New West Writers Photo Prompt
Welcome to the NWW Photo Prompt where twice a month we offer a photographic writing prompt. We publish our writing challenge on the 1st and 15th days of each month, but you can respond to any prompt, any time you like.
Participation is simple. Just:
- Check out our photo; write something awesome and post it to your blog.
- Display the photograph somewhere in your post.
- Use “NWW Photo Prompt” in your post title, AND/OR
Add a link to our post offering the prompt you’re responding to.
- Add “nww photo prompt” to your tag list, so we can find your post.
- (optional) Announce your response as a comment on the NWW Photo Prompt post.
So long as you use the “nww photo prompt” tag, or post a link to your submission in a comment, we’ll add a link to your post on our next photo prompt.
- Tell a story about what’s happening in the photograph
- Find something in the photograph to tell a story about
- Write a poem about the mood or emotion you get from the photograph
- What’s the first word that comes to mind looking at the photo? Start there!
- What’s the backstory?
- What happens next?
- Who took the photo, and why?
- Continue the story we posted for the prompt.
- Or change its ending!
Your written piece can be as short or long as you like, a couple lines or a couple thousand words, even a six word story. Write in any form, in any genre. Poetry, haiku, flash fiction, longreads, non-fiction, memoir… anything!
But, most of all, have fun!
Current and past prompts:
Skeletal– relating to or functioning as a skeleton. I think this word is best with the UK pronunciation “skel-EE- tel” rather than the US “SKEL-eh-tel”.
Amnesia– loss of a block of interconnected memories. The soap opera disease! A cliché plot point so hackneyed that it almost makes me want to use it, just in case it comes back into fashion. Even better is the adjective ‘amnestic’, as in “They were amnestic for the duration of their vacation on Secret Bloody Skull Island. They did not know exactly why. Privately, Charles suspected something terrible had happened.”
The writing demon is with me always. From the security of her perch on my shoulder, she sporadically rouses from hibernation to taunt me with grand ideas and inspiration. “Come on, Joanne. Give it a go. You can do it.” And in that moment, I believe her.
Inevitably, each and every tidbit of fiendish encouragement and support is rapidly reversed. “Stop, stop, Joanne, stop! What were you thinking?” And in that moment, I believe her.
A man checks his roommate’s internet browsing history and finds searches for slow-acting, untraceable poisons and how long it takes to suffocate someone with a pillow. He knows his snoring’s gotten worse, but would she kill him for a good night’s sleep?
A woman asks her husband to duct-tape her wrists together and put her into the trunk of their car. Is she getting kinky on him, or maybe just losing her mind?
The role of research in my writing depends on the piece.
My travel articles are all written during and after my visit to a particular place. Sometimes it seems like I am an integral part of the story, such as when I write either about people I have met or about the effect a place has had on me. On other occasions, the story can tell itself without my presence. I don’t or can’t add anything to the story and so the description of the place is enough. My research will consist of writing down my thoughts in a notebook and collating these words later when I return home.
A.K.A. the Matsqui Correctional Institution where I spent Sat. and Sun. at a semi-annual event: the Matsqui Writer’s Weekend. I don’t know quite what I expected when I agreed to spend two days with prisoners talking about writing. I thought I would at least learn something about being in prison, and I certainly did, both from talking to the prisoners and from experiencing the check-in and check out procedures…not to mention the lovely prison cuisine. I also thought I might see some interesting work, and I certainly did that too. But I didn’t really expect a full tilt writers’ conference experience…which is what I got. By the end, I more or less forgot I was in a prison and just enjoyed the hell out of interacting with other writers (some prisoners, some volunteers like me, but it wasn’t always easy to tell one from the other) and hearing their works. I’ll do that again if I get the chance, which I’m told I will in April sometime.
My thanks to Ed and Kathy Griffin who organized this and to David Blinkhorn who told me about it.
Until I was 40 years of age I used to procrastinate all the time. My preferred way of doing this was to use what I can safely call now the TPOT method. TPOT stood for “There’s Plenty Of Time” and was my way of convincing myself that there was no need to hurry, as there was always another day when the necessary work could be performed.