WPC Writing Prompts

This page includes writing prompts for people who are participating in ROMP’s Winter Poetry Challenge.

On this page, each week a new writing prompt will be posted. These are only suggestions if you are having trouble finding something to write about. For the Winter Poetry Challenge, you can write on any them with any format.

Also, more prompts can be found at the Summer Poetry Challenge Writing Prompts Page.

Prompt 8: Fairy Tales & Myths

Fairy tales, myths and folk tales all contain familiar characters going on journeys of discovery. Write a poem from the point of view of one of these characters. Give us a different interpretation of his/her life than the traditional tale unfolds.

Prompt 7: Unblocked

If a writer is feeling blocked, what is the best thing to do? Describe that block. What is its shape? Color? Texture? How big is this block? Where does it live? Does it move around. Describe a block to get unblocked.

Prompt 6: Parade

Imagine a parade celebrating your life. Create a series of images to describe what and who would be in it. Which words would be dancing down the street? Which objects from your past and present? What would the floats be? What songs would the bands be playing?

Prompt 5: Natural Observation

If it’s a good day to go outside wherever you are, take a few minutes and sit outside and pick something to observe or sit at a window looking out. Write down what you observe through your senses. try not to add opinions or stories to the observation. Don’t feel you have to write in complete sentences. Good poets always begin with observation.

Prompt 4: From One Word

Sometimes the simplest of prompts can bring out the most profound writing. A common and popular writing generator is to take one word and let the images and ideas flow from that one word . . . into something that you can eventually make into a poem. For this prompt, your word is CELLAR.

Prompt 3: Magenta Running Candle

This is a short, fun activity with words that can become a silly, fun or ….any kind of poem. Start by making three short lists. Write down 5 colors, 5 ing action verbs and 5 inanimate objects. NOW STOP. DO THE LISTS BEFORE READING THE REST OF THE INSTRUCTIONS.

When you have your lists, pick one item from each list as the title of your poem. Then write a short poem about that item.

Prompt 2: 19th Amendment

2020 is the year of the woman, particularly because it is the centennial of the ratification of the 19th amendment and the guarantee of a woman’s right to vote. Celebrate it in poetry! You might also win some cash. The details for ROMP’s 19th Amendment poem contest are HERE. Shaun will not be judging the contest, so feel free to send in a draft of your poem for feedback during the winter writing challenge!

Prompt 1: Anti-Resolution

The new year is always a time for resolutions. But poetry is not about doing things familiar: It is about observing and writing in a way that shakes people out of the familiar. That said, choose an antonym for “resolution” (doubt, uncertainty, disinclination, unwillingness, reluctance, etc.) and write a poem about it. Perhaps the poem is merely a list of phrases that define the antonym.