New year, new prompt!

Not written anything in 2021 yet? Well… shame on you! I know, I know, its all been a bit trying over the last, well, last year really, and Christmas was absolutely no exception (hope you managed a good one somehow or another despite restrictions). But come on now, brace yourselves, lets get this show on the road and get something down on paper. It really doesn’t matter what you write, nobody else needs to see it, just get writing.

Personally, I love a free-write. That is to say, write for a set number of minutes (I usually give myself 20 mins) starting with a particular subject, no punctuation, no lifting the pen (or your fingers if you’re typing), and no stopping to think. Just write the junk that spills from your mind – a bit like word association. It’s amazing what connections you can unexpectedly (and often, unexplainedly (is that a word?? ’tis now…) come up with, and they’re more often than not a good kick-start to a cracking story, poem or piece of creative non-fiction.

With the current lockdown now firmly in place, I thought ‘Lock’ might be a good starting point. Some of the things I’ve come up with are:

What is locked ? Doors; cupboards; trunks; wardrobes; diaries; hearts; personalities; minds; err…. lockdown (of course)….

Why are they locked? How do you open them? Where is the key? If you open them, what’s inside? Do you need another key? Are you locked in, or locked out?

Well, I could go on, but I’m sure you’ll come up with plenty of other ideas. I’d love to see the resulting work, so get writing….. Write Now!!

Prompt of the week

Ah, the blame game…. we’ve all done it. It’s so easy to point the finger, either at oneself, or others, when things go wrong, and to be honest, I don’t know which is worse. Goodness knows there is plenty of blame, rightly or wrongly, being bandied about in the news now! So this week’s prompt is, of course:


How about writing a story or poem based on when you’ve got it wrong? It happens to the best of us, we lay blame at someone’s door, then find out the situation was more complex than we thought, or worse still, it was our own doing after all. Go on, brace yourself to cover a difficult topic, it’s often where the best writing lies. We look forward to reading your pieces.

Prompt for the Week

Hey You!

Yes, you… you up for a writing challenge? Of course you are, you’re itching to write a piece using this week’s prompt:


But, woah there, hold your horses, rein in that imagination for a mo’… This week we’re asking you something a little more specific… to write about an event that happened to you, but write about in the second person. Yep, we’re asking you to address yourself. Question yourself, tell yourself off, laugh at yourself, let yourself be the star! We’re really looking forward to reading about your escapades through your creative non-fiction stories and poems, so don’t forget to share them with us. Have fun!

Prompt for the week ‘end’

See what I did there…Week ‘end’… weekend…. well, you get the gist! Yep you can talk about the weekend if you like, or any other sort of end you can think of (rear end…!) but keep it clean please! Of course, this was prompted (gosh I’m on form today) by the tiny little light at the end of the lockdown tunnel, but we know of course, that everything, good or bad, must come to an end someday. Sometimes the end is a relief, as in the end of conflict, but often endings are sad times, so I’m sure this is a word ripe for storytelling/poetry or any other form of creative writing you care to embrace. I look forward to reading your work. Take care.

Prompt for the week

We can’t get away from them these days, so this week’s prompt is:


Now, apart from the obvious current use to keep infection at bay, there seems to be a vast array of masks as well as reasons to wear them. There is, of course, masked balls (never been to one, have you?), those fancy Venetian masks, gas masks, the masks bank robbers wear, or disguises, masks of famous people… well, I could go on, but I’m sure you’ll be able to think of other examples for yourselves. Don’t forget, you can write in any format: fiction; poetry; creative non-fiction; or even a script (haven’t seen any of those for a while.. give it a go!). Have fun with it! We look forward to reading your work.

Prompt for this week

I hope you are all still keeping well, and coping ok with the continuing lockdown. Many of us now are dreaming of returning to some semblance of normality, wondering what the new world will look like post lockdown.

So this week we are giving a nod to that concept and we’re asking you to write something using the prompt:


Of course, it doesn’t have to relate to the current situation at all, it could be about after you’ve eaten (or drunk) too much; after a losing (or winning) game; after the party; or with VE day remembrance in mind… after the war. As usual, these are just some suggestions to get you going… let your imagination loose and write in any form you like: poetry; fiction; creative non-fiction; prose poetry….. well, you get the gist… any old way that gets your pen or your fingers on the keyboard moving. Have fun.

Picture Prompt

Ah Ha! Another picture prompt for you. Now, what do you make of this one? Is he a robot seeking knowledge…? Well, that was my first thought, but then.. perhaps he’s a toy lost in a library; perhaps we all feel like robots sometimes and he’s a reflection of a current mood; perhaps your batteries are running low, particularly at this time of turmoil; maybe the book is relevant… is it your favourite book (why do you love this book?); a gardening book; a book about learning to fly; a cookery book; an encyclopedia? Why is it so dark? What happens next? Deadly serious or rib-ticklingly funny?

One of the first things I learnt when trying out picture prompts is to look for the five ‘W’s:

Who – Who is the picture about?
What – What happened?
Where – Where did the event occur?
When – When did the event occur?
Why – Why did it happen?
(some also add an ‘H’ – How did it happen?)

It’s a useful place to start whether you are writing prose or poetry, fiction or non-fiction. Remember, this is just a prompt… the picture doesn’t have to feature at all, it’s just to get you on the runway.

Go on…let go of the strings of your imagination and let your pen (or keyboard!) fly!

‘Revisiting the Trolley Problem’ by Andrew Bell

Following our link to Dandelion Sleeves post ‘Reinterpreting the Trolley Problem’, Andrew Bell has written this thought provoking response:

Revisiting the trolley problem: a cautionary note.

The self evident truth of the value of the preservation of life is rightly stated to be the best steer through the ‘Trolley Problem’.

But when we came to the gatekeeper, the only person who has actual control of the lever, Kerry simply tells us that their primary concern and only impetus for action, is to the preservation and continuation of the runaway train. But I wonder whether this is true?

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Junk by Kevin Murphy

I have had an affinity with junk since I asked my Dad what the ‘Rag and Bone man’ was, and it has tickled me right up to now when my son and friends have developed a multi million pound company that even has the word ‘junk’ in its title.

Junk itself is a fun word, not easily used seriously – however much one might disagree with the notions of Stalin or Thatcher, they didn’t spout a load of junk – but perhaps rubbish?

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Prompt of the Week

Oh I do like a good old clear out now and again. Uncovering treasures that have been in the back of cupboards, or boxed up in the loft, can bring back all sorts of precious memories. But there is always something lurking there that makes you wonder what prompted you to keep it in the first place.

‘Chuck that, it’s just junk’

But it must’ve had it’s moment in my life somewhere along the line. I guess all junk has its own history. After all, as the saying goes, ‘one man’s trash is another man’s treasure!’ So have a go at this week’s prompt:


Any old style or format: poem; short story; extract; creative non-fiction or even some flash fiction. Go on give it a go. Find some junk and give it a backstory!