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When it comes to creative writing, it’s not always easy to stay motivated. It can be hard to decide how to start or how to finish. Sometimes ideas find you when you can’t find a spare moment. But just as often, you’ve got time on your hands and find yourself staring at a blank page, taunting you for your lack of ideas.

But luckily, we have each other. The writers of The Prompt put together the first-ever NON-ANNOYING chain letter. And it’s pretty sweet to be part of this. Want in?

Dear Sarah,

The cold open is always the hardest part, you know? I find that with writing, generally, and with writing letters to friends. And yet, you can’t skip over it. No matter where you want to end up, you have to start somewhere.

One of the things I’ve most admired about you since your words found us at The Prompt is your clockwork consistency as a writer. You make no excuses. You always find a way. You not only start pieces, you finish them. Or at least that’s what it seems like. Color me impressed. Or better yet, write me impressed.

On the other hand, my drafts folder is a graveyard. I should rename of the folder as an epitaph: HERE LIE THE UNKNOWN, GONE TOO SOON. A pile of corpses: characters, plot lines, ideas—some of them so promising—that just never made it to print.

I’m working on it, inspired by your prolific contributions. Inspired by your relentlessness.

What I’d like you to do now is to pass this along to one Prompt writer whose work you think is funny. Then, challenge them to pass this thread along to one Prompt writer, based on a criteria of your choosing… and so on, and so on.



Dear Jennifer,

As I look out the window at another gray Wisconsin day, just like Julie Andrews sings of wild geese flying with the moon on their wings to bring her joy, I am thinking of what brightens my mental skies. Your work is on that list.

Incorporating humor into my writing is a struggle bus I frequently ride. While words sound like funny quips in my head, they land on the page like an overdone airline food stand-up routine. You, on the other hand, seem to have no such trouble!

Each of your pieces I’ve read never fails to make laughter appear. Your writing flows easily, the tone conversational—as if you’re talking to a friend—and not some reader you may never meet. No matter the topic, you always are able to bridge the hilarious with heart.

Case in point: your recent piece on Dolly Parton, in which you mention both singing to your cat Corinne in the tune of “Jolene,” as well as the “heart wisdom” behind “I Will Always Love You.”

Or how about your piece on Catsin which you described how committed the actors were to being cats an “CGI nightmare,” all while treating the film with kindness? Masterful!

Keep up the comedy and kindness!


P.S. As part of this mini-prompt, I challenge you to pass this letter thread on to a Prompt writer whose work left you thinking! 

Dear Dennis,

It’s 12:59 on a sunny southern California day. It’s been real windy—you might have heard about how we had wind strong enough to knock down a section of Trump’s border wall. The wind was so strong it blew all of the spiky balls off of the trees, and the kids and I have been enjoying strolling around our neighborhood and crunching them.

Spiky balls brings me to the real reason why I am writing to you. Sarah has challenged me to write a letter to the Prompt writer that has left me thinking. And, as you will soon find out, trying to pick one writer is incredibly difficult because ALL of us fucking rock and have left me thinking at some point, it is THIS article that I think about on the daily.

You see, my son is 9 years old and puberty is knocking on his door. He’s becoming aware of his body in new and different ways, things are starting to change, new feelings are starting to emerge, and to put it bluntly, I’m going to have a young masturbator on my hands sooner rather than later. So thank you for laying down the road map of what I can expect over the next 9 years, as he grows from a child into a penis-haver who wants to do the things you do with that.

You’ve written many other things that I’ve found thought provoking, like your piece on Kobe. It absolutely deserves attention and recognition and I hope you’re getting that. Your thoughts on “not making it to the protest” make me want to be more verbal about my political stances. Your autumn list was #GOALS. Alas, it’s the article about having a penis that has stuck with me the longest. Thought you should know.


Jennifer Racusin

Your challenge is to write a letter to the Prompter who wrote a piece that made you wish that you had written it. 

Dear Zach,

I was challenged to write to a Prompter who had written something I wish I had written. Despite my shock at Jennifer’s bald-faced attempt at goading me into reveling in the sin of envy, I naturally thought of you. Your Incomplete and Growing Lists are the only true Incomplete and Growing Lists in my mind.

I’m mad that you came up with such a good format, I’m mad every time you do one because they’re so good, and I’m mad every time I do one because they’re the I&GL equivalent of slightly above average oatmeal. I also cursed you when I read your poem about stuff you saw walking on the street. Stupid sexy Flanders.

I challenge you to write to a Prompter who writes/has written about a topic in a way that you admired… or something. I don’t know. Now I’m jealous of Kelaine and Josh for coming up with prompts.

love always,

Want to read more of this Prompt love fest? Great. Here’s Part 2 of the Chain Letter.

The Prompt Staff

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