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The Time Is Now
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Welcome to this year's second installment of The Time Is Now, our weekly dose of writing exercises and prompts to keep you working. For some extra inspiration, read Frank Bures's essay "The Secret Lives of Stories: Rewriting Our Personal Narratives" from the latest issue of Poets & Writers Magazine in which he explores how storytelling helps us make sense of our lives. 

Poetry Prompt

Look out your window or observe your surroundings and make a list of ten images. Choose the three that you find most compelling and freewrite about them, exploring any memories or associations they elicit. Put your freewriting exercise aside, and draft a poem that incorporates at least five of the images from your list. 


Fiction Prompt
Choose one of your favorite classic books and make a brief outline of the plot. Write a story, set in the present, adapted from that classic story, using your outline and the classic book's main character to guide you. For example, write a version of Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre set in Los Angeles in 2013. Who would a contemporary Jane be? Under what circumstances would she go to live and work in the home of a widower? If she fell in love with him, what would happen? 
Creative Nonfiction Prompt

Think about a choice you made in your life that led to specific consequences or outcomes. Explore the alternative reality that could have been if you'd made a different choice in an essay that begins If I hadn't...

The Best Books for Writers
Each week we recommend a book--a newly published title or an invaluable classic--that will help you on your writing journey. This week's pick...

Rules for the Dance

Rules for the Dance: A Handbook for Writing and Reading Metrical Verse (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1998) by Mary Oliver

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