DIY Writing Prompts: Word Tickets!


Warm Winter Solstice Greetings!

This Fall, Kevin and I spent a fair amount of time preparing reward packages for our Kickstarter backers, who cumulatively allowed our second EP, "We Create", to be recorded (we're planning a mid-February official release!).

These rewards varied by backer tier and included such things as limited-run physical CDs, Jinxes water bottles, "backer" t-shirts, custom-made jewelry from my Etsy site, and something we dubbed "Creativity Care Packages".

For months we collected goodies to go into these creativity-stimulating kits: writing instruments, journals, art supplies, etc.. But we also made some of each package's contents by hand -- my personal favorite item being a decorative box full of "word tickets".

The idea of word tickets came from a writers' group Kevin and I attended a few years back, at which the host occasionally passed around a basket containing red "Admit One"-style tickets, on whose backs words from magazines had been pasted. And though the writing group itself didn't endure, the idea of those tickets stuck in my mind...

So, naturally, we needed to create our own Word Tickets for these packages! And it ended up being a fun project that cost little besides time. Here's a step-by-step breakdown:

1) I bought a roll of 1,000 paper tickets from Staples (under $10).

2) In the evenings over the next several weeks, Kevin and I parked ourselves in front of two seasons' worth of "Call the Midwife" and trolled through every magazine, newspaper and catalog in our mail piles, cutting out not just interesting words but whole phrases that might have potential as writing prompts.

3) We affixed these tiny bits of paper to the backs of our tickets with clear Scotch tape.

4) We randomly selected about 70 tickets to go into each 3"x3" decorative box, and included the following directions on the inside of each lid:

"Word Tickets! Your Passport to Adventure...

1. Pull one, two, three, or more tickets.

2. Let the words and phrases tickle your imagination...

3. Put your pen to paper and see where it leads you!

Bon Voyage!"

A happy ending: Our Word Ticket recipients have been very pleased with their boxes, and we've also tried out a set of our own for a recent writing session and found delightful new places, characters, and situations emerging from them!

For example, what might YOU write if you pulled the following tickets?:

- Arrive Early, A Movie, The Executive


- Medical Marijuana, Quit Smoking, Exhale (yes, I really did just pull these)

or perhaps

- Two Avid Sailors, King City, The Morning Of...

So, if you happen to be feeling crafty some evening, or are wondering how to reduce that pile of old National Geographic, Sports Illustrated or Cooking Light magazines, or just need an inexpensive gift for a creative friend, please feel free to try this out! Then let us know how it goes -- or better yet, send us something that YOU wrote inspired by your own Word Tickets!

Wishing you all the best,


  • We are an indie folk/pop duo. We are writers. We are a creative team. Our new EP is out!