Summer Writing Mini-Workshop: Writing Prompts


Hybrid writing is great because it takes a form that is typically boring and reimagines it. I have written a Christmas letter, an obituary, and even a prescription. These exercises are not only fun, but they will also help you remember and get a feel for the forms.

A type of newspaper feature, when spoofed, can be as fake news as you want.

Take a well-known list and expand upon it in such a way that it becomes yours.

If you’re stuck, use a prefab format. It will take you places you would never otherwise go.

Neil Pasricha of “1000 Awesome Things” made a career out of a listicle. Make a list, check it twice, and you might surprise yourself. For example, each entry could lead to a poem or chapter headings of a personal essay anthology.

A hybrid form of found poetry is to create something out of what most consider trash.

Prequels, sequels, and retellings are a great way to get the creative juices flowing, but check out copyright restrictions before publishing (even on your blog). These restrictions just might lead you to reacquaint yourself with some of the classics.

Mash works are popular. This is a great freewriting exercise to do with your writing group or a group of friends. For example, give yourself five minutes, three words Shakespeare coined, and write.

Who doesn’t love a shaggy God story? After all, was not Christ Himself, “out of this world?”

If you suffer from brain drain writing in one way, try a hybrid form, such as a resume, syllabus, or a humorous “How-To” (or even a “How-To-Not”) article.

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