Writing Prompt

Weekly Writing Post

In her new photography series titled “Home,” Gohar Dashti explores the interiors of houses in her native Iran that have been abandoned and reclaimed by nature. The images create an ambiguous effect; an old bedroom overrun with wildflowers is lovely in one sense, but also hints at a darker history. What happened in these houses […]

Weekly Writing Prompt

In preparation for cold winter months, red-toothed shrews are able to shrink their head and brain mass by 20 percent and then regrow it as the weather warms up in spring. With this survival strategy, they expend less energy when food resources are scarce. Does your energy level or your relationship to your body change […]

Weekly Writing Prompt

Write a scene of high stress, fear, or trauma for a first-person narrator that makes use of “selective description of external details.” Resist the temptation to fill in the blanks or describe the passage of time in a linear way. Explore the way the human brain processes events, and incorporate your findings into your storytelling. […]

Weekly Writing Prompt

Write down a list of five words that you find particularly repulsive, words that might not otherwise have any definitively negative connotations. Use these words in a poem and explore how word choice can propel you toward certain subject matter. Do you find yourself pulled to other repellant images and memories, or pushed to offset […]

Weekly Writing Prompt

Write a poem inspired by the workings of the human body at a cellular level. You may find ideas by looking at different vocabulary and terminology, or drawing connections between cellular functions and processes to situations in your emotional life and interpersonal relationships. Submit your pieces to: wlpenman@gmail.com

Weekly Writing Prompt

This week, think of a recent encounter you had with someone you admire. Then, write a short story where you reimagine that experience from the perspective of the other person. What might be noticed about the interaction that is different from what you interpreted? Will the feelings expressed be mutual? Submit your pieces to wlpenman@gmail.com

Weekly Writing Prompt

Write a poem that joyfully honors a loved one who has passed away—or that confronts death and mortality in a more general way—with a tone of both respect and celebration. How does imbuing the gravity of mortality with liveliness and vitality inspire you to think about imagery, rhythm, and diction in new ways? Submit your […]

Weekly Writing Prompt

Write a short story that explores how a human character adapts when placed in a geographical location with extreme atmospheric conditions. Is your character alone or part of a pack? You may choose to write a story based in reality, or one that incorporates elements of the fantastic. Submit your pieces to: wlpenman@gmail.com

Weekly Writing Prompt

Write a trio of poems, each focusing on one type of sensory input. Select an element—setting, narrator’s voice, repeated words, or a specific object—that stays constant through all three, tying them together. Submit your pieces to: wlpenman@gmail.com

Weekly Writing Prompt

Write a personal essay that attempts to grapple with death and starts with the end, but then circles around to hope and beginnings. You might choose to write about a loved one you have lost, the end of a relationship, or explore your beliefs and questions about your own mortality. Search for the story of […]