Get Ready to Write with ChiTeen Lit Fest Exercises and Grab and Go Bag Pick Up at 40+ CPL Locations

The fifth annual for-teens-by-teens ChiTeen Lit Fest takes place Friday and Saturday, November 6-7. Join us to express how you’re feeling and what you’re doing during this chaotic time in history. In the meantime, get inspired to write or draw using these prompts, many suggested by other teens.

Journal Inspiration

Writing Prompts

  • List poetry: I wish I could… If I had a house… I am going to… Each line of the 10-line poem starts with one of these phrases. You could use this prompt to write about your own wants and wishes, or use it to create character motivations.—Tori A.
  • Our universe is a simulation, and the aliens keep lowering the reality settings. Some people started noticing at 90%, but as the level dropped, a large portion of the population kept denying anything was wrong. Reality is now 40%, things are getting weird and some are still in denial.—Tori A.
  • Write some lyrics or a poem about the last food you ate, game you played, person you saw, etc., that takes place in a specific setting.—Alexandra M.
  • In light of the present historical moment in which the world has experienced a pandemic and ongoing riots throughout the United States, imagine you are writing yourself a note from the future. What would you say? Express yourself through poem, prose, narrative form or any way you’d like.—Chris M.
  • Picture the front door to where you live. Write about what you see when you look out the door.—826CHI

Drawing Prompts

  • Pick an image with only one or two dominant colors. Re-create it with two or three shapes and colors in those shapes with the dominant colors from the original image. Then, write a phrase somewhere on your new image that resonates with you and what you’ve created.—Tori A.
  • Draw a visual representation of the emotions 2020 has generated for you. The image could be realistic, abstract, a mixture of the two or even a word cloud.—Tori A.

Want some more inspiration? Check out our ChiTeen Lit Fest Book Connections booklist for inspiring thoughts, creative process and active voices.

Take all that creative energy and then head to one of the following locations to pick up a grab and go bag that includes a journal for you to keep track of your writing and drawing!

Grab and Go Bag Pickup Locations

These CPL locations have a limited number of ChiTeen Lit Fest goody bags for you to take home:

  • Albany Park
  • Altgeld
  • Austin
  • Avalon
  • Back of the Yards
  • Bucktown-Wicker Park
  • Budlong Woods
  • Chicago Bee
  • Chicago Lawn
  • Chinatown
  • Coleman
  • Daley, Richard M.
  • Douglass
  • Dunning
  • Edgewater
  • Hall
  • Harold Washington Library Center
  • Humboldt Park
  • Independence
  • Jefferson Park
  • Kelly
  • King
  • Little Italy
  • Logan Square
  • Lozano
  • Merlo
  • North Austin
  • Northtown
  • Portage-Cragin
  • Sherman Park
  • South Chicago
  • South Shore
  • Sulzer Regional Library

What prompt are you starting with? Or do you have another favorite? Let us know in the comments!