Prompt for July 10 – Virtual Carson McCullers House

(This is a re-blog from this Tuesday, a writing prompt crafted by our summer intern Ellie Rostan.)

As the world is being shaken and drastically realigned by COVID-19, normalcy seems lost, and we are lost in the strangeness that is becoming our new normal. Carson McCullers’ poem “When We Are Lost” imparts a universal voice to this very terror of losing oneself in a warped space or time or “the joined trickery of both conceptions.” When we are lost, we writers write. We write to regain our footing, to make sense of the strange, to pull on what is uncomfortable. The prompt is simply this: Write to finish this phrase, however you see fit:
“When we are lost…” 

Join us for our virtual salon on Zoom at 7pm for readings and conversation. And meet Ellie!

Canceled for today – Virtual Barat House

Donna is celebrating her birthday! Please join Anu for the virtual Carson McCullers house circle tonight. The prompt will go live right here at 6pm, and the meeting will be at 7. The meeting link will be posted with the prompt.

You might also consider challenging yourself with this prompt from our intern, Ellie Rostan:

As the world is being shaken and drastically realigned by COVID-19, normalcy seems lost, and we are lost in the strangeness that is becoming our new normal. Carson McCullers’ poem “When We Are Lost” imparts a universal voice to this very terror of losing oneself in a warped space or time or “the joined trickery of both conceptions.” When we are lost, we writers write. We write to regain our footing, to make sense of the strange, to pull on what is uncomfortable. The prompt is simply this: Write to finish this phrase, however you see fit:
“When we are lost…” 

Be well, everyone.

Prompt for July 8 – Virtual Didier Dumas

Dig out that one good moment

Rebecca Watkins, “How to Love a Bad Day”

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

If you would like to share your work on our blog, visit Submittable after 7pm.

Open for submissions for issue 12 – and a writing prompt inspired by Carson McCullers

Tomorrow night (July 8) at 8pm, Rivertown Film will screen a conversation with directors Karen Allen and Kristi Zea on their films with the director of the Carson McCullers Center, Nick Norwood, and moderator Susanna Styron from March 25, 2017, celebrating the birthday centennial events in 2017 organized by CSU’s Carson McCullers Center for Writers and Musicians. Be sure to check it out on their YouTube channel, part of their Artists from the Archives series. In the meantime, one of the teen writers who participated in the events that year, Ellie Rostan, offers a special writing prompt for this week:

As the world is being shaken and drastically realigned by COVID-19, normalcy seems lost, and we are lost in the strangeness that is becoming our new normal. Carson McCullers’ poem “When We Are Lost” imparts a universal voice to this very terror of losing oneself in a warped space or time or “the joined trickery of both conceptions.” When we are lost, we writers write. We write to regain our footing, to make sense of the strange, to pull on what is uncomfortable. The prompt is simply this: Write to finish this phrase, however you see fit:
“When we are lost…” 

Send us your writing! Our open submissions period for issue 12 continues until the end of August. While we are not accepting new poetry as we deal with the quarantine backlog, fiction and creative non-fiction sections need your best work.

Prompt for July 3 – Virtual Carson McCullers House

Borrowings, gleanings, erasures, black-outs, and riffs. These are a few of the ways that poets reuse the canon to make new, fully alive verse. In honor of Independence Day, our national holiday, let’s make something living out of the old poem by Francis Scott Key. What’s your vision, and “[w]hat is that which the breeze… now conceals, now discloses?”

Try shaking up the old poem and writing something new out of the process. Then join us at 7pm for our online salon on Zoom for readings and conversation. Hope to see you!

Prompt for July 3 – Virtual Didier Dumas

Dream Lexicon

Images you see in a dream are never what they appear to be. A dream about death is really about personal transformation; a dream about marriage is really about making a transition. Use this image generator to “dream” three unrelated things. How might they connect? Does it inspire or hinder you to imagine what those items might be interpreted to mean in a dream?

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 here: Zoom meeting

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.

Prompt for July 1 – Virtual Didier Dumas

My last night of childhood began with a visit home.

Octavia Buter, “Bloodchild”

I love this opening because it is so rich in evocative images: the juxtaposition of an end and a beginning, of nighttime with childhood, the implicit “away” suggested by “a visit home.” Use the prompt to inspire your work in any form (poetry or prose; fiction of any genre; creative nonfiction, essay, or memoir).

Anyone who planned to read last Friday at 1pm should feel free to “cheat” and bring what they wrote last week! This is always the case, by the way—use any of the prompts on our blog to inspire your work during any of our writing circles.

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

If you would like to share your work on our blog, visit Submittable after 7pm.

Prompt for June 26 – Virtual Carson McCullers House

We spend a lot of time thinking about germs now, quite rightly. It’s a bit exhausting, though. For tonight’s writing, let’s shift to something else small and full of mysterious energy, always ready to multiply itself gloriously: a seed. Take the prompt literally and consider seeds you’ve planted, seeds you’ve seen fall, seeds you’ve swept out of your driveway. Or go figuratively and examine the seeds of friendship, enmity, injustice, memory…

Then join us at 7pm in our virtual salon on Zoom for readings and conversation. We look forward to hearing what sprouts.

Prompt for June 26 – Virtual Barat House

I sing the city.

N.K. Jemisin, The City We Became

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 here: Zoom meeting

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.

Prompt for June 24 – Virtual Didier Dumas

At the end of the eight-minute concert, the sound of leaves and branches blowing in the wind resonated throughout the opera house like applause.

From “1 small to go: Plants fill opera house seats” in the Axios AM Newsletter by Mike Allen, a story about the artist Eugenio Ampudia organizing a string quartet performance for 2,292 live plants.

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 reading and discussion.

If you would like to share your work on our blog, visit Submittable after 7pm.