Friday, August 20, 2010

Creative Brainstorming and Contest Details

I recently purchased a couple writerly kits. The Writer's Digest Writing Kit: Everything You Need to Get Creative, Start Writing, and Get Published and The Writer's Toolbox: Creative Games for Inspiring the "Write" Side of Your Brain.
Seem redundant? Mayhaps. But the first is more a box of how-to; the second, like a get-you-thinking game. I saw I could get them both (brand new!) for less than $10 (plus shipping) on Amazon, and figured one can never have too many ways to brainstorm, right?
Anyway, I've opened and lingered over each set. (Who else geeks out over stuff like this?) There are booklets with craft points and reminders, and super-fun things like idea cards. This, from the Writer's Digest kit:
Write a new story using the first sentence and the last sentence of your favorite novel or short story as your starting and ending lines.
There are minute-timers and wheels of inspiration, and more. With The Writer's Toolbox, I can choose my protagonist's action (takes up dancing), an obstacle (fear of heights), goal (to know God), or get a jumpstart on the protagonist himself (Devin, with a gift for comedy), or expound upon plot twists and dramatic turns.
I have yet to really use them, just been so busy. Except now, there's a perfect opportunity to try out my new toys:
Zoetrope is holding its 14th Annual All-Story Short Fiction Contest. Follow the link for all the details, but it's worth mentioning here that three prizewinners and seven honorable mentions will be considered for representation by some of the most reputable literary agencies.
This news makes me squee just a little bit. 10 people!
I'm gonna do it. I have to enter. I just need to brainstorm a little first...
Do you have either of these kits, or anything like them?
If you're a fiction writer, will you enter the contest?
**My newest article is up at the Rose and Thorn Literary Journal blog. Please check it out!


Jenn Greenleaf said...

Me! Me! I geek over kits like these! They're on my wishlist and, one day, I'll have one or both of them. I'm not to the point where I feel like I'm "able" to enter a contest like this YET. I stress the word YET because it is my intension to do so in the very near future!!! :-)

Unknown said...

I picked up the Writing Kit a few months ago. It was so exciting to open it up and see what was inside. My husband just smiled at my exuberance. I would love to get the Toolbox, but haven't yet. It's on my wishlist though. I'm not sure about entering the contest. I'll have to look into it.

Diane said...

The kits and the contest both sound interesting. :O)

Donna M. Kohlstrom said...

The kits sound like lots of fun. I need to get one to send to my 13 year old writer granddaughter.

I'll be submitting to the contest! Thanks for heads up on this!

patti said...

Sound like fun, Janna!!!

Though I am way too disorganized to really qualify for these!!!

Blessings, dear one.

Jill Kemerer said...

I love kits like that! So much fun. And I'm rooting for you to win the contest.

BTW: Hope back-to-school goes well!

Katie Ganshert said...

I don't have these kits but they sound great! Are they 10 and 11 year old friendly?

Midlife Roadtripper said...

I once had books and books of writing practice. Perhaps I need to find them. Somedays I'd much prefer living in a fiction life.

Best of luck and get that entry in!

JLC said...

$15 to enter? Hmm... I probably wont.

I don't have a kit, but I do have a great book with fun prompts. Especially if you are into fairy tale fantasy stuff.

"Writing Magic" by Gail Carson Levine. She wrote 'Ella Enchanted.'

Enjoy your toolboxes!!

Karen said...

Oh, I'd love kits like that too. And I'd enter that contest, if I had a bit more time. You go ahead and let us know what happens!

septembermom said...

I'm going to think about the contest. Sounds very interesting. Good luck Janna!

Kathryn Magendie said...

It's been years since I've entered a contest!

That kit sounds like fun - I love things I can take out and look at *laugh* --

Good LUCK with the contest!

And loving your posts at R&T - angie and I are so glad to have you on staff.

Lori said...

Those kits sound like a lot of fun. Tell us in what ways you end up using them.

Deb Shucka said...

Your new toys sound like lots of fun! It was great to read your piece at R & T. Best of luck with your writing for the contest. Keep us posted.

Terri Tiffany said...

Good for you!!! I hope you enter and you are one of those ten!!:))

T. Powell Coltrin said...

Who else geeks out like that? Me, your geeky IT blogger friend. I live and dwell in geekland and love it.

I love your new toys.

Yes I will look into entering the contest. Going right now. Thanks for the info.


Angie Ledbetter said...

The writerly kits sound great, especially if used at a writers/crit group meeting as an exercise.

And thank you, Ms. Janna, for contributing a nice blog post once again. We're so glad you're on staff now!

Gonna have to check out that contest. Speaking of which...if you get a few minutes, come enter my snarky editor contest. Would love to hear what you have to say about the "query." :D

Nadine said...

These kits sound great!! How fun!!

Dancing B*a*g Lady said...

Wow this is great! Thanks for sharing. Found you on Rose and Thorn. Lovely writing indeed.