One of the simplest and most effective writing prompts I’ve used when leading workshops is inviting workshop participants to write a piece of prose or poetry whose every sentence or line begins with the phrase “I am from …” I don’t know where the prompt originated, but if I’m not mistaken I was introduced to it by someone from within the NYWC community. In any event, during one particular workshop a few months ago I was about to give the “Where I’m From” prompt when it hit me that a variation on the prompt might work equally as well.
That variation is quite simple. Instead of writing a piece whose each sentence/line begins with the phrase “I am from …” write a piece whose each line begins with the words “I am not from …”
Which, I’m pleased to say, did indeed work equally as well.