Virtual IPRC: Creative Writing Prompts


For anyone looking to return to or deepen their writing practice during this time, the IPRC’s tremendous pool of Staff, Instructors and Community members have been providing writing prompts, which we’ve been adding to our stories— follow along on Instagram, or we’ll be collecting those prompts here. Use the tag #iprcdailyprompt to share your writing!



Creative Writing Prompt #1
Prompt provided by: Harper Quinn

“I began the day” begins each poem-essay in the first section of Renee Gladman’s Calamities. Your prompt today is to simply begin. Begin by writing “I began the day” at the top of the page. Set a timer for 10 minutes and write (or draw) an account of the beginning of your day. No thought, perception, or sensation is too small or too big.


Creative Writing Prompt #2
Prompt provided by: Margaret Malone

Draw a map of (one of) your childhood bedroom(s). Like you’re seeing it from above. Put furniture, objects, doors and windows where you remember them to be. It doesn’t have to be super detailed. Or it can be, if you want.

Make a quick list of at least three memories (even if they’re hazy) of a moment or situation you recall from the room you’ve just mapped. Sometimes one will lead to another you didn’t know you remembered. Write that one down too, as it comes. Now pick one memory and start something new (poem, story, essay, comic, drawing,… whatever feels good today).



Creative Writing Prompt #3
Prompt provided by Natalie Edson

Write at least ten lines about the relationship between two things that must be balanced. These things do not have to be what we traditionally consider to be “opposites,” but they can be. Some examples: movement & rest, inside & outside, salt & sweet. Pay close attention to the verbs that come up for you.


Creative Writing Prompt #4
Prompt provided by Harper Quinn; Inspired by Jodie Cavalier’s “Menu for Waiting”

Today’s writing prompt is inspired by Jodie Cavalier’s “Menu for Waiting” created as part of Disjecta’s Culinaria exhibition (swipe right on through for an image of the print). Write your own list poem in this form— what is it that you’re waiting for in this liminal time?


Creative Writing Prompt #5
Prompt provided by Julia Wohlstetter

sound disruption 1 : found sound

you will need : several sheets of paper, computer/radio/phone/ pen / your ears
(you can also do with with movies & tv)

1. put on the radio–begin with a musical station–free write for 10 minutes
2. pull 10 words/phrases/ seeds from this, put them on a new sheet of paper
3. put on the radio– a verbal station–free write for 7 minutes
4. pull 7 seeds from this, put them on your second sheet of paper
5. put on the radio–if you can find static, this is perfect, if not, look for a channel in another language– begin to associate, take notes, play with the lexicon you have made. do this for 5 minutes
6. in silence, write a 10 line poem. the title should be comprised of words pulled from the radio