Don’t Write Alone: Free Write

The Power of “What If”

Speculative fiction is fueled by curiosity and questions. Try your hand at starting a new work (or building on something you’ve already started) with this exercise from classes instructor Tara Campbell.

Aug 08, 2022
Turning a Scene Around for a Different View

A story changes depending on who’s doing the telling. Try a different version of a scene in your short story or novel to learn about your characters.

Aug 01, 2022
Stuck in Your Own Head? Try Someone Else’s

Choose a scene you’re working on in your novel and consider what that scene might look like from the perspective of someone else in the room.

Jul 27, 2022
How to Write Personal Essays Through Who You Are

This exercise is meant to let you use a part of your identity as a perspective, rather than just a subject that you’re putting under pressure and scrutiny.

Jun 30, 2022
Write that Poem

What nuggets of life are you sharing that need poems? Write the poem about how your cat won’t leave you alone with help from this prompt by Lillian-Yvonne Bertram.

Sensory Detail and Setting Exercise

Whether you write fiction, nonfiction, or poetry, this writing exercise from Aatif Rashid will help you write lyrical sentences rich with sensory detail.

Jun 13, 2022
The Essay as a Form of Giving Up

One way to consider the essay is as a way to capture, study, and release back into the world a question or story that preoccupies you.

Jun 09, 2022
Divining Your Divergent Interests: The Card Oracle Method

The oracle part sounds mysterious, but it just means drawing cards from a shuffled deck and treating the results as an answer key for generating new writing.

Mar 23, 2022
Magical Realism and Cultural Context

Learn how to devise a rough concept for a magical realist story with this prompt from classes instructor Jessica Reidy.

Mar 03, 2022
Creation by Negation

Thwart your own impulses toward one genre or another with this generative writing exercise from Ben Purkert.

Feb 01, 2022
Speculative Artist’s Statement for Queer Writers

Try out Atom Evie Atkinson’s speculative artist’s statement, developed to help her students pivot from past educations to a utopian future of their own design.

Writing In Between the Real and Unreal

Sanjena Sathian thinks the most interesting writing material comes from locating mystery in our own lives. Try out this writing exercise to write into that mystery.

Jan 18, 2022
Creating Scenes for Discovery

Storytelling is like the TARDIS in ‘Doctor Who’—the narrower and more specific we get on the outside, the bigger it gets on the inside.

Jan 12, 2022
Tell More Lies

Poems and stories are only two sorts of lies, but they’re the ones Steven Duong tells most often. Try out his writing exercise to generate new work.

Jan 03, 2022
Turning Reality into Comedy

There’s comedic gold all around you—if you know how to mine it. Check out this writing prompt used by Catapult instructor Caitlin Kunkel in one of her classes!

Aug 10, 2021
Remember, You Are in Conversation

When I’m feeling stuck and lonely, I try to remember that I’m in conversation with the world—that I am alive in it and it is alive through me.

Jul 06, 2021
Make it Sharper, Make it Stranger

Simon Han shares an exercise to help make your sentences stronger and more surprising during the revision process.

Jun 29, 2021
Writing the Autobiography of Your Stuff

The detritus of our lives can serve as a cannon for fiction or nonfiction writing.

Jun 07, 2021
Let’s Talk About Imagery

It’s hard to talk about love without clichés, but what about images you associate with love? Poet José Olivarez shares lessons on imagery learned from country music.

Jun 07, 2021
Let Translation Guide You Into Writing

Check out this writing and reading exercise from classes instructor Poupeh Missaghi

May 12, 2021