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By March 17, 2020Uncategorized


How to Enter + Prompts for your Writing

pendemic pen-demic project cover picture

Pen-demic is a writing opportunity to take you away from your quarantine blues. Spread your love of words; share your creative writing . . .

We invite Hunter Writers Centre members and the Heart Open community to send us creative works in response to the written or visual prompts below.

See entries already received and published

Be in the running to win cash prizes: 3 x $50, and $100 to the best 4 works.


First, we will publish your poems, stories, rants, scripts, opinion pieces, reflection essays here on this site.

Guidelines for submission – let’s keep it simple and enjoy each other’s writing:

  • we welcome any number of (free) entries.
  • How to enter? email your creative work to Hunter Writers Centre and we will publish.
  • max word limit: 500 words.
  • closes Noon, Tuesday 12th May.

Entrants are bound by our policies and guidelines including those relating to creative expression.

We wish all our members the very best during this difficult time. Keep writing. Stay in touch.

Prizes will be allocated by Karen Crofts (HWC), Alexandra Morris (Heart Open), Keighley Bradford (Creative Industries UoN postgrad student), Michael Byrne (The Press Bookhouse), Adrienne Lindsay (HWC President)

Not a member of HWC? Join here? Or submit your work to our current national writing competitions: Grieve and the Newcastle Poetry Prize


Written and Visual Prompts for your Writing

"She wasn't doing a thing that I could see, except standing there leaning on the balcony railing, holding the universe together." 
— J. D. Salinger, A Girl I Knew

"I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart; I am, I am, I am." 
— Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

"Sometimes I can feel my bones straining under the weight of all the lives I'm not living." 
— Jonathan Safran Foer, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

“For her I bend, for you I break.” 
― Colleen Hoover, Maybe Someday

"At the still point, there the dance is." 
— T. S. Eliot, Four Quartets

"I could hear the human noise we sat there making, not one of us moving, not even when the room went dark." 
— Raymond Carver, What We Talk About When We Talk About Love

"When, however, one reads of a witch being ducked, of a woman possessed by devils, of a wise woman selling herbs, or even of a very remarkable man who had a mother, then I think we are on the track of a lost novelist, a suppressed poet, of some mute and inglorious Jane Austen, some Emily Bronte who dashed her brains out on the moor or mopped and mowed about the highways crazed with the torture that her gift had put her to. Indeed, I would venture to guess that Anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman." 
― Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own

“That it will never come again is what makes life so sweet.” 
Emily Dickinson

“Nice people don't necessarily fall in love with nice people.” 
― Jonathan Franzen, Freedom

“...sometimes a start is all we ever get.” 
― Junot Díaz, This Is How You Lose Her

Edward Hopper, Morning Sun (1952)

hands reaching out of the swamp - picture for crime fiction article

Join the discussion One Comment

  • Jeanette Campbell says:

    It doesn’t say that I need to submit my work here, but I sent it via the usual email address and it hasn’t been uploaded so I will try to send it here.
    “That it will never come again is what makes life so sweet.”
    ― Emily Dickinson


    Pocket-sized hotel,
    floor peeped out around the bed,
    no room for bags,
    tiny ensuite nestled in.

    Narrow stairs snaked down to
    a basement breakfast –
    croissants, buttery and warm;
    pastries, chocolate-filled;
    brewed coffee, black and strong.

    Map in hand we ventured onto
    the narrow street.
    We were in Paris –
    It was my birthday,
    Our anniversary – 38 years.

    The Seine beckoned,
    iconic calendar bridges,
    riverside stalls, little boxes,
    all with roofs of green, open to entice –
    books, paintings, tapestries
    under the shady linden trees.

    Padlocks called, cajoled
    ‘Secure your love
    in the City of Romance’.

    We pondered, chose one just for fun,
    with painted hearts, pink and blue.
    We clasped it on the rippled fence
    with great fanfare and celebration
    then left it there with all its friends.

    A Brioche café tantalised
    with culinary delights –
    strawberry tarts, cream puffs, raisin rolls
    and cappuccinos just like home.

    The Louvre soaked up our afternoon
    with delights of a different kind –
    murals, jewels, chandeliers that dripped with gold.

    Mona Lisa watched all
    who flocked to see her smile.
    The Lacemaker concentrated
    on her work close by,
    oblivious of all the fuss.
    We could spend a week – we will return.

    Erotic dancers at the Moulin Rouge,
    serenading, seductive –
    feathers and flesh,
    for a hundred years.
    Champagne and glitz –
    fantastically French.

    One last call to cap our day –
    the Eiffel Tower twinkling
    diamonds at midnight.
    A carousel still turning as
    the city lived into the night.

    Tomorrow we will take the train to Amiens,
    Archibald was killed on the Somme –
    We will pay our respects for
    a life snuffed out in the slush and mud.

    © Jeanette Campbell

    Mona Lisa – Leonardo Da Vinci (1503)
    The Lacemaker – Johannes Vermeer (1670)

    Archibald – My husband’s great great uncle

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