Ekphrastic Funny

It is estimated that there are at least 800 million videos on YouTube; add in countless times more images across the internet, we truly are in the midst of a visual age.

I love writing from visual prompts, AKA ekphrastic writing, because it enables you to immerse yourself in a story with a different part of your brain. Character, setting, action, and tone can all be gleaned from a single painting and photo, and what’s more, you have a reference point if you ever get stuck.

And the imagery you select can be found anywhere!

Take for instance, this awesome collaboration between two writers who wrote tiny stories based on emojis. I love tiny stories and I love emojis, and it looks like these writers had a lot of fun with this exercise:

Text message. First person sends two bonnets a top hat and two sunglasses. Second person responds Did you hear it? The Pennyforth Sisters went on an excursion with Mr. Butterton! *Alone*! Why, when I saw them pass unchaperoned, I had to switch to my bifocals! The hubris!
A text conversation. The first person sends the emojis radioactive symbol, bible, hourglass, man playing water polo, field hockey stick. The second person responds The bomb fell. Many perished. Suddenly everyone's schedule cleared out. I played water polo, solo. Field hockey played itself.

💡Ekphratic PROMPT #1💡

Use the following emoji groups to write a tiny (or series of tiny) stories. Consider funny and inventive ways to interpret the groupings. Lean into absurdism!




💡Ekphratic PROMPT #2💡

Awkward family photos are the best! Use this site to find an awkward family photo to write from: Awkward Family Photos

Even better yet, write this story:

Vintage style photo of a woman in hockey pants and a sports bra with her hands on the head of two children in full hockey gear.