September 2021

Want to Try Out Some Creative Writing Exercises?

There comes a time in every writer’s life that they will have writer’s block. They will not be able to find anything to write about. Creative writing exercises are perfect to do to help writers find what they can write about, whether it’s a news article or book, for instance. It is better to do creative writing exercises, instead of sitting, staring at the computer with your pen or pencil in your hand. Writers will find these exercises are quite enjoyable when done for a few minutes or hours. It just depends on what mood the writer is in.

One creative exercise writers can do are writing prompts. It allows the writer to use his or her imagination. Writing prompts can make the writer write for a long period of time, especially if it’s something they enjoy talking about. One idea is talking about a dream or nightmare the writer had the night before. This could end up being the writer’s next book. When writing prompts, try to remember site, people’s faces, what each person were doing, and so forth. On the other hand, if your dream was scary, such as dreaming of zombies attacking you, you may not want to write about it, unless you just want to have a laugh while writing about it.

Consider writing or doing a video recording of yourself when you were younger. Pick an age that you would like to communicate with yourself. It is anything you want it to be.  It does not matter if it’s bad or good. It does not matter. It may get emotional for the writer, but at the same time, you will have inspiration to write about it, if you wish. Write or talk about things that were important or affected you. This could be an inspiration for your next story.

The alphabet exercise is a fun creative exercise to do. The idea of the alphabet exercise is to use each letter of the alphabet in a sentence. This will be a difficult, but fun exercise to do. Use all the resources that are available to you, such as online dictionaries. The idea of the alphabet exercise is to create a story with each alphabet letter as the first word of each sentence. It does not matter if the story sounds strange. It’s all about having fun and thinking outside of the box.

Another creative writing exercise is writing about a scene. Find a site, whether it is where you are at the moment or another site, but it is best to write on a site on where you are at the moment.  Write a few sentences on your surroundings. What do you see? What is the atmosphere like? The idea of this creative writing exercise is for you to begin a story. Writers shock themselves on how much writing they can do with just their surroundings. Once you have the scene in place, you can add characters.

Character exercises are another good creative writing exercise to complete. In order to complete the exercise, writers will need to come up with a name. The name doesn’t matter. It’s anything he or she wants. Writers who cannot think of a name, should make use of the Internet where they can find loads of names. Once you come up with a name, think of that person’s character, such as what is their personality like. Do they have a family? Are they single? What kind of job do they have? Write about anything that comes to mind. This could be a character to use for your next story.

Think of a story that you remember someone telling you. Even if you remember bits and pieces of the story, write it anyways. While writing, you can add to it make it more interesting. You may remember some other things that were left off in the story that you heard. If you get stuck, try reading some creative writing examples for inspiration. Who knows what will bring the spark?



Finding creative writing contests

Creative writing contests are a great way to improve your creative writing skills. They can help you grow as a creative writer or writer in general by testing your creativity and imagination. There are many writing contests both online and offline. Let’s have a look at the right way of finding creative writing contests that are suitable for you!

A number of these creative writing contests give incentives to the winners ranging from cash rewards to grants and awards.

Before you go on a hunt, here are a couple of things you should know first:

  • Creative writing contests do more than just test your writing caliber. They also test how you measure up with other writers in the category – which might be something you need to prepare for beforehand by reading more than you write.
  • You might be given the task of writing a short story, essay, poetry, script, etc. depending on which creative writing contest you choose – but they are almost always looking for fresh ideas and an original voice. If you write anything even remotely redundant or unoriginal then it’s a point taken from you.

With those tips out of the way, let’s now have a look at the right way of finding creative writing contests that are right for you!

Free contests

There are quite a few respected and reliable writing contests without any entry fees. All you need to do is do a Google search. Most of these contests work in a way where you have to send a copy of your work postmarked within the deadline.

Contests exist for both types of writers – amateurs and published ones.

For example, here are two contests:

  1. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Contest is great for amateur writers.
  • Short stories or novelettes that are up to 17,000 words.
  • Genres: fantasy or science fiction.
  • Prizes: $1000, $750, $500 plus an annual grand prize of $5000.
  • Deadlines for submissions are March 31, June 30, and September 30.

On the other hand, only those are eligible for the Drue Heinz Literature Prize who have published a book-length novel with a reputable publisher or have at least three short stories or novellas in journals that are recognized nationally.

  • 150-300 pages of a manuscript, short stories, or two or more novellas.
  • Genre: short fiction.
  • Prize: $15,000 and publication through the University of Pittsburgh Press.
  • The deadline for submissions is May 1 through June 30 annually.

Needless to say, the competition is pretty high in these contests. But look on the bright side. Even if you don’t make it, it can be a great way to improve and see where you stand. Do check the previous winners. There are dozens of free contests that can ignite a fresh, creative writing spark in you.

Paid writing contests

Then there are some writing contests that have an entry fee. The entry fees are usually minimal within the range of $10-20 in most cases, and the prizes, if you happen to win, more than make up for that initial expense.

For example, the SiWC Writing Contest has a first prize of $1000 plus publication. Honorable mentions get $150. The entry fee is $15 and the criterion is to send 2500-4000 words long unpublished short stories.

Another great example is the Great American Fiction Contest with a similar prize and up to five runners-up that get $200 each. The entry fee is $10 and the criterion is to submit 1500 to 5000 words long short stories in any genre as long as it revolves around The Saturday Evening Post’s mission statement of “Celebrating America – Past, Present, and Future”.