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Write your own stories of landscape

Interested in creative writing but unsure how to start? You can find some writing prompts here from the We Hear You Now writers, to support you in your creative writing journey

We Hear You Now Series – Self-Access Creative Writing Journey

A series of creative writing prompts to inspire you to write on your journeys along and around the coastal path as you discover We Hear You Now story and poetry! Suitable for all levels 14+. Use pen and paper or notes on your phone. All prompts have been contributed by writers from the We Hear You Now Listening Posts series across the Seven Sisters and Sussex Heritage Coast. Listen to the stories and poems that inspired these prompts using the project leaflet/map that comes with this handout or link below online.

You can share your words inspired by the writing prompts by using the following hashtags:





  • 1. Travelling here

    As you travel by bus or train here or home, be an active observer, documenting in note form your journey – just 5 minutes will do; image, colour, texture, freezeframes of people, vistas or animals.

    Travel with an awareness of the changing landscape, any sense of an expanding view, the nature of the light and sound as it transitions from one setting to another.

    Notice the people around you, sights, sounds, smells, overheard conversation. See what or who catches your attention most.

    Pay close attention to the way your body feels as it transitions across the downs or skirts the coast. (Jenny Arach)

  • 2. Earth

    Feel your body upheld by the earth. Bring your attention to the points where you make contact with the earth – your feet, or your hands, or your seat.

    Looking out at Cuckmere Haven or the coast from your position, and feeling your physical connection with the earth, notice what and who you can see through the mists of time.

    Start with these words: I feel… I see.. Start as many sentences as you like with these beginnings.

    Meander as you wish. (Joyoti Grech Cato)

  • 3. Missing

    As you walk or sit, think of someone or something missing or lost on the landscape. Stop after a while.

    Close your eyes for a few minutes – let your mind drift and become fuzzy.

    Open your eyes looking gently notice something that catches your attention – whether ‘object’, creature, smells, texture, movement, sound or sight – Write about your experience of its viewpoint, its memory or message. (Oluwafemi Hughes)

  • 4. Archive

    Be still where you are.

    Take a personal object from your bag, pocket or memory and explore how the history and physicality of this item says something about how you are feeling at this moment in time.

    Breathe in deeply and slowly.

    Breathe out slowly and deeply.

    Think about what you feel in your belly, in your gut and in your breath.

    Hold the object away from you as if you are offering it up to the landscape or environment you are walking or living in.

    How does this environment respond to the you that this object speaks of? (Pauline Rutter)

  • 5. Climate

    As you walk around, consider climate change and jot down the shifts you have seen in the surrounding countryside or in your life.

    What’s at stake for you if the temperature rises by the critical 1.5c threshold?

    Does it worry you or do you think it will all work out ok?

    Reflect on any lifestyle adjustments you might make to create positive change and what gives you hope for the future. (Georgina Aboud)

  • 6. Migration

    We are all aware of this coastline as a hardened border. If you have migrant heritage, write about how you/your parents/grandparents came here (sea, land, air?) and, if you know/remember, what your/their earliest memory of a rural landscape was?

    Is there a connection or resonance on this coast with a landscape of your/their birth country?

    If not, try contrasting the two places and see what happens.

    Write for 10 mins. (Alinah Azadeh)

  • 7. Footnotes

    Mama D’Leau (Mother of the Water) is a mythological spirit who features in Caribbean folklore, she punishes those who commit crimes against nature.

    Choose someone from folklore, mythology or a fairy tale.

    Go for a walk and sit and observe the world for a while, maybe ten minutes, trying your best to experience it in the way your chosen persona would.

    Write for ten minutes.

    If you want to extend this, you could choose another persona and write for 10 mins.

    What are the differences in how they view the world? (Sheila Auguste)

  • 8. M’Other Tongue

    Take a little uninterrupted time on your own in this landscape.

    Allow your mind to recall sights, sounds, tastes, textures and smells of your early life.

    Allow words, phrases, songs to arise from your m’Other tongue which connects you with some of your heritage, and with others who share that heritage.

    You may not be fluent, or even be able to speak that language, but you have a sense of it in your body, mind, heart.

    Write a few words using English and/or m’Other tongue about what has come to you (Razia Aziz)

  • 9. Home

    Imagine your home is a warm, tropical place by the sea.

    You’ve chosen to leave that home to fight someone else’s war and have just arrived in this land/seascape to train for it.

    But the welcome isn’t what you expected.

    How does it feel, in your heart, mind and body?

    What would you write to your sceptical sweetheart?

    Your loving parents?

    Your friend who wants to follow you? (Dulani Kulasinghe)

  • 10. Morphing

    As you walk the hills and valleys, and along the river and cliffs, take deep and slow breaths.

    As you take them in, imagine changing into the landscape.

    Could you become a breeze and how would this change occur, could you morph into a cloud and float along, grass helms and sway the same.

    Imagine more and more becoming part of nature and write about this morphing, changing process. (Akila Richards)

  • 11. Night-time

    If out at twilight or during night time, stop on your path and think of something you want to change that the day has brought but can’t resolve, something that needs the embrace of darkness.

    Write for 10 mins. (Georgina Parke)

  • 12. Dark Skies

    If in sight of stars on a clear night, fix on a star or point in the night sky and have a conversation with it.

    Then slowly widen your vision to take is as much of the sky as you can.

    Listen and note the sounds around you.

    Noticing also the scale of your body in relation to the night canopy, write, non-stop for 10 mins. (Alinah Azadeh)