Mystery – August 15

Harpur and Iles series author “Bill James” was born on this date in 1929. Writing prompt: Write a scene in which a citizen explains to your protagonist in no uncertain terms why the police are worse than the criminals.

SciFi/Fantasy – August 15

Writing prompt: Write a scene that concludes with your protagonist telling someone, “You’re drunk — I’m not talking to you.”

Literary – August 15

“O, what a tangled web we weave when first we practise to deceive!” –Walter Scott, born this date in 1771. Writing prompt: Write a scene in which your protagonist tells a little white lie that cascades into an increasing stream of uncontrollable lies.

Primary – August 15

“He who fears being conquered is certain of defeat.” –Napoleon Bonaparte, born on this date in 1769. Describe something you think you can’t do, and then how you would go about doing it.

Romance – August 15

Stieg Larsson was born on this date in 1954. Writing prompt: Write a scene in which your protagonist discovers that a person who claims to be a feminist is actually a misogymist.

Secondary – August 15

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor was born on this date in 1875. How do you think it feels to be great at something but to always be defined by something over which you have no control?

Don’t Envy – Improve

A few years ago, when I finished Margaret Atwood’s The Blind Assassin while doing the eleventythousandth revision of my own novel manuscript, I closed her book and looked at mine and thought, “Why bother?” The bother is that I’ve got my own story to tell. It’s not Atwood’s story, or Melville’s or Twain’s, or even yours. You’ve got your own story, too. Because it’s your story, the issue isn’t whether you write as...

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