Daily Archives: February 28, 2017

Today’s online writing groups’ poetry and story exercises: 28th Feb 2017

*** 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… five currently half price and and two FREE! (coupon codes on the online courses page) 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 1074: Tuesday 28th February

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.

1074-anonymous-657195_640Below are the four – you can do them in any order.

  1. Keywords: frosty, shopping, carpet, rig, vase
  2. Random: helping someone old
  3. Picture: what does this inspire?
  4. Tuesday Title: Dream or Nightmare

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that it counts as being published so don’t post anything that you would want to submit elsewhere (where they require unpublished material).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 1078: Tuesday 28 February

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… five are currently half price and the other two are FREE (when using coupon codes)!

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Posted by on February 28, 2017 in ideas, poetry, short stories, writing


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Hourglass Literary Magazine – Writing Contest

Hello everyone. I have received the following information regarding an end-April contest. I will put the details on this blog’s Competitions page but in the meantime…

TITLE: Hourglass Literary Magazine – Writing Contest
FINAL CLOSING DATE: 11:59 P.M. April 30th 2017 (US Central time)
ENTRY FEE for submitting up to three pieces (Best Short Story and Best Essay categories), except for POETRY category where up to three submissions are accepted for $15.
GENERAL CRITERIA of the competition: .
PAST CONTEST (results, etc.):
CONTACT: contest {at} or editors {at}

At the confluence of the West and the East, Bosnian based, Hourglass Literary Magazine proudly announces its second international writing competition for:

Best Short Story
Best Poem
Best Essay

The jury: Sibelan Forrester, Jelena Lengold and John K. Cox.

1. The Winning Entry in each category (short story, essay and poem) will receive US$1000 as prize money, apart from a symbolic artifact (clepsydra), digital stamp and diploma. Authors of winning entries will receive printed copy of the Hourglass Literary Magazine No. 2.

2. The jury has the right to give a special prize (US$ 500 for entry in each category).
3. Special prize of the Literature and Latte – Scrivener Award – consisting of the one licensed software solutions “Scrivener” and US$250.
4. Special prize of The Literary Encyclopedia – an online reference work for English-language readers interested in broad literary and cultural matters – consisting of one 2-year subscriptions and one 1-year subscriptions to LE for shortlisted authors.
5. Editorial staff and board members will take under consideration shortlisted works (not awarded a prize) for publication in the second issue of the Hourglass Literary Magazine. The selected works will be FINANCIALLY compensated.

The competition is international and is open to all authors writing in English or any of the BCMS languages (comprising Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian, Montenegrin.) There are no theme, or genre limitations and boundaries. Work must be original and unpublished. One author can compete in all categories, for all three awards respectively. Limited multiple submissions are allowed (as well as simultaneous submissions)

Short story: should not exceed 7000 words or be less than 700 words. Entry fee: $15 USD ($25 for submitting up to three pieces).

Poetry: Poems should not have more than 3500 words. WRITERS CAN SUBMIT UP TO THREE POEMS/SONGS. Entry fee: $15 USD.

Essays: Essays should not exceed 9000 words or be less than 1000 words. Entry fee: 15 USD ($25 for submitting up to three papers).

We accept submissions via online “submission tool”: .

To stay updated, please follow our Social Media pages: Facebook (, Twitter ( and LinkedIn ( Alternatively, subscribe to our monthly newsletter –


(Important) Editors’ Note (optionally)

Hourglass Literary Magazine strives – and this is our manifesto’s core – to mix voices in one polyphonic structure, i.e. to connect writers who write in English, whether as native English speakers or international, with authors who write in what it used to be one language – Serbo-Croatian. With that being said, Hourglass Literary Magazine’s Issue No.1 featured authors are Philip Ó Ceallaigh, Irish short-story writer and David Albahari. Praised by many, academics, writers and (common) readers, Hourglass Literary Magazine – thanks to Ms Mirjana Miočinović and Pascale Delpech – gained exclusive rights to be the first to print Danilo Kiš’s unpublished works in English, including interviews, essays and short stories. After Mark Thompson’s (who is also contributor of the first issue), “Birth Certificate: The Story of Danilo Kiš” and book edited by Susan Sontag “Homo Poeticus: Essays and Interviews”, collection that introduced Danilo Kis to a wider, global audience, we are the third literary venture, and the first literary journal to continue rich saga about Danilo Kis.
For us – writing competition is essential! WE FEEL that our effort in scavenging works in three categories (Best Short Story, Best Essay and Best Poem) would be insufficient. That is exactly why we pursuit, why we solicit contributions from widely recognised authors and finally why we simultaneously challenge ourselves seeking and exploring various editorial methods and models. Hourglass Literary Magazine is staffed mostly by writers. Therefore, for us, publishing literary magazine is creative process – every syllable counts, every word counts.

Our “manifesto” can be found here:


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Quadrille: Bathtime

A fun prompt and poem…

Jane Dougherty Writes

The dverse prompt is a quadrille including giggles. The suggestion is to keep it light-hearted. Not my usual kind of thing, but here goes for the giggles.

Photo©Jacob and Marlies


Baby bathtime,

slipping, splashing,

drowning ducks and making rainbow bubbles,

soapy hair, foamy hands

and lost feet,

oh, there they are!

Held high, now,

Pink, kicking and dripping,

wrapped, laughter-squealing,

warm towel-embraced,

while bath water giggles and gurgles in echo

down the plug hole.

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Posted by on February 28, 2017 in writing