Friday Writing Prompts

A Writing Prompt from Kyle Minor

Each Friday we post one new writing prompt created by a Sarabande author. Prompts like this one are included in our online Reader's Guides along with discussion questions and suggested reading to accompany each title. So if you can't wait a week for the next prompt, visit our Reader's Guide page to find them all in one place!

This week's prompt comes from Kyle Minor, author of the short story collection Praying Drunk.


The Exercise: Appropriating Forms

Get into the New Formalist poets who came to controversial prominence in the 1980’s. Molly Peacock, Andrew Hudgins, Mark Jarman, Rodney Jones, etc. And their inheritors, as well: Natalie Shapero, Natasha Trethewey, Maurice Manning. Learn all the forms, appropriate all of them, take them to fiction, and don’t give them back. When you stretch the proportions, they work just as well for fiction as they did for poetry, and no one will notice the machine you’ve made, because they’ll be so busy feeling things.