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‘Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.’ – Groucho Marx

Writing prompt: epistolary writing

Another week, another writing prompt! This week’s focus: epistolary writing.

So glad you asked! Epistolary writing means writing in the form of letters (or emails, or text messages — do you kids still *text*?). It’s a great way to make your story stand out, to give it a bit of extra texture.

But it’s not just a gimmick: epistolary writing naturally gives the reader a unique insight into the relationship between the letter-writer and letter-recipient. Why are they writing a letter? What does that say about their character? What kind of language do they use to address the other person? Is it formal? Is it full of personal code?

Lots of amazing YA books feature epistolary writing, like The Perks of Being a Wallflower and The Illuminae FilesIt really draws the reader into the story as it makes the book feel like a found object, like you’ve stumbled across private correspondence, rather than reading a narrative that’s been carefully prepared for you.

This week, have a go at some epistolary writing. Maybe think about an event that has happened to you and write a letter about it. How would you describe it in a letter to your Mum? How about a text to your best friend?  How about an official email to the Prime Minister of Australia?

And don’t forget we’re giving away TWO BOOKS from the Inky longlist to say THANK YOU for all your amazing writing. To be in the draw, post some of your creative writing on your blog with the tag ‘prompts’. Extra points if you’ve written it in response to one of our writing prompts!

We’ll be drawing the winner on Monday 8 October, so you have all holidays to get writing!


1 comment


Really showing your age there... Anyway I've read some great epistolary books, I really am looking forward to finding more!

6th Oct, 18