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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A Picture is Worth...200 Words?

Welcome to the first-ever edition of the Photo Writing Challenge! I'm sure you've all heard the adage "A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words." I won't bore you hear with a lecture on my feelings regarding the difference in mediums, and how images and words convey meaning in fundamentally distinct ways, and we'll instead take this statement at face value. Actually, for the purposes of this writing challenge, we're going to place images on a steep discount. A picture is now worth only a bargain two hundred words!

The rules of the game are simple. Write 200-250 words inspired by the image above, a recent snapshot from my trip to Venice. That's it. You'll need to find a narrative perspective--(who's telling the story? A visiting tourist? A 90-year-old local? A cat on a windowsill)--and as usual, it's helpful to try and generate a problem, conflict, or tension right away, to keep the reader's interest. But the goal is also simply to draw inspiration from a new source. Writers have to train themselves to see stories everywhere, just like (I imagine) photographers have to train themselves to see interesting photo opportunities. (Full disclosure: in high school, I nearly failed Photo 1. Apparently I was too busy finding story opps!)

As always, submit to laurenoliverbooks@gmail.com. As always, I'll read everything and post several responses. Let's give it a week and a half...and say we'll have submissions in by 4/18 (a Monday).

Enjoy, and happy inspiration!

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Though I'm basically a photo-addict, I think pictures *hide* words. Take any event of my childhood (or adulthood for that matter): If you construct a story through the pictures taken, you'll be missing a lot of essential details, the kind you need words to describe. (But I sent your challenge to my Writopia kids -- sounds so up their alley!)


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