Prompts Given in The Writer's Cramp From 4/4/16 - 4/4/17
There are 57 prompts here that I gave in a contest. I am still finding my way in the prompt-giving business, but this is a full year of prompts that I gave and people wrote to (sometimes). Most of the prompts come from my life experiences and reading.
Feel free to use any of them if they help you to write!
1. A land line telephone is ringing and ringing. Write a story or poem (any genre) about an unanswered telephone. Given April 4 - 5, 2016. Result = 3 Entries
2. Write a story or a poem (any genre) including these three items:
Please bold them for judging convenience. Given April 18-19, 2016. Result = 2 entries
3. A big red rabbit is the neighborhood's center of attention, until a Basset Hound puppy moves in next door. Write a story or poem about it in any genre. Given April 26-27, 2016. Result = 2 entries
4. Jennifer Aniston Quote: Friends are the family we choose for ourselves." Given May 3-4, 2016. Result = 3 Entries
5. You receive a summons for jury duty and the day has arrived. Write a story or poem about the experience in the genre of your choice. Given May 10-11, 2016 - 2 entries
6. The government announces the internet will be unavailable for at least a week. How will the time be filled? Write a short story or a poem about this situation. Given May 12-13, 2016 - 2 entries
7. Two black bears are on the loose in the suburbs. Write a short story or poem about this situation. (Ripped from the headlines in my little town) Given May 17 - 18 - 3 entries
8. Write a short story or poem using these words.
Please bold the words for judging convenience. Given May 24 - 25 = 8 entries
9.You are stuck in an airport overnight because of long security lines. Out come the cots. Write a poem or short story about the situation in any genre. Given May 31 - June 1st - 2 entries
10. You wake up and you are riding on a train and have no idea how you got there. Write a poem or short story about the situation in any genre. Given June 7-8 = 6 entries
11. You won the lottery jackpot and are worth a lot of MOOla. A year has passed. Write a 1st person short story or poem about your situation one year after winning the big one. Given June 14-15 = No Entries
12. Write a short story or poem using these words:
Please bold the words for judging convenience.
Given June 21 -22 = 4 entries
13. Write a short story or poem, in any genre, using this sentence, bolded at the beginning:
"Isn't it pretty to think so?"
This is the last sentence from Ernest Hemingway's novel, The Sun Also Rises. It is one of the most famous endings in literature. I'd like to see what you Writer's Cramp writers do with it being at the beginning of your story or poem.
Given June 29-30 = 7 entries
14. I am a moonchild, celebrating a birthday later this week. Write a short story or poem, in any genre, using this line from one of my favorite Cat Stevens songs, bolded somewhere in your story or poem for judging convenience:
"I'm being followed by a moon shadow"
Given: July 5-6 = 7 entries
15. Music is what moves me to write. Write a short story or poem, in any genre, using this line from a Paul McCartney & Wings' song, bolded somewhere in your story or poem for judging convenience:
"Venus and Mars are alright tonight"
Given: July 12 - 13 = 3 entries
16. It is the scary/silly season of political change here in the U.S. and Great Britain, and political drama dominates the news cycle. Write a short story or poem, in any genre, using all these words, bolded somewhere in your story or poem for judging convenience:
Brexit OR Convention (Use one or the other)
Given July 19-20 = 5 Entries
17. F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote what many view as one of the greatest American novels of all time, The Great Gatsby. He ends his masterpiece with a sentence that is unforgettable. You do NOT need to use the quote in your story or poem, just get inspired by it. Write a short story or poem (in any genre) inspired by the following quotation:
"So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."
Given July 26-27 = 4 Entries
18. Write a short story or poem (in any genre) inspired by the following Leonard Cohen song line:
"Dance me to the end of love."
Given August 2-3 = 9 entries
19. Write a short story or poem (in any genre) using the following words bolded for judging convenience:
Given August 9-10 = 2 entries
20. Write a short story or poem (in any genre) inspired by these Jon Baez lyrics:
"We all know what memories can bring. They bring diamonds and rust."
Given August 16-17 = 5 entries
21. Write a short story or poem (in any genre) starting OR ending with this line from a Simon and Garfunkel song:
"Hello darkness, my old friend"
*Please bold the line for judging purposes.*
Given August 23-24 = 6 entries
22. Write a short story or poem (in any genre) starting with this memorable line from a famous Seinfeld TV episode:
"No soup for you!"
Please bold for judges.
Given August 30-31 = 3 entries
23.You need to write your entry (poem or story) in the TRAGEDY genre! MAKE SURE YOU PICK "TRAGEDY" as one of your three Genre choices!
A rodeo bull named decides to celebrate his 16th birthday by running with the bulls in Pamplona Spain, a long standing real life tradition first made famous by Ernest Hemingway in his novel, "The Sun Also Rises."
Write about what happened to poor old Hooves when he ran with the bulls in Spain.
Given September 6-7 = 4 entries
24. Dolly Parton Quote: "The way I see it, if you want the rainbow,
you gotta put up with the rain." Write a poem or short story inspired by the quote.
Given September 13-14 = 4 entries
25. Autumn officially starts later this week. Dylan Thomas once wrote "And I rose in rainy autumn and walked abroad in a shower of all my days."
Write a poem or short story (any genre) inspired by this quotation.
Given September 20 - 21 = 5 entries
26. This is a quote from an Earth, Wind and Fire song that runs through my thoughts every September:
"Someday you'll remember
dancing in September"
Write a poem or short story (any genre) using this quotation somewhere and bolding it for judging convenience.
Given September 23 - 24 = 3 entries
27. Write a short story or poem (in any genre) using the following words bolded for judging convenience:
Given October 4-5 = 6 entries
28. Write a short story or poem (in any genre) about the best of worst review you ever received. It can be a review of writing, acting, or anything else.
Given October 5-6 = 4 Entries
29. John Lennon's birthday was October 9th, this past week. He would have been 76.
Write a short story or poem (in any genre) using this line from John Lennon's song, Instant Karma, as the last line:
"We all shine on, like the moon, and the stars, and the sun."
Given October 11-12 = 4 Entries
30. Write a short story or poem (in any genre) using this line from Nobel Prize Winner Bob Dylan's song "Blowin' in the Wind" as the opening line:
"The answer, my friend, is blowin in the wind"
Then use this line (from the same song) as the last line for your story or poem:
"The answer is somewhere in the wind."
Please bold both the lines for judging convenience.
Given October 18 - 19 = 3 entries
31. A black cat appears in a neighborhood every Halloween, but only on October 31st. This happens for many years until one Halloween the black cat appears to have vanished. Write a story or poem about the matter of the missing cat.
You may use any genre.
Given October 25 - 26 = 3 Entries
32. After many years of giving out candy on Halloween, you've had enough of it. You turn out the lights early and go to sleep, ignoring the date. The next morning, November 1st, you find something unexpected outside your front door.
Write a poem or short story about what you find an what you do about it. Any genre will do.
Given November 1 - 2 = 3 entries
33. Write a poem or short story with the following line from a 1965 Barry McGuire song bolded somewhere in the item:
"Tell me over and over again my friend, why you don't believe we're on the Eve of Destruction."
Given November 8-9 = 2 Entries
34. Write a poem or short story with the following line from the late, great Leonard Cohen's song, Hallelujah bolded somewhere in the text. Any genre will do:
"There's a blaze of light
In every word
It doesn't matter which you heard."
Given November 15 - 16 = 3 entries
35. There is a happy gathering of some sort for Thanksgiving. Everything seems to be going well when an uninvited guest arrives by way of the chimney. It is a bushy-tailed squirrel who has come to visit.
Write a story or poem about what happens next in any genre.
Given November 22 - 23 = 3 Entries
36. Write a Short Story or Poem, using ONE of these Bob Dylan Song Titles as YOUR title. In other words, pick one and do what you will with it. It may be any genre.
"Positively 4th Street"
"Blowin' in the Wind"
"Lay Lady, Lay"
"Mr. Tambourine Man"
"Like a Rolling Stone"
Given November 29 - 30 = 2 entries
37. Your character has a dream and ends up falling out of bed onto the floor. Write a short story or poem (any genre) about how the character explains this to the somewhat skeptical Doctor and medical staff the next day.
Given December 6 - 7 = 2 entries
38. A holiday travel plan hits a snag when you are driving on a road at night through the mountains. Suddenly, your car starts to make a weird noise every time you try to accelerate. Write a poem or short story about what happens next. Any genre you want is fine.
Given December 13 - 14 = 4 entries.
39. Please write a story or poem (any genre) incorporating the following words:
Given December 20 - 21 = 4 entries
40. This holiday season, a friend of mine is traveling alone by train. I wonder what this adventure will hold for this person. Please write a story or poem (any genre) about someone who is traveling alone by train during the holidays.
Please use this as the title of your story or poem:
Train to Nowhere
Given December 27 - 28 = 2 entries
41. Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher were two people who brought joy and entertainment to my life through their work in movies. Some of the things they said, through the years, made a lot of sense to me.
Please use this quote from Debbie Reynolds as the first OR last line of your story or poem, to be written in the genre of your choice:
"The only way you learn is by failure."
Given January 3 - 4, 2017 = 2 Entries
42. A Basset Hound Detective, along with a trusty bovine assistant, investigates the case of a missing truck full of Dog Chow.
One of your genres should be "Mystery". Please write the story or poem (your choice) depicting this alarming situation and its resolution.
Given January 8 - 9 = 5 Entries
43. Uh Oh. Call the authorities.
Some gift points have gone missing. Please entitle your story or poem:
"The Case of the Missing Gift Points"
One of your genres should be "Detective". Please write the story or poem (your choice) depicting this alarming situation and its resolution.
Given January 10-11 = 1 Entry
44. Tomorrow is the holiday where we celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Write a story or a poem (any genre and it does not have to be about Dr. King) that starts with this sentence:
"I Have a Dream."
Given January 15 - 16 = 4 entries
45. Your story or poem should be written in the Comedy Genre.
A Basset Hound AND a Bull have the job of babysitting for an overly indulged child who likes to throw tantrums. How do they all cope with this situation?
Given January 17 - 18 = 3 Entries
46. Write a story or a poem (any genre is fine) inspired by the following quotation:
"Those who do not read are no better off than those who cannot." (Proverb)
Just get inspired by the quote - it does not have to be part of the story or poem.
Given January 24 - 25 = 3 entries
47. Write a story or a poem (any genre is fine) starting with the following bolded Ernest Hemingway quotation from A Moveable Feast:
"The story was writing itself and I was having a hard time keeping up with it."
Given January 31 - Feb 1 = 1 Entry
48. A couple, married in 1984, celebrates their anniversary every year by going to a Diner. Write a story or poem about their celebration in the Romance Genre.
Given February 7 - 8 = 3 Entries
49. Happy Valentine's Day! One of my favorite movies is Breakfast at Tiffany's. I believe that the movie wouldn't be the classic it is without the song, Moon River.
Take this bit of lyric from the song, get inspired and write a story or poem in any genre. It can be about two people, two animals or two inanimate objects:
"Two drifters, off to see the world"
The title of your story or poem should be "Moon River"
I will not be the judge, but the poem or story I like best will get a "Breakfast at Tiffany's" merit badge from me.
Given February 14 - 15 = 4 entries
50. Someone finds a penny on the ground. Write the story or poem (any genre is fine) about how the penny got there from the penny's point of view.
Given February 21 - 22 = 6 entries
51. A container of never-delivered mail is found in an old abandoned house after many years. Finally, a letter is delivered to its destination and a person (maybe the intended recipient, maybe not - your choice) is there to receive it and sign for it. Write a short story or poem (you pick the genre) about someone's reaction to reading a long lost letter from the past.
Given February 28 - March 1 = No Entries
52. A cat sets out on a journey with a squirrel companion. Write a short story or poem about the journey from the cat or squirrel's point of view. You pick the genre.
Given March 6 - 7 = 1 entry
You awaken to the sound of a jackhammer, but no one is working outside. The noise appears to be coming from the walls of your home. Write a poem or story about what happens next in the mystery genre.
Given March 12 - 13 = 2 entries
Use the following words in your story or poem about St. Patrick's Day, choosing any genre. Be sure and bold the words for judging convenience.
St. Patrick's Day
Given March 14 - 15 = 2 entries
55. Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald were famous American writers who lived in Paris in the 1920's. Paris was involved in a lot of their stories and books.
Write a short story or poem set in a 1920's Paris Cafe. You must include a cat and a bottle of wine in your story or poem. The genre choice is up to you.
Given March 21 - 22 = 5 entries (Gave Merit badge incentive}
56. 1968 was a busy year, full of turmoil and change. Most of the turmoil took place on and after April 4th. Your prompt is to write a story or poem in the History Genre about a character who writes for a living in Memphis, Tennessee in March of 1968.
You must include a telephone, a typewriter and a cow in your story or poem. Please bold the three items for judging convenince.
Given March 28 - 29, 2017 = 3 Entries
57. A big group of sports fans are gathered in a Sports Bar (with 30 flat screen TVs) to watch the final game of the NCAA Basketball Championships. Suddenly, the sky darkens and a horrific storm blows through, taking out all the satellite TV reception with it. The roads are flooded, so no one can leave yet.
Write the poem or short story about what happens now.
Given April 4 - 5 = 0 Entries