The Exquisite Prompt
This contest is now closed, but please read below to learn ways you can use these writing prompts in the classroom.
The Exquisite Corpse Adventure was first suggested by Mary Brigid Barrett, co-founder of the National Children's Book and Literacy Alliance, as a way to get kids involved in the sheer pleasure and and adventure of reading.
The Exquisite Prompt is a series of monthly writing challenges designed for use in classrooms. Our prompts are inspired by the 18 authors and illustrators who participated in The Exquisite Corpse Adventure, a lively serialized story sponsored by the Library of Congress and the National Childrens' Book and Literacy Alliance. Teachers have used the prompts to complement writing instruction, as free writing assignments, and as part of author study units. The prompts do not need to be completed in order — use them all or use only the ones that work with your lessons.
The prompts are accompanied by author/illustrator biographies, bibliographies, video interviews, and examples of quality writing in the particular genre. Resources for educators include materials on writing instruction, links to online writing lessons, and suggestions for further reading. Depending on the prompt, educators and students are also directed to appropriate Library of Congress resources and primary sources.
The winner's circle
Congratulations to all our talented writers — we're proud to publish your creative work here on our website. Please note: the contest ran for the 2009-10 school year and is now over. We will not be repeating the contest this school year.
- June winners
- May winners
- April winners
- March winners
- February winners
- January winners
- December winners
- November winners
- October winners
About Exquisite Corpse
What's an "Exquisite Corpse?"
It's a kind of writing game, where one person begins a story, then passes it down through a chain of writers to continue the narrative.
Writer M.T. Anderson explains it all here >
An exquisite corpse was originally a kind of art game that was invented by the Surrealists in the early 20th century, where chance and experimentation became important elements of the creative process.