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Posts tagged "writing-prompts"

The writing prompts invite postcrossers to write about a different topic on their postcard’s messages every month. These are just suggestions though — if you already know what you want to write about, or the recipient gives you some pointers, that’s great too!

Previously on this series, we’ve talked about musicians and writers, but what about other artists from your country? Are there any inspiring (past or present) visual artists whose work you find interesting or iconic?

In February, write about a visual artist from your country.
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Ok, I’ll go first! One of the most striking Portuguese-born painters of our time is Paula Rego. Her works are often unsettling and raw, maybe even grotesque… and yet so full of power. They feature strong female characters prominently, in a clear drawing style that blends fantasy and realism by mixing fairy tales, folklore and political issues. The result is an indescribable imaginary universe, that feels very much a part of our national artistic heritage.

What about your country? Are there any painters, photographers, filmmakers, designers or other artists you’d like to spread the word about? Let other postcrossers know about them in the postcards you send out this month!

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The writing prompts invite postcrossers to write about a different topic on their postcard’s messages every month. These are just suggestions though — if you already know what you want to write about, or the recipient gives you some pointers, that’s great too!

Happy New Year, everyone! May your mailboxes be filled to the brim with happy postcards this year!

This writing prompt came from Danny (aka WildernessCat), who suggests you start your January postcards like this:

“I will tell you three things about my country: two are true, and one is false. Try to guess which one I made up…”

And then, you should follow that introduction by writing 2 true facts about your country, and one false fact. Bonus points if you make the false fact believable and tricky to guess, to really test your recipient’s knowledge and make them want to discuss it with you on the registration message. Ok, I’ll go first then…

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I will tell you three things about Portugal, two are true and one is false. Try to guess which one I made up:

  • Portugal has the second longest bridge in Europe.
  • It never snows in Portugal.
  • Portuguese is an official language in 10 countries.

So, what do you think? Did you guess the fake fact there… or did you really believe that there is no snow in our little southern country? We do have a couple of big mountains, and it’s cold up there — you can even ski in one of them! And yes, we do have a 13km-long bridge and Portuguese is the 6th language with most native speakers in the world.

This was a surprisingly tricky prompt to write though, inviting some reflection on our own stereotypes and even a request for help from other Portuguese postcrossers. Which true and false facts will you mention on your postcards this month?

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The writing prompts are an ongoing experiment that invites postcrossers to write about a different topic on their postcard’s messages every month. These are just suggestions though — if you already know what you want to write about, or the recipient gives you some pointers, that’s great too!

December is here, the winter theme is up and we’re in a festive mood… hence this month’s prompt:

In December, write about a holiday celebrated in your country.
Write write write!

Sounds easy enough, right? And as luck would have it, yesterday was actually a national holiday in Portugal: we celebrated the 378th anniversary of the Restoration of Independence. Back in the 16th century, Portuguese King Sebastian mysteriously disappeared in a battle in Morocco. He was young and didn’t have any children, so a succession crisis ensued and in the aftermath of it, the Spanish crown ruled Portugal for 60 years. They were overthrown by a revolution that took place on December 1st 1640, in which the Portuguese independence was restored.

How do we celebrate this day? Naturally, there are some official commemorations taking place in the capital… but in my household, December 1st was celebrated as “the earliest day in which it is acceptable to make the Christmas tree”, according to my parents. So we were always busy doing that!

So now you know a bit more about the history of Portugal (and my home)! What holidays are special to your country that you could write about in your postcards this month?

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The writing prompts are an ongoing experiment that invites postcrossers to write about a different topic on their postcard’s messages every month. These are just suggestions though — if you already know what you want to write about, or the recipient gives you some pointers, that’s great too!

November’s writing prompt is inspired by my talent for getting distracted, and a cabbage. You might not think those two things are related, but I’ll explain in a minute…

In November, write about something you’ve learned recently.

You see, just behind my monitor there’s a map of the world that takes over the whole wall. Not Kerguelen cabbage... Peeking behind the top left corner of the screen, a group of funny-shaped French islands emerges in the south Indian Ocean: the Kerguelen Islands. One day, I got curious and decided to Google them…and voilà, this is how I learned that they’re also called the “Desolation islands” and are one of the most remote places on earth. They’re also home to the Kerguelen cabbage, an edible plant that is endemic to the islands, and rich in vitamin C. According to some reports, while the raw leaves taste like cress, the boiled leaves resemble stale cabbage and the roots are similar to horseradish… I bet you didn’t know that! 😋

So what is something interesting that you’ve recently discovered? It could be a funny fact, a new skill, or even something you’ve learned through a postcard you’ve received. Share it with others on the postcards you send out this month!


One year ago today we started these monthly writing prompts, to try to inspire people to write more on their postcards. So… did it work? Did you end up using the prompts throughout the month, or not really? Please leave a comment with your experience below, so that we can evaluate how useful this initiative has been, or how it can be improved.

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The writing prompts are an ongoing experiment that invites postcrossers to write about a different topic on their postcard’s messages every month. These are just suggestions though — if you already know what you want to write about, or the recipient gives you some pointers, that’s great too!

With Halloween just around the corner, this seemed like a good suggestion from ColorfulCourtney:

In October, write about a superstition from your region or area.

Not being overly superstitious myself, I confess I had to do a bit of research about the topic but found out something interesting in the process! The typical houses in the south of Portugal are white, with a colorful band around the windows and doors, traditionally in yellow or blue but often found in other colors as well. Like this photo from the nearby town of Castro Marim:

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Turns out, that colorful band of color is said to be there to ward off bad spirits from entering the house! The buildings are also often whitewashed with a lime solution every year, and supposedly this task must be carried out by women for maximum efficiency in its “protectiveness” … 🤔

These might seem like silly superstitions, but since the majority of old houses here are still whitewashed and have colorful bands, a lot of people sure used to believe in it! 😅 What about your area? Are there any superstitions that are unique to your region or maybe country? Let others know about them on the postcards you send this month!

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