Prompt for December 2 – Virtual Didier Dumas

Home style recipe or home remedy?

Comfort food or constitutional tonic? One person’s favorite pie is another’s holiday life support. Come up with one or a few essential homestyle recipes or home remedies (or some concoction that’s a little of both) and choose one to inspire your work.

Use the prompt to inspire your work in any form (poetry or prose; fiction of any genre; creative nonfiction, essay, or memoir).

Join our virtual meeting at 8pm for readings and discussion.

A note on the prompt

The inspiration was Like Water for Chocolate: A Novel in Monthly Installments with Recipes, Romances and Home Remedies by Laura Esquivel, set largely in the kitchen. Tita, the almost-ever homebound main character, forbidden from consummating her true love, incorporates her passions, joys, and sorrows into recipes handed down through generations to the narrator.

Prompt for November 25 – Virtual Didier Dumas

The Hoarded Object

In your head, go into that room where all the spare things are. A garage, your mom’s basement, your grandfather’s attic. Find something that should probably be thrown away. Can’t quite bear to part with it? Use it as inspiration.

Use the prompt to inspire your work in any form (poetry or prose; fiction of any genre; creative nonfiction, essay, or memoir).

Join our virtual meeting at 8pm for readings and discussion.

Prompt for November 18 – Virtual Didier Dumas

Go somewhere you don’t belong.

Use the prompt to inspire your work in any form (poetry or prose; fiction of any genre; creative nonfiction, essay, or memoir).

Join our virtual meeting at 8pm for readings and discussion.

Prompt for November 11 – Virtual Didier Dumas

Random S + M (Setting and Music!)

I love doing this prompt in person, where we’d just pick some settings and general ideas for soundtracks out of a hat. (Beach and Cool Jazz, for instance; or Desert and Classical Cello.) But let’s see what we can do with the wonder of online tools.

I’ve set up this tool to give you a random 400-pixel-square image each time you click the link. (If you’d like to play with other sizes or orientations, visit picsum.photos and follow the instructions.) Use this image to inspire a setting. Then visit this link to generate a random list of songs, including links to the recordings on different platforms (YouTube, which is free, is included). Use any of the recordings to inspire a soundtrack.

Join our virtual meeting at 8pm for reading and discussion.

Prompt for November 6 – Virtual Barat House

Two stories that meet in the middle

Imagine a place as it might have been at two different times (pre-Civil War and 2020, for instance; or Monday morning and Friday afternoon). How might two different events during those times end up in that same place? Who populates that place during those different time frames?

Use the prompt to inspire your work in any form (poetry or prose; fiction of any genre; creative nonfiction, essay, or memoir).

Log into our virtual meeting at 1pm for readings and discussion.

Prompt for November 13 – Virtual Barat House

I remember . . . (on someone else’s behalf)

Imagine a character, either real of fictional, someone of whom you have a clear idea. (It might help to jot down a list of 5 or more names.) Change something obvious about the person–something obvious to you–either internal or external, visible or invisible. For instance, if I picked Tina Turner, I might choose to write about a singer managed by her brother or mother, rather than her husband. Let the character’s memory guide your work.

Use the prompt to inspire your work in any form (poetry or prose; fiction of any genre; creative nonfiction, essay, or memoir).

Log into our virtual meeting at 1pm for readings and discussion.

Prompt for November 4 – Virtual Didier Dumas

American Breakfast

What do you, or someone else in America, expect to wake up to every day? Or what might someone from another part of the world cook up for a waking taste of America?

Use the prompt to inspire your work in any form (poetry or prose; fiction of any genre; creative nonfiction, essay, or memoir).

Join our virtual meeting at 8pm for readings and discussion.

If you prefer to post your work to our blog, visit Submittable after 7pm to upload your work. We will do our best to publish everything we receive.

Prompt for October 30 – Virtual Barat House

the day we become silent

Use the prompt to inspire your work in any form (poetry or prose; fiction of any genre; creative nonfiction, essay, or memoir).

Log into our virtual meeting at 1pm for readings and discussion.

If you prefer to post your work to our blog, visit Submittable after 12pm to upload your work. We will do our best to publish everything we receive.

A note on the prompt

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., quoted by Global Citizen

Please do all you can to cast your ballot by Election Day.

Treat

Full Episode of “Gomez the Politician” from Season 1 of The Addams Family – Happy Halloween!

Prompt for October 28 – Virtual Didier Dumas

the day we become silent

Use the prompt to inspire your work in any form (poetry or prose; fiction of any genre; creative nonfiction, essay, or memoir).

Join our virtual meeting at 8pm for readings and discussion.

If you prefer to post your work to our blog, visit Submittable after 7pm to upload your work. We will do our best to publish everything we receive.

A note on the prompt

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., quoted by Global Citizen

Please do all you can to cast your ballot by Election Day.

Prompt for October 23 – Virtual Barat House

Seasonal Ekphrastic . . .

Photo by Liz Hafalia for the San Francisco Chronicle. Traditionally, an ekphrastic prompt invites a response to or description of a work of visual art in poetic voice. We interpret ekphrasis broadly–we invite you to respond in any form.

Use the prompt to inspire your work in any form (poetry or prose; fiction of any genre; creative nonfiction, essay, or memoir).

Log into our virtual meeting at 1pm for readings and discussion.

If you prefer to post your work to our blog, visit Submittable after 12pm to upload your work. We will do our best to publish everything we receive.

A note on the prompt

From “Can S.F. sway the presidential election? Drag queens support the resistance by writing to swing voters” by Heather Knight in the San Francisco Chronicle, October 15, 2020.