Today’s online writing groups’ poetry and story exercises: 30th March 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 1096: Thursday 30th March

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.

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

  1. Keywords: dozing, diary, banana, text, dolphin
  2. Random: the Victorian slum
  3. Picture: what does this inspire?
  4. Thursday Title: The Wind-up Toy

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that it counts as being published so don’t post anything that you would want to submit elsewhere (where they require unpublished material).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 1010: Thursday 30 March

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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How Many Oprah Books Have You Read?

Shamefully few. 😦

The Bookshelf of Emily J.

I spent my early twenties reading from Oprah’s book club.  I found the titles enjoyable, but it strikes me as something to be ashamed of.  However, in recently looking back over the list, there are quite a few pieces of great literature.  I was introduced to Carson McCullers from Oprah, and for that, I’m grateful.

oprah books 1

oprah books 2The other great part of Oprah’s book club was that so many women bought the books and, when done, took them to the thrift store.  I bought and enjoyed most of them second-hand.

So today, I’m going to play the game I’ve been playing with the folkloric BBC book list that directs some of what I read and post for this blog.  How many Oprah books have I read?  How many have you read?  Let’s look at the list.  (I’ll also link the list to the books or authors I’ve already written about on…

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