Writing Prompt – Thursday 25th February

Take a look at something you started writing and didn’t finish for some reason. There can be many reasons for this – a change of circumstances, illness or a feeling that whatever you were writing was rubbish and you didn’t bother to finish it.

Go back to it and strip it down to its core. Imagine you’re writing a logline for a film script. Write a couple of sentences about who the characters are, what conflicts they are facing and where the action is taking place. For instance: Molly Travers and her children escape from their house as fire devastates the city of Coventry following a WW2 bombing raid. She is determined to make a new life for them. 

Then add the plot elements – how, when and why and see where the idea takes you.

Aim to create a short outline.


Writing Prompt – Thursday 18th February

For this week’s prompt, think about a garden. It can be real or imaginary.

Take an imaginary walk around this garden, focusing on colours, sounds, smells and textures.

What is the weather like?

Is there a shed or summerhouse? What does it look like? Can you get into it? Is there anybody there?

Write down three things that could happen here.

Create some notes for a story or poem. Look for magazine pictures that add to the story.

See where the idea takes you.

Writing Prompt – Thursday 11th February

It’s nearly Valentine’s Day. This can be a good theme for stories, poems and novels.

Have you ever sent anyone a Valentine card? If so, what happened?

Play the ‘what if’ game. What if you did, but things didn’t turn out as you expected.

What if you cooked a Valentine’s Day meal for someone but everything went wrong?

Have some fun with the idea. See where it takes you.

Writing Prompt – Thursday 4th February

For this week’s prompt, focus on a colour. After seeing these aconites in flower, I came home and wrote about the colour yellow. I took a large sheet of paper and scribbled down every idea from the yellow and white school summer dresses I wore at junior school, to Bird’s custard and the colour of Van Gogh’s sunflowers. So far, it has led to several flash fiction drafts.

You could take this idea further and do the same for every colour of the rainbow.

Have fun with this and see where it takes you.

Beyond the Grapevine: research fragments and ideas for writers

I’m very happy that this now published as a paperback and an ebook.

It includes some of my previously published articles in UK magazine ‘Grapevine’ as well as some writing exercises.

Available on Amazon.

New Publication – Beyond the Grapevine – research fragments and writing exercises

The book will be available on Amazon at £1.99 for Kindle and £5 Paperback.

It includes articles previously published in a local magazine called ‘Grapevine’ and creative exercises for writers.

The articles I have been submitting to this magazine since 2018 are usually linked to subjects I am researching for novels and short stories. For the last two years, I have run a writing competition with every issue and awarded a small prize to the winner.


What’s the story?

This is a mini competition I’m running with poet and artist Joy Thomas.  (This has also been posted on Facebook). We would like you to look at the painting, give it a title and write a piece of flash fiction (not more than 200 words including the title). The entries will be judged by me.  The winner will receive the painting as their prize (or the choice of a painting in Joy’s shop at www.facebook.com/artbyjoysandwiththomas). The winner will be published on Facebook and on this website. They will also receive a surprise gift from me. The closing date for entries is Monday 3rd August 2020. Please rest assured no details or email addresses will be shared, all information will be kept strictly confidential. We look forward to hearing from you and reading your entries.


Workshops – Number 8 Community Arts Centre

Due to the Coronavirus outbreak, I have cancelled my workshops on 3rd April and 1st May. There is a good chance that the workshop in June won’t run either.

Please check this website for details and/or contact me by email at sue.r.johnson@outlook.com for further information.

In the meantime, I will be posting regular writing prompts and quotes on this website and on social media.

Treat this as an opportunity to get that novel written. Make a list of the creative projects you would like to complete in the next three years – and make a start on one of them now.

Try the following prompt and see where it takes you:

‘She’d been told not to go near the empty house…’


Think Positive – Get Creative

We are going through difficult times. It is very easy to get drawn into a spiral of panic, especially when faced with social isolation, empty supermarket shelves and conflicting news reports.

Try to look on this as a time for achieving something different with your creative work.

Aim to do three of the following each day:

  1. Step away from social media and news reports for a couple of hours. Switch off your phone.
  2. Devise a short exercise routine – particularly if you are spending more time on the computer.
  3. Read a poem a day.
  4. Contact a friend by phone or email.
  5. Meditate or do a short visualisation.
  6. Write! Release frustrations onto the page. Take a small step with a new project.
  7. Give yourself a small treat every day.
  8. Think of three things you’re grateful for.
  9. Spend a few minutes outside. Focus on the clouds, a flower or a bird. Breathe deeply.
  10. Listen to a piece of music. Close your eyes.

Evesham Festival of Words – Meet Up for Local Writers, Readers, Artists, Song Writers – First Wednesday of the month

Our meetings usually take place on the first Wednesday of the month at Jellypicklejam Cafe in Vine Mews, Evesham.  The meeting is for anyone who is interested in anything creative – and we also welcome readers. (Every writer needs readers!) We start at 10.30 and stay until about midday. The aim is to give people a chance to network, discuss ideas and promote anything they may be doing. Please bring any leaflets, business cards, books – and come and enjoy great company, good coffee and lovely cake. For more information, please contact me on 01386 446477.