A Picture’s Worth . . . How Many Words?

Something New at The Writerly Life: Photo Prompts

For years I kept a folder of photographs (yes, real ones, printed out or clipped from magazines and newspapers) and used them as writing prompts for my students. I would set the pictures up around the room and let the students browse until something “struck them” about a photo. Then they were to take it back to their desks and free-write. Those early drafts often led to striking memoirs, stories, or poems.

Dive into a Photo, Come Up with a Story 

What I’m proposing is the opposite of a photo challenge (which I love), where a particular word sparks the search for an image. Here, the image sparks the words.

Every other week, I’ll post a photo. You’ll supply the creativity!

Maybe the photograph will trigger a memory, prompt a story or a poem, or even a blog post! Take the situation and run with it. Write about what’s happening in the picture. Write what came before. Write what comes after. Take it anywhere you like . . .

Your reward, if you choose to accept the challenge, is the pleasure of writing something new!

Let me know how this works for you. You might even post the first 100 words or so—or a few lines of a poem—in a comment. Or share a link to a longer piece. Whatever you do, have fun. Happy writing!

Here’s the first photo:

“Jumping Into Swimming Pool” by Ian Kahn
Free image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net