Writing Prompt: Horrible Bosses

Paula Orr HSBy Paula Sword Orr


He warned me that I would come crawling back if I ever left him, but leave I did and I never looked back. He wasn’t a lover or even a friend. He was the other guy: the horrible boss. Unless you’ve always been self-employed or independently wealthy, chances are you’ve had one. At one time or another we all report to someone.


Getting even has never been more satisfying than when writing it down on paper. Fictionalize the story with Ben Loory (Best American Short Stories). He will lead a five-week class to help you get your short polished and publication-ready. Or, tell it straight. In her memoir bootcamp, Brett Paesel (Mommies Who Drink) will teach you the essential ingredients of memoir to make your tale titillating.


Need more inspiration? Join us for an evening with Nia Vardalos (Big Fat Greek Wedding) and Diablo Cody (Juno) on Jan. 31 when they talk about how their true life tales helped them break into the writing biz.


Start your year off right with a Writing Pad class. Our classes help you reach your dreams of writing and selling your story, novel, screenplay, or memoir! Check out Writing Pad’s riveting roster of 2014 classes below. Beneath the mind-boggling class list is also a free writing prompt! So get your revenge on!


2014 Classes And Events


A Date With Cindy Chupack
Storytelling Essay Showcase
Instant Story: A Conversation With Nia Vardalos & Diablo Cody


Writing and Publishing the Modern Short Story
Memorable Memoir Bootcamp
Memorable Memoir 1 Day (Online)
Memorable Memoir Bootcamp (Online)
A Novel Approach
Novel Bootcamp
Novel Writing 1 Night (Online)
Novel Bootcamp (Online)


Journalism/Writing For the Web
Writing and Publishing the Personal Essay (1-day)
Writing the Op-ed or Cultural Essay
Writing and Publishing the Personal Essay (5-wk)
#FameSuccessLove: Harnessing The Power of Twitter
Pitching For The Press: A Query Letter Clinic
Writing Interviews and Reviews For Magazines or Newspapers
From Blog Post To Book Deal: A Blog Writing Workshop
Advanced Personal Essay Class (Online)


Multi-Genre/Creative Writing
Writingpalooza: Find Your Literary Mojo
Writingpalooza: Find Your Literary Mojo (Online)


Writing Accessible Poems


Nonfiction Book Proposal
How to Hook an Agent


Indies to Blockbusters
Writing the TV Comedy
From Slashers To Body Snatchers: Writing The Horror Screenplay
Hollywood Insider: Breaking Into The Biz
Dream It, Write It, Pitch It: Screenwriting Bootcamp


Writing for Actors/Writing For The Stage
Life Is A Many-Storied Thing: A Storytelling Workshop (1 Day)
Going For The Gut: A Storytelling Workshop (1 Day)
One Person Show Workshop
Grand Slam Story: A Storytelling Workshop (5 Wk)



Writing Prompt:

For this week’s writing prompt, tell us about the nightmare boss that haunts you still. Make a list of three dreaded supervisors who abused their power. Pick one. Did he or she loom over your desk while you ate your lunch? Was he or she a screamer? (You know the type.) Add a sensory detail (the stench of halitosis, the feeling of blood rushing to your cheeks, the sound of her heels clicking down the hall). Now for 10 minutes, write about the legendary loon, including the sensory detail.


During an economic slump, I took a job at a research firm with two unforgettable bosses in an un-airconditioned office overrun by mice. The summer months were the worst. It was gross hot, the kind of hot that made my rayon slacks stick to my legs. Not to suffer needlessly, one boss — an Italian whose thick black hair curled in a pile on his chest — removed first his button-up, then his wife-beater and, finally, his pants.


The other boss, a tall lanky white guy, seemed semi-normal at first. That was, until the annual office masquerade party. While the rest of us came costumed as ubiquitous angels and devils, he showed up in black face. Michael Jackson, one year. Venus Williams the next. His choices were irreverent at best. I should have known what the other guy would be. Little yellow post-it notes with scrawled handwriting stuck to exposed skin, head to toe. He called himself The Naked Truth.


True story. Now you tell yours.


Take 10 minutes to write about a horrible boss. Then, post your story in the comments of this blog. You could win a free class!