Primary – August 19

The person who came up with the idea for the TV show Star Trek, Gene Roddenberry, was born on this date in 1921. Explain why you think some people prefer stories about made-up worlds instead of our own world.

Literary – August 19

“Happiness is hard to recall. It’s just a glow.” -Frank McCourt, born this date in 1930. Writing prompt: Write a scene in which your protagonist vainly tries to recall the details of a happy moment earlier in his/her life because a painful experience intrudes.

Romance – August 19

“Middle age is when you’re sitting at home on a Saturday night and the telephone rings and you hope it isn’t for you.” -Ogden Nash, born this date in 1902. Writing prompt: Write a scene in which your protagonist answers what s/he expects will be a happy-making phone call and has her/his expectations dashed.

Secondary – August 19

Pioneering television inventor Philo T. Farnsworth was born on this date in 1906. Decide whether you think TV should have been invented, and then explain why you’re wrong.

Mystery – August 19

On this date in 1895, John Wesley Hardin — who killed at least 20 and perhaps as many as 40 men between 1868 and his death despite spending 14 of those years in prison — was murdered in El Paso, Texas. Writing prompt: Write a scene in which your protagonist intercedes on behalf of a person who killed a person that needed killing.

SciFi/Fantasy – August 19

“Time is the fire in which we burn.” -Gene Roddenberry, born on this date in 1921. Writing prompt: Write the scene in which your protagonist first realizes s/he cannot accomplish everything s/he wants to before dying.

Rube Tube

Author William Gibson has an essay on his web site in which he contemplates becoming “exactly the sort of introverted, hyper-bookish boy you’ll find in the biographies of most American science fiction writers … dreaming of one day becoming a writer myself.” It’s all interesting, even if you’re not familiar with his work, and he concludes with this compelling insight: “I...

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