I have been, like all of us, desperate to make a difference, escape isolation, connect during this time of coronavirus. I have observed during my spring classes on Zoom what a tremendous difference it makes for me and others to simply connect through writing–even on social media. I am not good at making masks. But I’m good at making prompts. So that’s the public service offering I make here, to help us get through this time:
12 weeks. 12 prompts. 12 reading suggestions.
Another practice I’ve returned to in recent months is reading for pleasure – every day. I have allowed my early morning hour to be consumed by sitting in an upstairs room in a comfortable chair, a pillow on my lap, a lamp shining down, and a favorite book – or a new book – propped there. Books from my shelves – and new releases by authors I admire – will provide the inspiration for the weekly prompts.
Just before local businesses shut down, I visited Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, NC, to arrange to sell some of my books (yes, Accidental Birds and Searching for Virginia Dare are available there). I talked to Jamie Fiocco, the owner. It was clear that she was determined to keep selling books – but using different methods. People came by for curbside pickup. People were ordering online. What if my Summer Camp could also encourage a few sales for my favorite indie bookstores? So I’ve included links to author sites and indie booksellers, in hopes that you’ll join me in ordering books from the businesses whose business it is to support both writers and readers. I’ve tried to pick a store geographically close to the author in question – a hometown bookstore. Just because I love hometowns.
So this summer writing camp is also a summer reading camp. Buy a book! Find it online! Support your writing, your imaginative life, connect with the minds of writers, and with each other. This is my gift to you. I hope you enjoy it.
Scroll to the bottom for a hot tip about upcoming featured authors!
How do I join the KTW Summer Writing Workshop?
Join my workshop group on Facebook: Kitchen Table Writers
Please note: When I created this page it was the only one with this name! Facebook has allowed other pages by this name since then. So click on Kitchen Table Writers to get to the right one.
I haven’t written with prompts before. What do I do?
Great question! Some folks who have taken lots of workshops have a whipcrack response to a prompt and know exactly what to write about. Anyone can do that too! Or you can mull for a day or two, let your subconscious work on the topic. Tip: Set your phone or an egg timer for 12 minutes. Write as fast as you can, as messy as you can, don’t edit or worry about spelling, and see what happens. You can fix it up a little before you post. Tip: Use a pen and paper. It does something deep to your brain and your hand.
When are prompts posted?
Saturday mornings at 5 am. Starting June 6 and going to August 22. Join this week for an earlybird treat — A June 30 prompt that’s a perfect Father’s Day gift.
How do I share my prompt writing with others?
It’s optional, but I hope you will! If you are an approved member, you may post your fresh writing on Kitchen Table Writers as a comment. Find the prompt post you’re responding to (there will be a numbered list of prompts in a box at the top right, with the featured author name–e.g., Prompt 01 – Powell). Then post your writing as a comment in response to that prompt. At the end put the hashtag #KTWWritingCamp. Members of the group will be able to read your post, and your posts and those of the group will show up on your personal Facebook Page. If you are an FB friend of mine, they will show up on my page as well!
Feel free to copy your own post and post on Twitter, use the hashtag #KTWWritingCamp and tag me @marjoriehudson1
That way I’ll get to re-post for wider readership!
NOTE: At this time, I don’t have a way to keep posts from automatically posting outside the page and on your or my FB page. So post if you want to be read, but not if you don’t!
How do I comment on someone’s posted piece?
Scroll down to “Reply” and post your brief accolade there.
How long should my piece be?
100 – 500 words. I’m not sure how long FB will allow, but that seems about right. I’ll let you know if that changes!
Is Posting on FB considered “publishing”?
Publishers say so. I suggest you post only short works that you consider drafts. You may revise and refine your post for submission to journals. A tip: BE STRATEGIC don’t post a completed, much revised LONG piece! Use this space for short first drafts that others can enjoy. THEN use your draft to create something finished. That’s how we do it at Kitchen Table Writers!
If you are worried about this, you can keep your work to yourself — pile it up, and revise, and bring to a workshop someday!
Will my work be critiqued by you?
No. But I hope you will get many encouraging comments, and I’ll read as many as I can and briefly comment. The idea of posting here is to encourage others to keep writing and keep reading and STAY SANE in this difficult time.
Keep writing! Keep reading! Stay home and stay safe.
Hot tip: Our May 30 featured “earlybird prompt” author is Thomas Wolf (the one who lives in Chapel Hill, not the other one!), a prompt inspired by The Called Shot, a baseball book perfect for Father’s Day, and for June 6, our first regular season prompt will be inspired by Dannye Romine Powell‘s new Press 53 poetry release, In the Sunroom with Raymond Carver.