42 was the Right Answer, Plus Eleven

lemons s

Your **writing prompt today is:


It can be a fruit, a colour, or a way to label something unsatisfactory.

In my dictionary (the Oxford) a lemon is described as a pale yellow oval citrus fruit with thick skin and fragrant, acidic juice.

Read that description through a few times and jot down some words that come to mind. Think of thick skin (doesn’t have to be that of the lemon), the colour yellow, pith, pips, sharpness, fragrance, acid, something that really isn’t up to scratch. I’ll even let you throw in a G&T (or a lemonade) if you must. What about the place where they are grown, a lemon grove? Lemons only thrive in sunny climes. Did you ever get sold a lemon? What was it?

Getting some ideas together?

Sometimes, all it takes to start a story is a suggestion. Someone will send some ideas your way, perhaps a random collection of words, and these will take you off into your imagination.

So write a story. Think about point of view and tense, characters, dialogue, action. And include a reference to something lemony if you can.

Nothing wrong with having ambition: try for the Costa Short Story Award. Its open to writers in the UK and Ireland, its free to enter (one submission only) and the deadline isn’t until August 28th 2020, so you have plenty of time to produce a stunning piece of fiction of up to 4,000 words. Unlike some major short story competitions, the Costa is open to anyone, published or not. This year’s judges include Kit de Vaal.

The details are here.  Good luck!

** Knowing 42 is the answer to Life, the Universe and Everything (as the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams explains in full), I began a Covid Lockdown project of creating 42 days of writing prompts and exercises, mostly for members of the two creative writing groups I run in Charlestown, County Mayo (Ireland), but open to anyone who might like a creative challenge.

When that finished, I let myself off coming up with a daily post and decided to go weekly instead. Now, every Wednesday afternoon at 5pm (Dublin time) I post a writing prompt and suggest a way in which you can use it to generate new writing. As always it is just for enjoyment, no pressure, no hassle, no worries and I will continue until I’ve had enough (or someone insists I stop).

You can let me know if you’re enjoying the prompts via email to louisegcolewriter(at)gmail(dot)com.