Today’s online writing groups’ poetry and story exercises: 5 July 2016

*** If you enjoy these prompts, or are looking to improve your writing or submit a manuscript, do take a look at my seven online courses… six currently half price (coupon codes on the online courses page) and one FREE!, and / or my Writer’s Block Workbooks… my best-selling eBooks – now available in eBook and paperback format!

Every weekday I post a set of poetry prompts on and a set of story prompts on the scriptnovel and short story blogs. As you’ll see by the heading numbers, you may have missed a few but the links are listed on the relevant group’s Exercises page so you can always find them there. So here are your poetry and short story exercises…

Poetry Writing Exercises 904: Tuesday 5th July

Here are your four poetry exercises for today. If you enjoy these prompts, do take a look at my online courses… six are currently half price (when using the coupon codes on my main blog’s online courses page) and another is FREE!

Time yourself for 15 minutes per exercise, having a break in between each one or move on to the next.  When you’ve finished, do pop over to this blog’s Facebook Group and let everyone know how you got on.

904 Singingcat 945002Below are the four – you can do them in any order.

  1. Keywords: services, stand, percent, nine, cross
  2. Random: a minute late
  3. Picture: what does this inspire?
  4. Tuesday Title: Country

Have fun, and if you would like to, do paste your writing in the comment boxes below so we can see how you got on! Remember though that it counts as being published so don’t post anything that you would want to submit elsewhere (where they require unpublished material).

See below for explanations of the prompts, they do vary…

  • Sentence starts = what it says on the tin. You can use it at the beginning of the poem or include it later, and being poetry it doesn’t have to be exact – just be inspired by it.
  • Keywords = the words have to appear in the poem but can be in any order and can be lengthened (e.g. clap to clapping).
  • Single-word prompt = sometimes all it takes is one word to spawn an idea. Sometimes it easy, sometimes hard but invariably fun.
  • Mixed bag = an object, a location, a colour.
  • Picture prompts = nothing other than a picture. What does it conjure up?
  • Title = The title for your piece.
  • Haiku poem= 5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables
  • Random = whatever takes my fancy!



Story Writing Exercises 908: Tuesday 5th July

Here are your four story exercises for today. If you enjoy these prompts (or are looking to improve your writing or submit a manuscript), do take a look at my online courses… six are currently half price (when using coupon codes) and the other is FREE!

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A Shortcut Through Time – collaborative short story

I love collaborations and have been involved in four, the latest I will be blogging about this week when it becomes available in paperback. This is a collaborative 10,000-word short story…. interesting.

Kathleen McGurl

Shortcut coverRecently I have had the pleasure and honour of collaborating with some wonderful authors of timeslip novels, to create a short (10,000 word) timeslip story. We wrote this originally for a Facebook group – the Historical and Timeslip Novels group – which has always been hugely supportive of all of us. This was our little way of giving something back. The story has been serialised in that group over the last couple of weeks, and now I can share it here for my blog readers. Click the link below to read the PDF on screen or download.


Your authors are listed below. All links are to their Amazon author pages. If you enjoy A Shortcut Through Time you’ll almost certainly enjoy their full length novels, so please do go and check them out!

Anna Belfrage – author of the marvellous Graham series

Annie Whitehead – To Be a Queen…

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