#30in30 Writing Prompt Round-Up

Red Room Poetry news
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This year saw the return of Red Room Poetry's #30in30 writing competition for Poetry Month.

From 1-31 August 2023, we released a fresh daily writing prompt created by our incredible 30in30 commissioned artists. And your responses were outstanding. Now, as Poetry Month comes to a close, we've been taking a moment to reflect on all the wonderful 3-line poems you created!

For those of you that didn't get a chance to take part - or for those of you who did, but are left wanting more - we've put together this list of all #30in30 writing prompts published for Poetry Month this year. Why not have a go at responding to one (or three, or five)? Try writing more than three lines, play with form, or close your eyes and just scroll, see where your cursor lands and respond to that prompt! With that, here are all of the #30in30 writing prompts:

1. Dorothy Porter’s poems 'Raving’ and ‘Reading between My Lines’ are love poems, but not the dewy-eyed, happy-ever-after sort. Love and risk: it’s a common coupling. Write a poem about it.

2. What trauma clings in your life, and needs to be released?

Write a poem to what you would put the match to.

3. Which poet are you most intrigued by? Comb through their poems for a question. Sit with it. Absorb its energies and angles.

Now, answer that question with your own poem.

4. Sit and write in the space of stillness, where meaning cannot be translated. The peaceful void where words are not enough, yet words are all we have to make sense of the chaos we have created.

5. Write a 30 word or 3 line poem inspired by fabric.

6. Write an ode to your friends. Make it fun and delicious: include their names, the joys, the firsts, the quirks, the heartbreaks.

7. Think about a moment where you have held your tongue

then write a poem about the words you wished you’d said.

8. Read through your texts, messages, or emails from an old friend. (Be brave; go back a few years.)

Write a poem based on a message or phrase that touches you. If the phrase doesn’t end up in your poem,

use it as the poem’s title.

9. Recall a fond nickname that friends or family have given you. Use this to jump into a poem.

10. Write in the style of a phone scammer to a friend or relative in a way that would convince them that the poem or message is definitely from you.

11. We all must pay attention to what Country is showing us.

Write a poem in response.

12. ‘Ask not for whom the boulders roll…

poetically respond to this.

13. Meditate on your favourite plant. Research its botanical and cultural histories, its mythologies, its significance. Anthropomorphise it, ethically. What might it (not) need/(not) want to say, and in what form?

14. Write a poem as a real estate ad - thinking about sovereignty, ownership and Country.

15. With a person you love, write an ode to something you both love together, exploring it as a metaphorfor the ways and reasons you … love… each other.

16. Write into a film that you can see in your mind's eye.

Write out of it.

17. After much anticipation that poet, the one you’re always quoting, has moved in next door. You peer over the fence, swallow your nerves and have a conversation with them.

18. Text yourself a love poem about your bed.

19. Time is all we have. Write a poem about what it is to be Time.

20. Write about something mundane from your life, perhaps a laborious task, or methods of procrastination to avoid it.

21. ‘If the artist cannot find the way, the way cannot be found’ -Terrance McKenna

Take in when your life changed, or if. Notice your heart beating, things that happen without your asking. Just look at what is in front of you, or behind and write a poem.

22. Find a poem you love & steal a line or two in order to craft a 'homage' poem about something else entirely. Only rule: no having a coke with you poems.

23. Using a photo, write a poem about what’s in the background.

24. Consider the media or pop cultural phenomena that you can't stop (re-)watching; that might be considered trivial, or ‘less than’ poetry. Embrace its joy; wrestle it (queerly) into the canon.

25. Answer a question you never got the chance to ask.

26. Write a poem about things you have done on a plane.

27. Treasuring knowledge passed down through countless generations, First Peoples navigate fresh and salt waters by observing stars and skies, tides and waves, movement of birds and aquatic creatures, and other messages. Thinking of your own cherished stories, write a poem about a story or storyteller that guides you through turbulent times.

28. What does the bank know of the river?

Create a poem in response.

29. Write a poem that is only read or written in case of death. What gives life after death to the poet in the poem?

30. Walk your neighbourhood for an hour. Notice the details that come to you. Write them down as if they were leading you somewhere and see where you arrive when you have stopped writing.

31. What is a poem if it does not extend our spiritual, cultural, emotional and physical connection and energy to the hearts, eyes, ears, minds and spirit of those within reach.