June Speculative Fiction Prompt – Fairies, Folklore and Flowers

For June I want you guys to think about the folklore in your local area.

Growing up in the north of Shropshire, I heard my fair share of legends about ghosts, fairies, and giants. Madam Pigott who haunted the road past Chetwynd Church, the giants who squabbled over a shovel while building the Wrekin (one of two Wrekin myths involving giants), or the great black dogs that haunted the Shropshire Hills.

Take one or more of these stories, and either write you own version, or come up with a whole new local myth. Find me a ghost no one knows about, or an unusual collection of fairies that like drinking at the local pub. The odder the better in my books.

This month, I’m going to add in an extra option for responses. In the spirit of oral story-telling, and the history of folklore, why not record yourself telling your own version of a fairy-tale (be it in poetry, prose, or dramatization). You can post to whichever platform you see fit, and link back in the comments below.

The guidelines are as follows:

  • Speculative Fiction: a genre of fiction that encompasses works in which the setting is other than the real world, involving supernatural, futuristic, or other imagined elements. [Oxford Dictionary]
  • Use the prompt above to write a story, poem, perhaps even a script. There are no rules about form or style. If you would like to create a piece of art in response that is also welcome. This prompt is about being artistic and creative in whatever way suits you best.
  • Please keep entries PG as this is open to all. (i.e. no erotica)
  • A new prompt will be posted on the first of each month but feel free to go back and use previous months as you see fit.
  • Use pingbacks to link up to the prompt or leave a link in the comments section. Whichever you prefer.
  • Please include a note with your work to say if you are open to constructive feedback on the work.
  • Please try to check out the responses shared in the comments and pingbacks. If you comment, please take note of the writer’s preference regarding feedback. (A good reference guide for feedback is to start with a positive, then mention what you feel could do with work, and finish up on another point that you liked.
  • As always, re-tweets, re-blogs, and shares are all gratefully received. We are always open to new participants.

Speculative Fiction Prompt – January 2022

It’s a new year, and in the spirit of 2022, the speculative fiction prompt is back! On the first of each month there will be a new image for writers to use to inspire work. We accept all styles of writing, be that a poem, a short story, of a chapter for a novel. This prompt was originally the brainchild of D Wallace Peach over at Myths of the Mirror. Writing and Works took over 2019 and it went on hiatus at the start of the pandemic.

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A Clever And Cruel Man – A Poem By Carol J Forrester #DVersePoets

You and your dim accuracy,
head lolled loose
eyes whitened and widened
till the pupils blink out.
Words come clipped,
ransomed love letters
read like shopping lists,
or obituaries.
Call this a grey life,
the air sucked clear
your mouth a pursed funnel,
but I
am the culprit.
Found the bruises of your hands,
like marble sponge,
cold as stone
the heat slipping over you
without warming.
In the well shade you sit
while I sink deeper, darker
for the waterline.
Come up spitting dust
and excuses.
Shoulder a shallow cloak
of indifference,
already the hem unpicked
by those grasping hands
always tapping
rapping
at the weakest point.
Feel them at my temples
tonight, tomorrow, today,
at the weakest point
always tapping away.

Ah, I’m really hoping I got this right. The five Samuel Greenberg charms that I used for my response are as follows: dim accuracy / grey life / marble sponge / the well shade / shallow cloak. I tried to emulate Greenberg’s abstract style (though not quite as drastically as he employs the abstract).

Poetry Inspiration – Ain’t I A Mug

If you look under the ‘poetry’ tag on the WordPress reader, you’ll find more posts than you can shake a stick at. (Or read in a lifetime if I’m honest.) A lot of it is personal poetry, and if you start reading through it, a lot of it uses the same sort of language and the same sort of imagery.

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Smile Of Pomegranate Wine #WeekendWritingPrompt

With a smile steeped in pomegranate wine

you laughed,

tipped your head back,

closed your eyes against the sun

painted in place

in a sky that never greyed,

unlike me

who seemed to leech all colour

from our Elysium,

so perfect in the way it held you,

in the way it caught me

like a trap.

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