Daily Writing Prompts

After a pretty reinvigorating time on the first ever Arvon Foundation Queer Poetry course last week, tutored by Caroline Bird and Richard Scott, I’m starting a little project on here to give myself and you a prompt every day to develop a regular writing practice. These will be mostly thinking about poetry writing but of course, you can use them however you like. The focus will be on taking inspiration from Queer and Feminist history, aiming to include and represent from lots of different places and cultures around the world. To be clear, I don’t mean I’ll be encouraging cultural appropriation, but I will be making sure the prompts don’t assume Whiteness or European-American-ness. I am also really open to anyone using these prompts bringing their own into the mix and adding to the pot – share in the comments if you’d like.

I also invite you to add the ingredient of form to your responses – if I get stuck I find forms with rules can help by giving a kind of scaffold to climb. I do this by rolling a dice and giving each number a corresponding poetic form, eg 1=sonnet, 2=free, 3=terza rima, 4=found, 5=couplets, 6=concrete. If you have other mother tongues that bring their own poetic or lyrical forms, I would love to hear about those and if/how you use them.

Follow the tag #DailyWritingPrompt here to get going – the posts should all show up below. Feel free to share your writing in the comments (bearing in mind some competitions don’t like poems that have appeared online – if you ever want me to take down something you’ve posted, just ask).

In the centre is the sun, and around it is a big halo of light through hazey sky, a pale rainbow circle.

DWP: August 11

On August 11 1942, actress and inventor Hedy Lamarr and her collaborator, composer George Antheil, received their patent for a Frequency-hopping spread spectrum communication system that has since provided the basis for modern technologies in wireless telephones and Wi-Fi. Hedy had fled both her country and her marriage in 1937, escaping from Vienna to Paris, … Continue reading DWP: August 11

A mug on a windowsill. The wall and window is comepltely covered in brown paper which has been scribbled all over. The mug has also been drawn on the whole picture is covered in doodling lines and marks.

DWP: August 10

Yesterday was Tove Jansson’s birthday, so today’s prompt celebrates her life and love. Jansson based many of her Moomin characters on real people: Too-ticky is inspired by her long-term girlfriend, Snufkin is based on an ex-boyfriend, and an early drawing of what became Moomintroll started as an insulting portrayal of Kant. I’ve also been re-reading … Continue reading DWP: August 10

A handwritten poem on a piece of paper that has been washed, crumpled, ripped and pieced back together.

DWP: August 9

One of the books I’m reading at the moment is Opacity-Minority-Improvisation, by Anna T. The book is looking at queer slangs from around the world, like Polari, and how they construct a kind of linguistic closet for the users. The author often writes in Greek without translating, and leaves gaps in the text when there … Continue reading DWP: August 9


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