Thursday, September 26, 2019

Writing Prompts

Writing Prompts from the past 3 meetings:

August 18th

1. ABCDFEGMNRWY - write a piece using words in sequence beginning with these letters.
2. Repeat as above using letters in reverse order: YWRNMGEFDCBA,.
3. Repeat exercise 1 using the letters from the word HIPPOPOTAMUS.
4. Repeat as in exercise 2 using the letters SUMATOPOPPIH.
5. Use words generated in exercises 1-4 in any order to write a short story. You may throw in words of your own choosing to be creative in this part of the exercise (try to include as many of your words as possible).

September 8th

1. I don't know how to tell my friend that I'm imaginary.
2. Jim receives a note under the door and is intrigued, especially because it's the closet door.
3. She packed the box carefully.
4. He was great at starting things, but not so good at finishing them.
5. She pushed the cart through the automatic doors and steeled herself for the task ahead.
6. All the world is a stage.

September 28th

1. Think of one of your favourite possessions. Do one of the following:

  1. Write about why it is special to you.
  2. Make up a story about its history.
  3. Imagine you are from another planet and found this item while exploring. Write about the item from that point of view.
  4. Imagine you are an archaeologist in the future and find this article in a dig. Write about your observations and conclusions.
  5. Imagine that in a time experiment gone wrong, the article was sent back to prehistoric or ancient times. Write a story about someone living at that time finding it.
2. I never believed in love at first sight until it happened to me.

3. Grace had mixed feelings about going to her high school reunion. She had few happy memories of her teenage years. But she was curious how her classmates had turned out.

4. When I was a kid, I was afraid of the dark. That's when the monsters came out. My dad told me there was no such thing as monsters. "See?" he said, turning off the light. "No monsters." He couldn't see them, even while they were reaching for him. He didn't see them as they followed him down the dark hall. He didn't notice when they turned around and came back toward me.

5. May people dream of exotic holidays, cruising down the Rhine or around the Caribbean, exploring the streets of Rome or Paris, tramping through the Scottish Highlands or the jungles of the Yucatan. Yet if they looked, they would find at their own doorstep sights to attract the most fervent tourist.

Next Meeting
Sunday, October 6th, 1:30-3:30pm

Meeting Updates

I know I haven't posted meeting notes for the past few meetings so I am going to try and summarize what has been discussed at the last few meetings.

We have created a coffee mug of The Headwaters Writers' Guild for promotional purposes. If you are interested in purchasing a mug, we need to order at least 10 of them to keep the price down to $10. We will not order unless we have 10 orders. Pictures of both sides are below:

Please contact Patricia at to add your name to the list.

The CBC Short Story Contest deadline is drawing near. The deadline is October 31st. Here is the link:

The Caledon Public Library will be accepting submissions from October 1st to October 31st. The link is here:

THIS SATURDAY, September 28th, 1:00pm to 3:00pm, The Orangeville Public Library as part of their WOW program is holding a Crime Writers Panel. Please come out and support if you can.

The Orangeville Public Library has 3 writing workshops this fall. Marilyn Kleiber will be the instructor for the Saturday, October 5th workshop (10am-2pm). This workshop is called "Building Words: Make your stories possess life and entertain your readers". Please register at the library at

Two more workshops take place on Saturday, November 9th, 10am-2pm, "Self-publishing: Difficult to find a publisher to accept your manuscript? Learn how to do it yourself - professionally." And the third on Sunday, November 24th, 1:30pm to 3:30pm, "Writing is a Contact Sport: Good writing doesn't happen in isolation. A writer needs to get out and explore and connect with themselves, the world and the things we can't always see."

As we continue to work on producing our new anthology, discussion was brought up about possibly creating a writing prompt book with space for writing, and possibly producing a new one every year. It was decided that we would focus on our current project and reconsider another book next year.

Prompts from the past 3 meetings will be in a separate post.

Our Next Meeting is
Sunday, October 6, 2019, 1:30-3:30pm

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Write-a-thon for Charity

Ok. Just sending out a feeler here. If I were to organize a 12-hour write-a-thon for charity in the late spring of next year (details to be determined and announced), how many of you would be interested in participating? Please email me at, if you're intrigued and excited by the idea. Cheers, all!

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Meeting Sunday, July 14th, 2019

There was continued discussion about the anthology's cover, title and a foreword. Submissions should be emailed to Virginia in a word document by September 1, 2019.

Judy shared some of her Haiku poems with us before providing us with the following details and prompts:

A haiku is a short poem - just three lines long - that uses language to capture feelings or images. Haiku poetry was originally developed by Japanese poets. The poems are often inspired by nature, a moment of beauty, a poignant experience, etc.

THE STRUCTURE: A haiku poem is only three lines long.
The first line has five syllables
The second line has seven syllables
And the third line has five syllables
These limitations will actually help you find just the right words to capture the essence or mood of the subject of the poem



1. After she died, I slept with her little yellow pyjamas under my pillow, and sometimes I'd see her scamper through my dreams, an arm's length ahead of me.

2. She tried not to lose herself in infatuation, but being with Darren took her away from the cloud of uncertainty and unrest at home.

3. When she looked at the house from the driveway, unease scuttled through her.

4. Like all teenagers, I was embarrassed by my mother - the way she dressed, her weird friends - and I was afraid of what my friends might think of her.

5. She loved going to Aunt Florence's house when she was a child - it was like a museum, every piece of furniture, every painting was like a story yearning to be told. But now she had inherited it, all of it, and something did not feel right, and then there was the dream she had, where Aunt Florence, all in a dither, seemed to be trying to warn her...

Next Meeting:
Sunday, August 18th, 2019

Monday, June 24, 2019

Meeting June 23, 2019

Diane had sent out an email last week advising the group of a Writers Conference in Newmarket on October 26th, 2019, from 8am to 6pm. Information can be found here:
The group decided to contribute a prize basket to the event as representation of the Headwaters Writers' Guild. Any published authors who would like to contribute one or more of their works to this basket should contact Patricia or Diane. Patricia will be contacting the Orangeville Public Library for a contribution of one of their book bags to use as the "basket".

Further discussion was had regarding the upcoming anthology. Virginia is still searching for an appropriate cover photo, however, a different title was suggested which would change the picture. The new proposed title is: "What Prompted That?: An Anthology of Writing Prompts". We are considering all possibilities so if anyone has an idea, please let us know. The deadline for submissions is September 1st, 2019. It was agreed that we would stick to our group's colours of gold and blue.

Writing Prompts

Prompt Lottery

1.         Pick a number between 1 & 10                      _____

2.         Pick a number between 11 & 20                    _____

3.         Pick a number between 21 & 30                    _____  

4.         Pick a number between 31 & 40                    _____  

5.         Pick a number between 41 & 50                    _____  

Pick your numbers before continuing.
Pass the page to the person on your left.

Turn the page over (list is below) and fill in the blanks below. Your winning numbers are:

1.         Main character:                      _________________________

2.         Location:                                _________________________

3.         Object:                                    _________________________

4.         Secondary character:             _________________________

5.         Goal:                                       _________________________

Write a story using those elements. The goal action may be applied to the object, secondary character, or something else altogether. The secondary character may help, hinder, or do anything you wish. Go wild. But use all 5 elements in some way.

Main character:

1. Prospector                                6. Carpenter
2. Hunter                                      7. Pirate
3. Cop                                           8. Executive
4. Mayor                                       9. Farmer
5. Teacher                                       10. Explorer

11. Shack                                     16. Mine
12. Garden                                   17. Forest
13. Basement                               18. Beach
14. Observatory                           19. Tower
15. Cliff                                        20. Library

21. Chest                                       26. Map
22. Instrument                               27. Gun
23. Lantern                                    28. Envelope
24. Trophy                                     29. Calendar
25. Star                                          30. Hat

Secondary character:
31. Artist                                        36. Extra-terrestrial
32. Any bird or animal                   37. Witch
33. Angel                                        38. Mythological creature
34. Time traveller                           39. Literary hero
35. Neighbour                                 40. Twin brother or sister

41. Find                                            46. Destroy
42. Save                                            47. Create
43. Hide                                            48. Help
44. Thwart                                        49. Capture
45. Appease                                      50. Rob

Next Meeting: Sunday, July 14th, 2019, 1:30pm
Judy is scheduled to lead
(Note: we are only meeting once in July and once in August)

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Take advantage of both the free page to stage workshop, and the drop-in writing mentorship program. Exploit me!

Friday, May 31, 2019

Meeting May 26. 2019

Members made us aware of two websites where one can receive free writing courses: and

Diane will be reading at the Orangeville Public Library's W.O.W. Storytelling series on Monday, June 17th at 1:00pm.

Writing Prompts

Island Adventures

1.      A medieval monk is making his way to an uncharted island that is rumored to harbour small people. The sailors who tell the story of the Island of the Fair Folk give warning that the ships that approach the island past the sentinel stones will be swallowed up in a fog and never return. The monk has convinced his superiors that he should go to minister to these small people and that it’s likely they are only short of stature and not fair folk at all. What he finds is beyond anything he ever imagined.

2.      A young couple is setting out to live their dream of sailing around the world, when a fierce storm strikes and beaches them on a small deserted island. While waiting for a rescue, they experience an unusual earthquake that makes everything appear as if it’s made of rubber. They find themselves cast into a different time when a merchant ship comes to rescue them.  

3.      A single professional woman is invited to a party by one of the company’s clients. The multi-billionaire owns an island off the coast of Cuba and is having the party to celebrate his recent victory of a hostile takeover of one of his rival’s companies. While attending the party, she discovers that the takeover was more hostile than she thought and that the client counted victory too soon.

4.      A band of pirates fleeing a fleet of the King’s ships come upon a small island hidden in the bay of a remote land. Thinking to wait out the ships until they pass, the pirates conceal their ship behind the island and make camp among the unusual trees, where there are a number of exotic looking fruits. Low on supplies and unable to go out to fish, the pirates chance eating the fruits and find themselves transformed.

5.      A group of novice ghost hunters seeking to establish themselves as serious professionals charter a boat to a small island in the Mediterranean Sea that was used at various times as an asylum, a prison and a quarantine colony for the Bubonic Plague. Rumours from the locals say the island is haunted by malicious spirits and has been abandoned for over a hundred years. No one has attempted to approach the island since the priests deemed it a gateway to Hell and forbid anyone in the neighbouring area to set foot on it lest they be damned. Lured by the prospect of fame and fortune, the ghost hunters ignore the warnings and find more than just spirits inhabiting the island.

Use some of the elements of the above island stories to create your own Island Adventure!

Medieval monk/Priests
Time travel
Magical Plants   

Next Meeting is Sunday, June 9th, 1:30pm
Orangeville Public Library
Patricia will be leading