Prompt of the week

There are certain things in life that it is pretty much guaranteed we’ll all experience at some point or another – first kiss, passing exams, first job, falling in love, then out again….. they could all be described as ‘rites of passage’. The Collins dictionary has a couple of definitions of rite:

  1. a formal act which forms part of a religious ceremony
  2. a custom that is carried out within a particular group

Now, not being of a religious bent, I know not a lot about religious ceremonies, but, I do recognise that I indulge in lots of customs within my family, especially at Christmas. From watching ‘Carols from Kings’ on Chrismas Eve, to mince pies and bucks fizz for breakfast amongst the wrapping paper on Christmas morning, and noisy board games in the evening, the rites of Christmas day are set in stone (there are plenty more, but I won’t bore you). Of course, this year things may be different, we’ll still have those ‘rites’ but they may be postponed until we can get together… that might be Easter the way things are going…! I’ll record Carols from Kings just in case.

Anyway, I expect you’ve guessed what all this nonsense is leading to? Yep, this week’s prompt is:


Let’s hear about the customs/traditions of your family, or one of your own ‘rites of passage’, or perhaps a wedding or baptism, diwali, hanukkah, Wesak or Yuan Tan or any other religious festival that I haven’t thought of (sorry, I told you I know nothing..). As always write in any form you like – poetry, prose, fiction/non-fiction, give it a go. Actually, come to think of it, this site is getting a bit poetry heavy, a bit of flash fiction or some such would be most excellent! Can’t wait to read your pieces.

‘Greetings’ by Kevin Murphy

Our thanks to Kevin for this thoughtful response to the prompt ‘Wave’

The greatest impact of Covid 19 on the human race could be an invisible one – not microscopic like the virus itself, but actually not visible. It could alter key fundamental behaviours, which may not be addressed at the UN or at the family level – a psychological element, one affecting mental and therefore physical health of the population of the earth.

A Doctor Zunin made a discovery on which management ‘guru’ Claus Moller built a theory of good management, which he has taught to internationally successful organisations and companies. Simply put: the first four minutes of any relationship set the tone of the rest of the relationship. This includes anything from a short conversation to a marriage for life, and every time we meet and greet.

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Prompt of the week

Many, many years ago, before even electric typewriters were a thing (yes, I am an ancient relic!), I learned to touch type. School girls at rows of desks thwacking the keys to make sure they hit the tape cleanly, not allowed to look down at them. I remember the noise of the typewriters, and the teacher yelling at us above it! It took a while, but eventually, my fingers worked pretty much automatically, finding the letters without my even thinking about it. All these years later, I’m still touch typing away (though not bashing the keys in quite such an aggressive manner – my laptop wouldn’t like that at all!) faster than ever with the help of the newfangled keyboards.

Our fingers are amazing tools really, aren’t they? How, without even looking, we know the texture of things, the heat, the size….

Doesn’t have to be fingers either… when I was learning to ride I was told that my leg resting against the horse’s side should be ‘like the gentle holding of a hand, the lightest touch’, so that the horse knows you’re there and would react to the slightest squeeze.

So there you go, two different interpretations. See what you can come up with using the prompt:


As always, write in any format you choose. Hey, why not try writing some prose and editing it into poetry? Use a light touch – don’t be heavy handed!

Prompt: What’s in front of you?

Just for a change, I thought we might take a slightly different approach to the prompt this week and ask you to look beyond your keyboard/notepad and pen and let your eyes rest on an object in your room that has meaning for you, and write a piece around that.

There’s a picture above of my own little dragon , bought from a grimy second hand shop in Pingyao, China. It lives on the mantlepiece as a permanent reminder of a wonderful trip, and below I’ve cheekily added a poem that I wrote about it a while back as a ‘starter for ten’. You can choose to write absolutely anything – an ornament; book; plant; record; picture… or maybe even the pen you’re using… I’m sure we’ve all got something with a memory or sentiment attached.

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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.

Prompt of the Week

Happy New Year everyone! Hope you all had a good Christmas break and are looking forward to even more writing output in 2020!

Well, its a New Year, a new decade, I’m sure you must have had a few new things for Christmas, and lets face it, there is plenty of news going on at the moment, so can you guess what the next prompt is? Yup, its:


Approach it any way you like – poetry, prose, flash fiction, creative non-fiction, or what about a script? Why don’t you step outside of your comfort zone for this one (start as you mean to go on eh?) and try something different. A different tense/perspective/style can give a real boost to your writing. Go on, have a go! I look forward to reading the results.

Prompt for the Week

Some of us were privileged enough to attend our leaders, Kevin Murphy’s, recent birthday bash, and what a lovely do it was too! (Excuse me if I just take a moment to thank Kevin’s wife, Diane, for providing us with such a scrumptious spread, it was amazing!) The event inspired this week’s prompt of


Of course, your piece doesn’t have to be about a birthday party, it can be about any ol’ sort, and I have to say I amazed myself with the number of options I came up with when I started thinking about it: Hen/stag parties; Christmas parties (office or otherwise!); party lines (I’m very old – I remember these!); partition walls; political parties (ooh very topical); oh and of course, shooting parties (just sayin’)! There are loads more too – who knew that ‘party’ was such a versatile word, and think of all the different settings you can give them.

As always it can be prose, poetry, flash fiction – anything you like.

Well, I’m off now to start writing, hope you do the same…. we’ll look forward to reading your work.

A Very Special Houseplant – By Andrew Bell

Some months ago, I took over the care of an anthurium or flamingo flower, an exotic house plant which is a native of the tropical climates of South America. It came as a gift to my wife, but very soon, I took a liking to it.
I love its generous display of shiny, waxlike pointy leaves and the flowers, which consist of beautiful salmon pink bracts or blooms; and, sitting on top, a vertical spike of tiny flowers that begin with a whitish colour, but then slowly change to a pleasing limey green.

I also keep a small family of spider plants that all came from the very first plant we had which, for many years, held pride of place on a small table in the hall, by the front door. Spider plants are much less needy but, with just a little TLC are just as pleasing to the eye as the more exotic plants.

Right now, this flamingo flower has no companions. Trying to discover how to give it the care it needs: maintaining the right balance of warmth, moisture, feed and light is still a bit of a challenge, but I know from experience with the spider plants, that, in time, this knowledge will arise by simply taking a few moments to give the plant my undivided attention.

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Prompt of the Week

Our prompt this week is:


You can use this any way you like – Location; Locality; Localise, or even Lo-cal! It would be lovely to hear a bit about where you live, but just use the word to inspire you. Why not try a bit of freewriting, just 15 minutes of pen to paper – no stopping, or punctuation, just a free flow of words, a bit like word association if you like. See where it takes you. After that, you can either edit it into a fully formed piece, or just search it for gems. The finished piece can, of course, be prose, poetry, fiction or biography, or anything else you can think of! We look forward to reading your work.

Readings in Retford

This weekend the North Notts Lit Fest was in full swing in Retford and the Retford Writers Group reading was just one of many exciting events taking place in different venues around the town. Since our slot was fairly early on Saturday morning we weren’t expecting too much of an audience, so were pleased to see the newly created cafe filling with people as 10:00 a.m. approached.

Eleven members each read a piece of their work, and for this session we all chose something a little lighthearted, which we felt was more appropriate for a sunny Saturday morning!

Although there was a fairly modest number in the audience, they all seemed very appreciative, and we were delighted to hear afterwards how much they had enjoyed the session. Our thanks go to the organisers of NNLF for giving us the opportunity to share our work with local residents, and we very much hope that the rest of the weekend was as successful as our session!