By Melissa Stoller
Where I live, it’s still beach weather, although we can tell the end of summer is approaching. Back to school routines (whatever those look like in 2020!), cooler evenings, and a bountiful harvest of tomatoes and corn on the table, all mark the transition from summer to autumn. Wherever you are in your creative process, this time of year can signal a fresh start to your writing routine.
Here are some prompts that can set you up for a bountiful harvest of creativity:
1) Think about your back-to-school routine from childhood. What was your favorite part – maybe it was shopping for school supplies or picking a new outfit? Or going to the library to choose new books? Perhaps it was packing your backpack. Can those memories, or new routines of today, help spark a story idea?
2) What end of summer events do you take part in (even if you are not participating this year). Do you enjoy certain recipes using end of summer foods – how do they smell and taste? Do you take one last swim in the sea or a lake? Maybe it’s one final family road trip before work and school resume? Write about some of these memories.
3) Do you have any mementos from this summer or past summers? Do you create photo albums or scrapbooks? Do you enjoy a seashell collection, some pressed flowers, or a box of other summer treasures? Take some time to closely observe one summer item and use it to spark an idea.
I hope these prompts help ignite your writing life this fall. Let me know in the comments, and enjoy the last days of summer!
Melissa Stoller is the author of the chapter book series The Enchanted Snow Globe Collection - Return to Coney Island (Clear Fork Publishing, 2017); and the picture books Scarlet’s Magic Paintbrush and Ready, Set, GOrilla! (Clear Fork, Fall 2018). Upcoming books include Sadie’s Shabbat Stories and Return of the Magic Paintbrush (CFP). Melissa is a Blogger and Assistant for the Children’s Book Academy, a Regional Ambassador for The Chapter Book Challenge, a Moderator for the Debut Picture Book Study Group, a volunteer with SCBWI/MetroNY, and a founding member of The Book Meshuggenahs. In other chapters of her life, Melissa has worked as a lawyer, legal writing instructor, freelance writer and editor, and early childhood educator. She lives in New York City with her family, and enjoys theatre, museums, and long beach walks.