Writing Prompt by A. Joleigh with PRIZES!! CANCELLED


The writing prompt is as follows:

You live in a third-world country (you can name one that exists or you can make one up).

The story takes place in a prison. A prison where only the worlds most dangerous prisoners go. When a prisoner (innocent or not) is admitted to this prison, his/her family is also put into the prison along with him/her until the sentence is finished or the prisoner dies. Some examples to get the imagination going: Will families kill the prisoner so that they can be free again or will they wait it out with their loved ones until the sentence is over? Will families hire other families to do their dirty work? What hardships are in the prison? Be creative. Dig deep and pull out the ugly and blunt truth that is hiding in that imagination of yours. 

You choose POV, characters, etc. I only ask that you follow the plot set above:

4,000 – 8,000 words

Genre: Horror / Drama / Sci-fi (You get to choose which one)


The finalists will be determined by David Kent and me, and then the public will vote on which of those finalists win the prize. 




Writing Prompts for the week of May 5, 2014

Evidence of Death. To the television crime show trained eye of young Benjamin, the stain was definitely blood. Jack and Mikey argued that it was the wrong color, and besides, “If it were blood, then why ain’t there no body, no foot prints, no drag marks.” The boys never put two and two together, if they had, the fate of Flatwater might have turned out differently.

The secret of the roustabout. It was the largest fair in the South, a melding of every other county fair in the region. The roustabouts worked around the clock assembling rides, doing safety checks and decorating the promenade. Until the fair closed, there would be no time for parties, tomfoolery or socializing with the locals. But Brent, the newest crewman, had a secret.

Writing prompts April 19, 2014

This first one is a “think outside the box” type of post.  Leave aside your phobic fears or killing instincts, and look for the story within, i.e. a malevolent and purposeful placement, an omen, a supernatural event, or explore from the non-human POV.

1.  You awaken to find a snake in your house (you decide where).

2.  Explore the psyche, guilt and/or motives of a cheating spouse.

3.  Depressed, lonely and standing at a wave swept shore of an ocean, your MC is overwhelmed with the memory his/her experience of “First Love” and the circumstances leading to or ending that relationship.

Remember to submit your work to be showcased here on the Gallery.  It does not have to be motivated by these or any previous prompts.  Adrianna and I are only looking to spur your imagination and cultivate your talents.

A writer is, after all, a lurid voyeur

     There is a sleepy hamlet several miles across the valley from my mountain lair.  This morning as I sipped my coffee in the first few minutes of daylight, I thought what wondrous stories must lie in those simple cottages and tiny abodes.  A tourist to these mountains might stand in awe at the innocent beauty of that distant community with its churches, backyards, and quaint porches, but I am a writer, and I see those opaque real life images as fodder for my next story.

     Much of life is admittedly mundane with scarce moments of real drama, humor, terror, evil and pain, yet it is these ignoble human instincts that drive fiction.  Somewhere in that congregation of modest dwellings there is a child crying, hungry for breakfast not yet served by an inattentive parent, a spouse deep in the degradation and self-loathing of infidelity, a couple enrapt in the passion of their new marriage ignorant of what lies ahead in the near future, another couple in utter desperation for the lack of financial stability, one woman hagridden with illogical hatred, and a hapless man bedeviled with impossible lust.  But what makes me smile with anticipation is that within each of these malefic scenarios there are also those succulent yet purely human subtleties of maleficence, self-deceit, murderous urges, ironic twists, plots of sweet revenge, spiritual absolution, and apocalyptic revelation.  What moral should I weave into the decrepit life of my next prosaic protagonist?  For what good is a story that doesn’t teach something useful?  What would you learn?

    Across the valley, amid the worker ants scurrying off to their appointed labors, amid the queen ants tending to their nest, amid the nits learning their place within the colony, there lies a thousand stories waiting to be told.  A writer is, after all, a lurid voyeur, obsessed with studying you, your conversations, motives, emotions, interactions and idiosyncrasies.  I am watching you.

     You, my reader, my friend, my colleague, I count each of you as yet another distant villager, and you, or at least a part of you, are destined to be my next character.  Beware and cherish what you have, because I can assure you that the life you live is far less exciting and perilous than the life I have planned for you.

     Yes, there is a picturesque village across the valley from my home pitched high on this mountain, and I am watching…

Writing Prompts for January 12, 2014

Unleash your creative minds; I know there is a story in each one of you.  Yes, that IS an informal challenge.  Use 1,000 to 2,500 words and send it in to DavidandAdrianna@yahoo.com and put your talents and imagination up against your peers. Continue reading

Writing Prompts to Welcome in the New Year

Don’t Stop! Green means go.
While looking out a window at night (any environment) the main character sees a green light in a distant window blinking off and on in an irregular pattern suggesting a code or signal. After several nights of observation, the MC goes to investigate during the day, only to find an empty home with no electricity.

A Life Better Lived
A popular well-liked neighbor attends a block-party / neighborhood gathering boasting of his new job promotion, financial security, and marital bliss. It is rumored that he has been fired and arrested for embezzlement, his wife has moved out with their children, and the bank has foreclosed on his house. He seems oblivious to his circumstances, even inviting his concerned and troubled friends over to his (now padlocked) house for an evening of beer and video games. (the story lies in the revelation of circumstances and the friends’ supportive and or derisive reaction)

It Takes a Thief
While perpetrating a covert industrial theft and espionage, the MC discovers the head of the company in a career destroying, compromising position. Both the MC / thief and the company head must depend on the other’s confidentiality to avoid personal ruin.

Behind Closed Doors
After a long, hard rainfall, a sinkhole opens in an open field behind the neighborhood. The crevasse reveals an array of subterranean rooms littered with the bones of tortured corpses. The access tunnel to these dungeon rooms leads to a secret doorway in the neighborhood’s favorite elderly couple’s basement.

Writing Prompts for the week of Dec 21, 2013

A Midsummer Afternoon’s Dream
A warm afternoon stroll in an Edenic garden/pasture/wooded copse induces a lazy nap under a shade tree. During the sleep, the character is visited by fairies and learns the reality of their existence and their instinctive purpose to spread happiness among humans, but they need to enlist the help of the character to gain entry into City Hall where greed is motivating government officials to “develop” the land where they live and destroy their ancestral home.

A Haunting Revelation
A newly purchased home is haunted by the ghost from an unsolved murder several generations in the past. Communication is established and it is discovered the murder was committed by a prominent community/political leader, but revealing that info has consequences both to the established society and from the source of the information.

A Life Better Lived
You are a writer working on a novel and one of your characters has unusual personality traits. The character takes over your body (could be that you are conscious of your actions but not in control, you could regain control after a period and then deal with the consequences of your alter-ego’s actions, or you could embrace the change and alter your life to match your new personality).

A Stockholm Romance
Your female character is taken hostage in a robbery gone bad and is immediately smitten by the “good hearted” criminal. Possible scenarios: she becomes an accomplice; he surrenders and they continue their relationship in prison; he is killed by police and she has psychological issues; or the criminal purposefully shoots (but not fatally) the hostage while attempting to escape.

My Brother’s Keeper
Your extremely close sibling suddenly makes an uncharacteristic bad life-decision (relationship, crime, drugs), cuts off familial communications, and you feel obligated to “save” him or her only to discover dark family secrets.

Writing Prompts for the week of 12/16/2013

Midnight Blue.
Midnight Blue, the name reverberated through his system like an amateurish sound effect from a cheap sci-fi movie. Midnight Blue.  (You can use any name — in my head, it was an inanimate name, but would also work with a person’s name)

New Family Members
A week before celebrating Christmas (or any holiday) with a new spouse’s family the MC is confronted by a destitute teenage child claiming them as his parent. The possibility exists (males from an unknown pregnancy — females from childbirth that resulted in infant adoption), but no one in the new family knows of that possibility.

He Did What?
Detectives confront your main character at home requesting an interview at the station. During the interview he/she finds out that forensic evidence strongly indicates a normally honest best friend murdered his/her next door neighbor, leaving the MC’s wallet and ID behind to throw off the investigation. The friend claims innocence.

The Lost Week
Your main character awakens and listening to the news discovers it is exactly one week later than it should be and he/she has no memory of the last seven days. Because of a history of mental illness, the character cannot admit the lapse but must deal with the consequences of people confronting him or her about the week’s uncharacteristic behaviors while trying to keep their job and relationship.

Writing Prompts for the Upcoming Week December 9th

Hi everyone! 🙂 It’s Adrianna. I thought I’d throw in some writing prompts of my own, since I hadn’t as of yet. You know me and my sick sense of humor LOL. Let me know if you can think of anything. There is NOT a word minimum, 😀 so your stories or poems can be 200 words, 500 or 5,000+. I hope everyone is having fun preparing for the holidays. The air outside is fresh, the snow is falling and streams of decorations light the nights. (sigh) Hope you have a safe and pleasant holiday ahead of you.


1)   Death fell onto the city, homes collapsed and nothing remained except and ash from the burning bodies. An orphaned child pushed his way through the destroyed house, Continue reading

Writing Prompts for the week of Nov. 23, 2013

I was surprised that we didn’t see any submissions from last week’s prompts.  I thought they were pretty good.  There is no time limit on any of these, so whether it is from this week’s, last week’s or any of the previous prompts, if you write something worth posting please submit it to DavidandAdrianna@yahoo.com.  Please include your name, picture, contact information, identify the prompt used and if your approach was innovative a short summary of how the story evolved.

This weeks prompts

  1. Give us your best Ghost Story, but tell it from the point-of-view of the ghost.  Submitted by Adrianna Joleigh
  2. True New Story Prompt: In January 2004, a 30 year old woman was electrocuted to death when she stepped on a metal plate installed in the sidewalk of an East Village street in New York City.  Witnesses noted the woman’s final words as she collapsed: “I get what this is now.”  (If requested, I can supply the whole news account.)
  3. Vision Quest:  You are hiking in a remote area of a vast park, you become disoriented as the day comes to an end, you have your survival kit with you and settle in for the night.  You are plagued with hallucinatory visions throughout the night.  What are the visions and how do they change your life.
  4. Voices in the Head: For a week (if survived) the main character involuntarily hears everyone’s thoughts that are within fifty feet.
  5. A prompt from Tolstoy’s The Death of Ivan Ilyich:
    “I have been here. Now I am going there. Where? … No, I won’t have it!”
  6. An Accidental Love: Your main character is involved in a mutually agreed to, purely physical affair of some duration when the sex partner suddenly professes love.  (take this in any direction your mind leads)

Five Writing Prompts for the coming week 11/16/13

  1. A Modern Tale of Dorian Grey
    Browsing in an antique store you come across a decades old photograph that is unmistakably your spouse at the same age as he/she is now.
  2.  Life after Death
    A very close friend dies, you help his/her family make final arrangements, attend the open-casket viewing and are a pallbearer at the funeral.  Years later, while traveling, you accidently bump into him/her as they are leaving a coffee shop.
  3. A Void to Avoid
    Renovating an Antebellum house, you find a wall in the basement is three feet from where it logically should be.  Breaking through the wall you find…?
  4. Lunch with the Monks
    In an urban neighborhood store you are moved to perform act of charity by paying the grocery bill of a disheveled old woman who was obviously having trouble paying for her food.  Upon leaving you are greeted by a monk in a Coptic habit who takes you to lunch at his monastery as a reward for your generosity.  You return the next day to find that the monastery has been replaced by a long deserted factory building.
  5. Fixing Me
    By a paranormal event (genie, witch, divine intervention, whatever) you are given the opportunity to travel into YOUR past and change only ONE thing.  (This does not have to be autobiographical.)

A Nightmare Alive — writing prompt

After a long series of ambiguous yet terrifying nightmares, he/she notices the personification of evil born within, disguise itself as a regular person around town in everyday situations.

Visual Writing Prompt photo by Nariman Parker


A family plot in the Mowbray Cemetery on a dismal day taken a few months back on my mobile from the comfort of my car.

Nariman Parker is a writer and photographer from Cape Town, South Africa.  Her amazing eye for capturing interesting subjects and her extraordinary written perspectives on the subtleties of human relationships captivated THIS fan from the first time I met her.

When I first saw this shot my mind reeled with all of the possibilities. This picture could be an enticing book jacket photo and/or an intense writing prompt.  The suggestive grey hues captured by Nariman’s lens, the rain splashed windows symbolic of both the comfort within and the dismal existence outside, the history of an ancient cemetery implying both a mystery and its answer, and finally, the juxtaposition of the majestic tree-life stretching toward Heaven from a hallowed place of interment.

This deserves the careful attention of your imagination and creative soul (pun intended); have fun and let Nariman, Adrianna and me know what you came up with. David Kent

Thanks again Nariman!!!!  Visit her Google+ page for more photos,

and read her blog Flashes for her flashes of brilliant writing.

You aren’t who you think you are. A writing prompt

This prompt is a little different.  The creative push is from the message: “You aren’t who you think you are.”

Ist person or 3rd, the main character receives this message.  How the message is delivered will drive your story: it could come from a relative, a doctor, a lawyer, a cryptic phone call, a voice in the night, a certified letter, a phantasmagoric event or even something supernatural.

Who the character is and who he finds out he/she really is will be your choice.

Cuneiform Prompt

After a big Nor’easter, walking along the Atlantic beach playing with the driftwood and storm debris, you find a stone encased in very old wood.  Turning the stone over you find three lines of cuneiform symbols and a rough map like area…..?
Prompts can be the beginning or the end

Sex on the tracks turns tragic

NEWS ACCOUNT: Two lovers who officials said had “failed to overcome their natural passion” were hit by a train in Ukraine while they had sex on the railroad tracks, Russian news outlet RIA Novosti reported.
The unidentified 30-something woman died, and her 41-year-old partner lost both his legs in the Saturday morning incident in the city of Zaporozhye. Continue reading