Writing Prompts

Writing Prompts by Ghostlines Collective


The emotional and physical labor of women is often exploited, invisibilized, or underappreciated. In honor of International Women’s Day, write a poem in appreciation of one woman in your life. How has she influenced you? What lessons have you learned from her? What should the world know about her–both good and not so good?

Ghostline: Dear __________, because of you, I  ____________. You taught me ____________ and ___________ and I will never forget ____________


In light of the series of executive orders signed by President Trump and the ways they have already impacted many people in our communities, I’ve been thinking about the privilege of “safety.” Specifically, who gets to feel safe in this administration? Who doesn’t? I hope the following prompts help to pull on that thread and make a space for us to reflect on what safety means to us individually and as a nation that seems constantly guided by fear.

Prompt #1: What are all the things you need to feel safe? Consider making it a list or a list poem.

Prompt #2: What is the opposite of safety? Write about it without giving it a name.

*Note: special shoutout to the incredible San Francisco artist Tassiana Willis for helping us come up with these two prompts


With the recent rainstorm hitting the Bay Area, think about all the ways water surrounds/consumes us. Have you ever felt like you were drowning in something other than water? Maybe a difficult relationship? Debt? The upcoming presidential inauguration? Write a poem to something or someone who floods you.

Ghostline (optional): You thought you could drown me when… What you didn’t know was…


Why do so many of us quickly lose touch with the New Year’s resolutions that we make at the beginning of the year? New Year’s resolutions can feel like a reductive measurement of growth, turning our deepest aspirations for self into concrete bullet points. This year, try moving away from resolutions and towards rebirths. The idea of rebirthing aspects of oneself or the world might allow for more wholistic, explorative, and mysterious journeys this coming year.

Write a poem in which each line begins with “Rather than resolve to _______, I will rebirth _______”. (Example: “Rather than resolve to lose weight, I will rebirth love for every part of my body”).

About the Ghostlines Collective

This writing prompt is brought to you by Ghostlines. Ghostlines is a Bay Area collective of poets, artists, and educators comprised of Ariana Weckstein, Gabriel Cortez, Isabella Borgeson, Jade Cho, and Natasha Huey. We are committed to using art to cultivate empathy. To disrupt violent systems and thought. To nurture and challenge ourselves and our communities to rise.