Friday, September 9, 2011

Prompts/Prompted Reading

Saturday, September 23rd 7 pm

Quimby’s Bookstore

1854 W. North Ave.
Chicago, IL 60622,

The Creative Writing Guild presents it’s latest publication, Prompts/Prompted. The dual issue is a compilation of instructions for experimental writing, and the CWG’s own written results. Five CWG contributors will read selections from the books, explain instructions, and share recent summer writing. Bring a pen and paper.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Publishing the Unpublishable

I just came upon Ubu Editions publishing the unpublishable which is now home to some PDFs of interesting work by much loved authors in the same sensibility as this blog for sharing work that is not always the great masterpeice.

"The web is a perfect place to test the limits of unpublishability. With no printing, design or distribution costs, we are free to explore that which would never have been feasible, economically and aesthetically. While this exercise began as an exploration and provocation, the resultant texts are unusually rich; what we once considered to be our trash may, after all, turn out to be our greatest treasure."

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Gotta Love New Books

Happy Belated Independence Day everyone!!

Well, I'm guessing a lot of people are too overstuffed from food dyed (or naturally) red, white, and blue to really notice, but since it's been over a month since the last post I thought it was somewhat worth mentioning. Haha.

Anyway, I hope everyone's been pretty engrossed in their summer reads (I found it quite novel - pun intended - that I now have time to read EVERYTHING I WANT to read), but if you have a little more time and a little over $10 to spare (it's on sale right now at, you can support SAIC's writing faculty Jesse Ball by buying his new novel The Curfew.

Jesse was one of my professors during my sophomore year at SAIC, and he taught a writing workshop called "Slotted Wooden Box". It was kind of surreal yet entertaining, because he made the workshop sound like an embarkment of self-discovery or something. He'd also come late to class and excuse himself by telling stories of how he'd come across a person lying on the ground as if they were unconscious, but since he told it too many times I kind of suspected him of telling tales. Not that anyone called him out on it, because it was a writing workshop class. And telling stories is what he's paid to do.

Anyway. To be honest, I wish I could say I've read The Curfew, but because I haven't I won't pretend that I have and blurb a paraphrased version of another summary I've read online. So check it out for yourselves! And if you do read it, let me know whether Jesse lives up to expectations or not.

- Nicola

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


CWG's dual prompt book is now finished. "Prompts" is a collection of prompts, written as a series of instructions for generative writing. "Prompted" is a 50 page compilation of work from the past year, written from those prompts.

At some point there will be a reading of the work, stay tuned. In the mean time you may contact to obtain a copy.

The prompts were written by anyone who was active at a CWG writing meeting, but largely compiled from:
Cait Stephens
Nicola Tsoi
Jeff Sherfey
Ian Endsley
Jais Grossman
Ziyuan Wang

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Best of CWG Radio

Thanks to much help from the faculty and staff at SAIC, and it's wonderful members, CWG has published an audio compilation of student work played on our weekly radio show.

To obtain a copy of the CD, please e-mail

You can listen, download, and share the CD here.
*All work copyright it's author.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Meeting on the 13th floor lounge, Mondays, 4:15pm

Monday, April 18, 2011

We Are Not Alone

I just found this great site full of constraints.

They put out a prompt challenge and see what words come back.

While digging for prompt, I came across these guys, and that is about the only description of them I can provide for you- that are in love with twenty consonant poetry. Don't know what that is? It's a writing constraint where you use every consonant once while using vowels freely (considering Y to be a vowel). I thought you might enjoy their website, which is weird and whimsical, and full of odd poetry, drawings, essays, a link to their small press, and audio recordings of their twenty consonant poems. Check it.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Spring Publication

"Back" has hit the shelves- look for it around campus, if you can't
find a copy read it here, or e-mail

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Submissions for the Spring 201 publication "Back" are due tomorrow, by midnight. Anyone is eligible to submit. CWG is also always accepting audio works for our radio show, collaborations and new members, other written fodder for our website, and facebook pokes.

Send mp3's, PDF's, or Word docs, with your name and title to

back 1 (bk)
a. The posterior portion of the trunk of the human body between the neck and the pelvis; the dorsum.
b. The analogous dorsal region in other animals.
2. The backbone or spine.
3. The part or area farthest from the front.
4. The part opposite to or behind that adapted for view or use: the back of the hand; wrote on the back of the photograph.
5. The reverse side, as of a coin.
6. A part that supports or strengthens from the rear: the back of a couch.
a. The part of a book where the pages are stitched or glued together into the binding.
b. The binding itself.
8. Sports
a. A player who takes a position behind the front line of other players in certain games, such as football and soccer.
b. This playing position.
v. backed, back·ing, backs
1. To cause to move backward or in a reverse direction: Back the car up and then make the turn.
2. To furnish or strengthen with a back or backing.
3. To provide with financial or moral support; support or endorse: Unions backed the pro-labor candidate. See Synonyms at support.
4. To provide with musical accompaniment. Often used with up.
5. To bet or wager on.
6. To adduce evidence in support of; substantiate: backed the argument with facts.
7. To form the back or background of: Snowcapped mountains back the village.
1. To move backward: backed out of the garage.
2. To shift to a counterclockwise direction. Used of the wind.
1. Located or placed in the rear: Deliveries should be made at the back entrance.
2. Distant from a center of activity; remote.
3. Of a past date; not current: a back issue of a periodical.
4. Being owed or due from an earlier time; in arrears: back pay.
5. Being in a backward direction.
6. Linguistics Pronounced with the back of the tongue, as oo in cool. Used of vowels.
1. At, to, or toward the rear or back; backward.
2. In, to, or toward a former location: went back for the class reunion.
3. In, to, or toward a former condition.
4. In, to, or toward a past time.
5. In reserve or concealment.
6. In check or under restraint: Barriers held the crowd back.
7. In reply or return.


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Are Lyrics Poems? Vice Versa? No Vice Versa?

On a more recent note, here's what we did on the 22nd of March during the meeting! A prompt suggested by Cait herself. She was in a musical mood (due to her class), and this was one of the results. Her prompt basically consisted of writing a phrase, a question and something autobiographical, then passing this on to the next person, he/she will write a line below each category that would contradict the previous line. So on and so forth. When everyone had a turn on each sheet of paper, the original author had to take these lines and restructure it accordingly. Fun!!

Unwanted Advice

Lime juice in the eye stings.
Bees in your mouth, stroking your tongue.
Everyday, the same old things.
Cows in the house, smells like dung.
But the same old things are always new.

Is it possible to hug death?
Can I return your breath?
Why did you refuse?
Why do you suffer abuse
Don't tell me what to do, Kurt.

My cheese has gone cold.
My stomach's full of mold.
The sky's falling down (repeat line forever. Fade out).

There will also be a spoken version of all these works. Tune in to SAIC Freeradio to hear them!! Thursdays from 6-8pm, brought to you by the CWG.

Digging up the Past

Hello everyone!!

This post is about 2-3 months late, but meh. XD Based on the exquisite corpse prompt we had during one of our meetings, where our faculty advisor Sherry gave each person a one-line prompt (these lines were taken from a book she chose). Each person then wrote 2 lines in response to the previous one, then folded the paper down so only the most recent line was visible. This went on until we reached the 20th line.

I call this piece "Brooklyn Bridge".

1. Who talked continuously seventy hours from park to pad to bar to Bellevue to museum to the Brooklyn Bridge?
2. Who wandered for so long, through the aimless paths of New York?
3. He's done it for so long that he's left everything behind, weightless now.
4. And good flight comes of that, he knows,
5. so he prepares for heights and clouds.
6. By gathering stilts and ladders, a hot air balloon and a cherry picker.
7. He grabs his camera and sets off to prove there is a God in heaven.
8. Click, click, click, click. It doesn't matter how many lines you push, it's out.
9. It's repetitive sounding, your name. No pleasure.
10. But it means that now, I can't get it out of my head.
11. I suppose that's why I think you're so annoying.
12. The feeling sand, like water into sand.
13. The breeze cleanses all woe, all worry, all sinuses
14. and never sneezed again.
15. My nose was made into a massive clean tunnel.
16. Vast evacuation of the senses
17. ready to accept new organic crusts, drops, and outside information.
18. He coughed, spit that had been hanging on his teeth, flew free.
19. His wife wiped her eyes. Alone, she fingered the buttons on the remote.
20. And then, herself.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Times and dates for spring:

Weekly meetings: Mondays from 4:30-6ish in the 13th fl lounge of the Michigan bld.

Radio show: Airs live every Thursday from 6-8ish, on freeradio saic.
As always, the shows are archived on the blog under the "RADIO" tab.

Our next publication is themed "Back"
The deadline is March 24th.

E-mail submissions for the publication or the radio show to

Also don't forget about the BFAW publication- "MOUTH" for students in the writing department. Send your submissions for that to

see you Monday!