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Write Right Now (and Learn)


Got your lunch packed up, boots tied tight? For this week’s prompts, the theme is back to school. Here’s your chance to revisit, reimagine, reinvent that late summer back-to-school feeling. Whether you love the smell of freshly sharpened pencils or whether you dread putting away your summer swimsuit and all the fun that goes with it, let’s write about welcoming fall and returning to the classroom.

  • Devise a fictional pre-school morning routine for an eccentric character. See these routines for inspiration.
  • Bring a favorite teacher from early memory to the present moment in writing. Compose a scene or prose poem in which they interact with your current world.
  • Recall your earliest school memory and write about it, even if all you can remember are snippets, moments, and flashes of sense and feeling.
  • Create a school supplies shopping list from another era—or another planet.
  • Make a list of school-related sensory details (lunchroom smells, the sound of the pencil sharpener, etc.) and then use one as a starting point for a poem or piece of prose.
  • Let an old schoolhouse inspire you.
  • Consider non-school alternative settings for education and write about one—from the perspective of personal experience or imagination.
  • Seek out an old classmate or instructor online and reach out them. Write about what transpires after contact is made.
  • Imagine what filled the elementary desk of someone you love or admire (even if you don’t know them personally). Make a list or focus (in verse or prose) on an object or two. You could also consider the (missing) organization or layout of items inside the desk.
  • Investigate “the pleasures and perils of rousing knowledge” and adopt the point of view of a teacher (if you’re a student) or a student (if you’re a teacher) to create your own reflection on learning.

Here’s a tip: have fun while you write. If you’re not having fun writing your piece, no one will have fun reading your piece. What if you get started and you’re not having any fun at all? Try a different prompt, or try a different angle. If you feel yourself getting excited over a certain angle or topic, run with it. Your audience will be excited, too.

If you missed one of our earlier prompts lists, they’re here.

Like what you’ve written? Put it away for a week, then revisit and when it’s ready to go, submit. If you have feedback, or ideas for prompts, please get in touch.

[Photograph by Submittable team member Emily Freeman at Dixon School. To learn more about Dixon and support its classroom initiatives, visit this website.]