Uncategorized, Writers Co-op

Let’s Show Off

Recently, several of us explored ways to expand our little co-op. Having failed to heed the Universal Caution against volunteering, I volunteered to organize two ongoing projects — Writing Prompts and Critique Groups — that might induce authors to participate. Most of those who commented on my ideas supported them. (I suspect they were just happy somebody offered to do something, but I am grateful nonetheless.)

Let’s begin with a Writing Prompt. This isn’t a competition, but all submissions will be shown off in a Show Case posted here on Writers Co-op. Here are some guidelines: Pick a genre, any genre. Use approximately 6 to 1,000 words. The goal is to stretch our author muscles and produce a piece worth sharing with our friends.

The first prompt is: Atrophied.

Submission Instructions: By Monday, October 4, attach your work (as a .docx or .pdf) to an email addressed to me at stranscht@sbcglobal.net. I’ll put them together in a Show Case post here on Writers Co-op for Friday, October 8. (I’m thinking this could be a bi-weekly challenge. What do you think?)

And if we all share these projects through our own personal blogs, Facebook pages, and soapboxes, authors who have never heard of Writers Co-op might take part, too.


53 thoughts on “Let’s Show Off

  1. A one-word adjective prompt?! Ya gotta be kidding me! At least give us a starter sentence, concrete noun or broad-based topic or theme to address. I got nothing! Nada. Zip. How am I supposed to work with–


    The light bulb turned on.

    I began to write . . .

    PS. Sue, I have submitted my showcase entry to you. Cheers! Thanks for starting this.

    PPS. I earn a demerit for: “Does not follow instructions”. I’ll revise this evening and resubmit as an attacked Word.doc, as you requested.

    PPPS. Biweekly prompts are fine with me. (Especially as the minimum required word count for these writing practices are . . . six. Six words. Even I can handle that!)

    Liked by 5 people

    • Hahaha! Hey– it could be a past tense verb, couldn’t it? I always feel “penned” in by a starter sentence; I see the single word as the most free-flying creative nudge. But as we talked about before, you’re welcome to give me a sentence to use sometime that I’ll be happy to credit to you.

      Revisions are part of our reality, right? Just as long as you send it before the deadline.

      As for following the rules, well, that’s not always my strong suit either. That’s why the tech gods invented work-arounds.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Confession: Sue, I love this! Thought I would hate it. This is the new kind of jump-start energy the site needed: Someone to challenge us with directed prompts that spark our creativity with the goading imposition of a looming deadline. In fashioning little gems (speaking only for myself–or turds; we’ll see) the discipline imposed by writing to incorporate a word prompt sparks creativity; it does not suppress it. Can’t wait to see what the others come up with! A fun exercise, indeed; a palate-cleanser to prove to ourselves: “See? Was that so hard? Now carry that energy and enthusiasm forward into your commercial WIPs. . . .”

        :::deep bow in your direction:::

        Liked by 5 people

  2. mimispeike says:

    My first thought is to go for the obvious: Sly taught himself to speak English, mimicking the sounds he heard, repeating them endlessly, without understanding, until he had a Helen Keller-like Aha! moment. He assigned himself a word of the day. (For those not familiar with my Sly saga, Sly is a cat.)

    I’ll see what else I can come up with.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. victoracquista says:

    Sue, In addition to thanking you, I share with the rest of the gang here what I wrote in my email accompanying my submission.

    It’s been quite some time since I’ve taken on a writing prompt challenge. This did get the creative juices flowing and I found the exercise quite enjoyable. Sometimes, my unwillingness to write causes my writing skills to atrophy. So, it’s good to sharpen the saw.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Hi Sue,

    The page, “WATCH THIS SPACE!” is now all yours. I sent the content of that page to the respective authors, Mimi and Atthys.

    Ley me know if you would like a second page for the Critiques.

    And, thank you, again. You are off to a great start!

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Thank you, GD! Is there a way for me to publish directly to that page or is the best way to leave a draft post for you to publish to that page? I’d like to call it Writing Prompt Show Case, or simply Show Case, if you prefer.

    I won’t need a separate page for Critiques, I just need to publish an invitation to submit email addresses to me that won’t be used for any purpose but these critiques. That way, we will keep participants’ work and critiques private from everyone but the critique participants in any given month.

    Perhaps we could add a paragraph to the About page that “Writers Co-op offers the chance to exchange critiques with fellow authors. If you’re interested, please indicate we may use your email address to notify you of the guidelines and each month’s deadlines to submit your WIP, receive critique partner assignments, and complete your critique exchanges via email with your critique partner/s.”

    Thanks again!

    (I hope you’ll take advantage of this service, too, GD — as well as add your unique voice to the writing prompts!)

    Liked by 3 people

    • Sue,

      Just go to the page, click “edit” and put in whatever you want there. The title of the page will be the name of the link. (The link now says, “Watch This Space.”)

      Feel free to add to the About Page. Just go to the page, click “edit” and… you got the idea. (WordPress made things easy for dummies like me.)

      Thanks, Sue. I do intend to take advantage of the word prompts whenever what I write fits the topics. And of course, you are free to use my email address for notifications.

      One of the great advantages of the old Book Country site was the critiques from other writers. I kept every criticism of my first effort 😏 nineteen, I think 😛 and applied all but one to the final draft.

      Liked by 3 people

  6. mimispeike says:

    OK Sue. My story contains 1116 words. But 28 of them are a caption for the image. They don’t count, right?

    26 words are the title. Also don’t count, to my way of thinking.

    66 words are an introduction to my cat character, for those not familiar with him.

    There are actually only 996 words of story. OK by you?

    I’m going to grab the image I have in mind now. I’ll be sending this later today.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Title never counts in the word count, and you’re right not to count the caption or intro, either, Mimi. Besides, I believe the “approximately” portion of the guidelines is more important than the numbers that follow it.

      I’m eager to read however many words you send me!

      Liked by 3 people

  7. mimispeike says:

    Coming your way shortly. The title:


    Liked by 4 people

  8. Perry Palin says:

    Haven’t been writing. This post and the prompt got me thinking about something outside my normal track, and I plan to submit a short piece. Influences are the short story “In The Heart of the Heart of the Country” by Wm H. Gass, the sad northern European crime novels I’m reading from my wife’s stash, the music of The Eagles (we have tickets for their live concert this evening in St. Paul, MN), and “At This Moment” by Billy Vera. Man, I have to get myself into therapy!

    Liked by 5 people

  9. Deary me – nothing, I’m afraid! Inspiration atrophied! Actually, yes, it did give rise to an idea, but it burgeoned (as my ideas tend to) into something that could only be done as a novel. So maybe one day it will, with a preface thanking Sue and the Writers Coop. Though for that to happen, it would have to shove half a dozen other ideas out of the queue. In the meantime I look forward to seeing what everyone else has come up with.

    Liked by 5 people

    • C’mon, Curtis: then give us the novel synopsis (perhaps as a 6-sentence summation–the minimum no. of sentences) the word “atrophied” inspired as your contest entry! Unless it’s so good an idea you are actually entertaining the idea of writing the novel and don’t want your idea stolen.

      Liked by 6 people

      • Ach, it’s quarter-baked, Carl. Not even. A thief who made off with it would open it and think, ‘What?! A scientist, a Powerpoint presentation, the algebraic topography of an alien’s brain, and the eleven dimensions of the universe… What the hell do I do with this?’ Bitterly disappointed, the thief would toss it into a ditch, where after trying vainly to take root, it would wither, atrophy, and die.

        Liked by 4 people

        • LOL, Curtis! I’m putting the finishing touches to a novella at present that sounds but a literary stone’s throw away from your plot summation. (Mind-bending awe, weird suspense and psychedelic horror: The Moebius Strip-Trip; or, The Thing In the Cellar is Here Again. 44 pages . . . and counting. Should finish around 12,000 words/50 pages.)

          Liked by 4 people

    • I hope you at least made a note so the possible future novel isn’t lost to oblivion. That happens more frequently to me than I care to acknowledge I remember I had an idea, but the idea is beyond recall.

      Liked by 5 people

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