stand in a circle facing each other. Play several overlapping clips of spoken or slam poetry to get you started and just talk for as long as you … Continue reading

Prompt 2/19/13: All the World’s a Stage

1) Imagine that you are a performer; pretend that you are adapting your life into a play, now focus on the pivotal scene in that narrative, and, finally, write the key piece of dialogue from that pivotal scene. (Preferably with no personal identifiers.) 2) Mix everyone’s notecards up in a bag of dialogue or a … Continue reading

Prompt 2/5/13: Massive, Marvelous Magnetic Poetry

1. Gather some words from overheard conversations, Facebook statuses, advertisements, and books. Then, write them on sticky notes. 2. Post them randomly around the room so you are engulfed in a sea of words. Try to make sense of the chaos by forming new sentences and phrases. Take 20 minutes to make as many possible … Continue reading

Writing at the End of the World (Classes Resume Monday)

It helps to do this prompt after surviving a hurricane that rips through New York and leaves half the city without power. Once you’ve had a taste of the apocalypse, discuss your experiences and the moral complexities of the end of the world. Come up with your own during a five minute warm-up prompt. If … Continue reading

Prompt 10/23/12: Read My Lippograms

E T A O I N S R H L D C In writing, the formal constraints we are most used to usually revolve around rhymes schemes. While rhyme schemes are pretty and all, it can be weird and useful to learn how to think about English (or whatever language you are writing in) from … Continue reading

Prompt 10/9/12: Back to Back

“At the north, the stream from the lake formed by the lava dam has worn away both the lava and the country-rock, forming a gorge through which the lake has been drained. The bed of the lake is now occupied by a swamp, formed of the fine alluvium previously brought down by the stream and … Continue reading

Prompt 10/2/12: Spicy Archetypes

Step 1: Brainstorm about 5 typical characteristics for each of the 5 archetypes. Can be physical (e.g. always wears a cape), situational (always falls in love with protagonist), or a personality trait (always funny). For example: -manic pixie dream girl -wise mentor -evil overlord -outcast -goofy sidekick Alternative Step 1: Use our characteristics if you … Continue reading

Prompt 9/25/12: Bag Full of Memories

What You Will Need: Memories, Bag of Happiness, Bag of Sadness, paper, pen. If you don’t have the Bag of Happiness or Bag of Sadness, ordinary bags will suffice. 1. Take two minutes to write about a sad memory from your life. Don’t focus so much on telling the story as on getting immediate, sensory … Continue reading