Writing Prompt: On a Personal Level


Happy Friday, writers and shark fans! I hope your week is everything you’ve hoped for.

In the meantime, it’s Writing Prompt Friday! Every Friday, we will share a writing prompt, as well as the Editor-in-Chief’s (EIC’s) response to the prompt and some of her thoughts on the writing and/or revision process.

She’s always found it to be fun to get inside other writers’ heads, so she’s giving you the opportunity to get inside of hers.

In addition to sharing the weekly writing prompt and poem, Lit Shark and Lit Pup also invite you to share your own interpretations of the prompt. If you would like to submit your work to be featured as a Creative Highlight on our blog, please use the Lit Shark or Lit Pup submission portal that is age-appropriate for you (and please note the name of the writing prompt you used!).

Every Monday, we will review the submissions we have received. We understand that writing and art creation are fluid, so responses to ALL of the writing prompts on our site will be considered on a rolling basis.

We cannot wait to see what inspires you and how you address this prompt—and we hope you will submit your work!

The Writing Prompt

Your Challenge! Think about an important, political, environmentally alert issue (there’s not much which isn’t these days!) that is important to you on a personal level.

The EIC’s Resulting Poem

          IN NATURE 

          My daughter calls the outdoors home & needs 
          no reason to enter. Her skin, the brush. Her voice 

          & birdsong. Her running speed & the air 
          through the field. They are the same. 

          Sometimes, she blends in so well, I cannot see her. 

          The brownest strands of her hair & the bark 
          of her favorite tree. Her brown eyes 

          & the sparrow. The sway in the flowers & the wave
          of her hand. I lose her, if only for a moment, 

          but I sink into a feeling of loneliness, until I hear 
          her call, her laugh, somewhere in the yard. Whether she is

          behind the house, around a tree, or hiding under 
          a bush, it doesn’t matter. I know she will come back.

          Will be hungry & come home for dinner. 
          I know she is under the sun.


I loved writing this one, and I hope you enjoy it.

I addressed this prompt from the perspective of nature—and nothing is more personal to me than how I’m raising my children in it. I’m doing my best to raise kids who prefer to be outside, playing, rather than inside observing a screen. I’m teaching them to love, admire, and respect nature, from the wind to the rain to the plants and all the little living things we may encounter out there. Right now, I’m writing a lot of poetry that centers around watching my children grow up in nature, and I can see this poem fitting in among that collection.

I can’t wait to see the work you create that fits into the larger puzzle of your life. Until Then ~

—McKenzie, EIC and Fellow Shark Lover (FSL)

Now It’s Your Turn!

Now it’s your turn to share, share, share! We would love to read the creative pieces you write and art you create.

Whether we publish the piece or not, we will give you a little feedback, but our favorites will be shared between Tuesday and Friday as Creative Features on our blog. Some may also be considered for our next issue of Lit Shark or Lit Pup.

Please submit your creative and artistic responses (including the name of the prompt you used!) to the Lit Shark portal if you are 18/older and to the Lit Pup portal if you are under 18.

We understand writing and art creation is a fluid process, so submissions will be considered on a rolling basis. Every Monday, we will select several pieces to be featured, no matter which writing prompt was used.

We look forward to reading your words soon! Happy Inspiration to all!

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. You will not be charged extra, but a portion of your purchase will help support Lit Shark’s causes in inclusive and accessible literature and writing resources, as well as our growing movement in conversation education, rescue, and revitalization.

Related Posts

Interrobang: An Interview with Jessica Piazza

Interrobang: An Interview with Jessica Piazza

  Jessica Piazza's first full-length collection, Interrobang, was published by Red Hen Press in September 2013 and was the recipient of the AROHO 2011 To the Lighthouse Poetry Prize and the 2013 Balcones Poetry Prize. Poems in this collection appeared in such...

Written By McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan (she/her/hers) lives and writes in Europe with her family (originally from the Midwest). In addition to being the Editor-in-Chief of Lit Shark Magazine and the Banned Book Review, she is a novelist, poet, and book reviewer. She received her MFA in Poetry from Western Michigan University and her BA in English/BS in Education from Indiana University South Bend, where she began her work in publishing. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, Young Ravens Review, The Birds We Piled Loosely, and Encore Magazine, among others; and her book reviews and essays have appeared in The Rumpus, Green Mountains Review, Memoir Mixtapes, The Life Collective, Her Journal, Motherly, and more. When not writing, she enjoys reading, appreciating nature, and spending time with her husband and three children.




Submit a Comment