“13 Ways of Looking at a Writing Prompt”

Club Prompts

Print Art Ink Drawing Sketch Mixed Media Collage Raven Crow Painting Illustration Gift Autographed Signed Emanuel M. Ologeanu

Warm-Up Writing: You may have heard of the poem Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird. Check it out. Then… brainstorm some of your own titles – with fewer numbers, maybe. Examples:

  • “6 Reasons to Sleep In.” or “5 Ways to dump your romantic partner.”
  • Or make it a process: “6 Steps to Changing Your Life,” or “5 Steps to Lose a Friend.”
  • Or you could use a more generic/abstract one, like “7 Ways I Could_____” or “6 Things I Need to_____” or “5 People I’d Like to _____”– and you could leave the blank for you (the writer) to decide.

Longer Writing Prompt: Choose one of your titles from the pre-writing, and go with it. It could come out as a poem, story, monologue, creative non-fiction, or who knows?

What’s the Point? What we’re really working with here is a clear structure – something for the reader’s (or – more to the point – the listener’s) mind to track – especially for someone hearing it for the first time, like at a Spoken Word Open Mic.

Share Your Work in the comments below…

(and here’s a link to that great image…)


Flash Fiction 24!

Club Prompts, Flash Fiction

Last week, we had our Twenty-Fourth Flash-Fiction contest here at Holyoke Community College. Everyone met in a computer room. We gave them 30 minutes to write a piece of fiction based on the following 3 prompts…

Prompt #1: Interpret this picture in any way you choose (it’s by HCC alum Aliea Wallace)…


Prompt #2: Your story must have multiple parts to it (at least 2 parts – indicated by a space-break, a “chapter title” – or some other clear way that fits your story).

Prompt #3: The different parts of your story must work with point of view in some way – as a change of narrator, change of past-to-present – or whatever way fits your story.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll share the entries we got in the comments below – starting with the winners. Feel free to add your own flash fiction there, too. We’d love to see what you come up with…