Weekly Writing Post #46

Happy New Year! What a year 2018 was. I grew my business, I turned 40, I travelled and I reached my reading goal of 25 books! Did you reach your goals, even small ones like reading or writing more? Reaching these relatively small milestones should be seen as big achievements and celebrated just as much as bigger and more challenging ones.

My goals for 2019 include using my time in a more productive manner. Less procrastination, more time for life and less time for stress. Oh and upping my reading goal to 30 books!

Have you made any resolutions or set any goals for this year? Feel free to share them in the comments below.

This week’s writing prompt will hopefully spur you to begin any goal you want to achieve this year. So, just begin!

Gaelle Marcel

Weekly Writing Prompt #41

This week, one of my favourite books, Little Women, celebrated its 150th anniversary. Before Little Women, books for young people were mostly preachy tales in which the good and virtuous were rewarded and the wicked punished. Girls, in particular, were little more than dull collections of moral qualities.

Then came the four March sisters — trying to be good but forever getting into trouble provoked by their particular character flaws: Jo’s hotheadedness, Meg’s vanity and Amy’s shallowness. Beth, as the stock ‘angel’ character, appears to have no flaws except perhaps her selflessness, but we all know what happens to Beth..

The book, especially in its creation of Jo — an independent, unconventional, irreverent and impatient young woman, devoted to her writing and proud of her ability to earn money from it — has been an inspiration and a favourite of many since it was first published. Though often criticised for her selfishness, Jo has always appealed to tomboys, rebels and freethinkers, her passion for creativity providing aspiring writers with a glimpse of how to operate in the world.

This week’s prompt comes from Jo in the hope it inspires you to write as well.

Annie Spratt


Weekly Writing Prompt #40

This week, in 1960, bookstores across Britain were inundated when the controversial novel Lady Chatterley’s Lover went on sale for the first time. Penguin Books, had just emerged victorious from a sensational six-day trial where the company was accused of violating the Obscene Publications Act by publishing DH Lawrence’s story.

Britain was about to be overwhelmed by the ‘Swinging Sixties’ and this became one of the first signs of a new age of freedom and emancipation. The sexually explicit novel about an affair between an aristocrat’s wife and his gamekeeper was published in Italy in 1928 and in France the following year, but it had always been banned in the UK.

After the go-ahead from the court, Penguin couldn’t cope with demand and rationed its first 200,000 copies to booksellers across the country. All were sold on the first day. 300 copies sold from Foyles, the biggest bookshop in London, in the first 15 minutes and took orders for another 3,000. Within a year of the trial, Lady Chatterley’s Lover had sold two million copies.

In 1930, at the age of 44, Lawrence died of tuberculosis, defending his book to the last against those who accused him of pornography. He could hardly have imagined the sensation and vindication of the trial 30 years later. I wonder how he would feel about the books of today such as Fifty Shades of Grey.

This week’s prompt comes from the still controversial novel. Have you read it?

Brandi Redd

Weekly Writing Prompt #38

Happy Hump Day! Which reminds me of a book. Have you ever read Tracks, by Robyn Davidson? Before the hype of Cheryl Strayed’s Wild (which I also love), Australian Robyn Davidson, trekked the Outback from the Glen Helen Tourist Camp to Hamelin Pool, Western Australia, 2,700 kilometres, In 1977. She hiked through the hot sun with her four camels and her dog, Diggity, for nine months (after three years of preparation in Alice Springs). According to Davidson (reluctantly dubbed ‘The Camel Lady’), although the trip appeared to be a case of ‘inspired lunacy’, there was a method to her madness, as she sought to test and push herself to the limits of survival.

It became a seminal trek that would inspire other adventurers, spawn a movie adaptation and see her memoir never out of print.

The book is as much about Davidson’s pilgrimage as it is about the Australian landscape and I can’t recommend it enough. This week’s quote comes from the opening page.

Annie Spratt



Weekly Writing Prompt #35

It’s Banned Books Week! This is an annual celebration of the Freedom to Read. Founded in 1982, Banned Books Week raises awareness of the fact that people are still trying to ban books and highlights the value of free and open access to information. Libraries and others in the book community use the week to show support of the freedom to seek and express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.

During most of the 20th century, Australia was one of the strictest censors in the western world. Most imported publications were closely inspected before being released, and Australia frequently banned what was considered suitable reading in other countries such as Europe and America.

The Commonwealth Customs Department, which had the authority to prohibit imports, kept a reference library of around 15,000 books, magazines and comics banned in Australia between the 1920s and the 1970s.

Some of my favourite books were once considered unsuitable including To Kill a Mockingbird, The Great Gatsby, The Handmaid’s Tale, The Bridge to Terabithia, even the Harry Potter series.

This week’s prompt comes from one such banned book, The Grapes of Wrath.

Fredrick Kearney Jr

Weekly Writing Prompt #32

Tomorrow is International Read a Book Day! Yep. There is a day for just about everything now but this one I can get on board with.

Regular reading has so many benefits such as mental stimulation, stress reduction, vocabulary expansion, memory improvement, stronger analytical thinking skills, improved focus and concentration, plus it's pretty much free entertainment!

The other benefit is that it can improve your own writing. It's been noted that exposure to well-written work has an effect on one’s own writing. Observing the cadence, fluidity and writing styles of other authors can and will invariably influence your own work. In the same way that musicians influence one another and painters use techniques established by previous masters, so do writers learn how to craft prose by reading the works of others.

This week's prompt is inspired by Read a Book Day. What are you reading right now?

Michael Liao

Weekly Writing Prompt #27

On the back of every Penguin Classic is the story of the paperback. This week in 1935, British publisher, Alan Lane's dream of something affordable and good to read on his train ride home (from meeting with Agatha Christie no less) was realised. Penguin Publishing was born and the subsequent 'paperback revolution' began. Penguin started reprinting quality fiction and nonfiction in low-cost paperback editions. Lane revolutionised publishing with the introduction of the first ten Penguin paperbacks. Within a year, more than one hundred titles were in print and one million Penguin books had been sold. As the rest of the publishing world caught on, quality books became more affordable and available to everyone. Today, more than 80 years later, more than 600 million paperbacks are sold annually worldwide. Who said print is dead?!

With the well-loved and battered Penguin Classic on everyone's bookshelf in mind, this weeks prompt should be a familiar one.

Sharon McCutcheon

Weekly Writing Prompt #16

Is anyone else scrambling to read all the books  that are being made in film or television at the moment? I have rule that I always read the book first but I can barely keep up.

My current read or to-be-read pile looks like this:

Alias Grace, by Margaret Atwood (read and now watching)

Call Me by Your Name, by Andre Aciman (read and seen the movie; both 5 stars)

Little Fires Everywhere, by Celeste Ng (currently reading)

Us, by David Nicolls

Bel Canto, by Ann Patchett

Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury

Is there anything else I need to add to this list that is coming out soon?!

In keeping with the film/TV theme, this week's prompt has a little creative wiggle room. Use whatever genre of movie you'd like to start this week's story. Is it horror, romance, comedy? I'm sure it'll be a hit!

Lance Anderson