Writing Prompt: Rant!

Theresa Miller by Theresa Miller
I’d like to talk to you about a serious subject. About the desecration of a sacred tradition. I see it everywhere: on street corners, in restaurants, at work. It has infiltrated our beloved church picnics, our graduation parties, and our Fourth of July celebrations. I’m talking, of course, about putting ketchup on hot dogs. An entire population’s misuse of freedom has perverted an American staple, and this Chicagoan is going to tell you about yourself. Time to rant.


If you’re like me and you have enough ranting material to fill several volumes of an encyclopedia, DC Pierson’s Writingpalooza class could help. In this 5-week class, starting March 8th, you’ll try your hand at a bunch of different literary genres until you find your calling. Just think: after taking this class, you could rant through personal essays, blog posts, short stories… the options are limitless!


Or if you want to join the ranks of novelist ranters, sign up for Lauren Strasnick’s Novel Writing class. Lauren, author of three amazing novels, is a pro at helping her students pin down their story structure and character goals. Just a few spots left in her 5-week class starting this Saturday!


Take a look at Writing Pad’s roster of classes below. They’re guaranteed to get your creative juices flowing, teach you invaluable techniques, and help you write an amazing story. We hope to see you at a class soon! And keep reading below the links for this week’s writing prompt.


2014 Classes



Writing and Publishing the Modern Short Story
Memorable Memoir Bootcamp
A Novel Approach
Journalism/Writing For the Web
Writing and Publishing the Personal Essay (1-day)

Writing and Publishing the Personal Essay (1-day online)

Writing and Publishing the Personal Essay (5-wk)

Writing and Publishing the Personal Essay (5-wk online)

Personal Essay and Freelancing: Advanced Class

#FameSuccessLove: Harnessing The Power of Twitter
From Blog Post To Book Deal: A Blog Writing Workshop


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


Writing Accessible Poems



Publishpalooza: A Book Proposal Workshop (1 Night)

Publishpalooza: A Book Proposal Workshop (5-wk)



Writing the TV Comedy

From Stage to Small Screen: Writing the Comedy Pilot

Writing a Pilot That Can Fly
From Slashers To Body Snatchers: Writing The Horror Screenplay
Dream It, Write It, Pitch It: Screenwriting Bootcamp



The Mortified Guide to Storytelling

Going For the Gut: A Storytelling Workshop
For this week’s writing prompt, think of a gripe. It can be pretty serious, like putting ketchup on a hot dog, or trivial. Write about anything that ticks you off, angers, or annoys you. Did someone cut you off in traffic? Hate the long lines at the grocery store? War on drugs getting you down? Tell us about it! Try to describe how the annoyance makes you feel. Write for 10 minutes and include a sensory detail.
Gaze, if you will, at the delectable image above. We see mustard, onion, relish, pickle, peppers, and tomato. What we don’t see are globs of red sadness drowning an otherwise palatable food. You wouldn’t put gummie bears in bouillabaisse, would you? Of course you would. You do, after all, put ketchup on hot dogs. Question: In the dark recesses of hell, was the idea of ketchup on a hot dog pitched directly to Satan or was there a lot of red tape? Just wondering. I, myself, have no communication with the underworld, as my dogs are undefiled and pure.
In my twenty seven years, I’ve seen a lot of heartache: babies cryin’, people dyin’, ketchup on a hot dog. As a Chicagoan, it is my responsibility- nay, my duty to inform you that putting ketchup on your dog is totes nasty, bro. I was raised on Vienna Beef and Portillos, and let me tell you, any mention of ketchup on a dog was met with ridicule and a resounding ugh. Help me bring that spirit of intolerance to California. Top it with whipped cream, peanuts, celery sticks, a small child, but for the love of God, limit the ketchup to burgers and fries.


Write for 10 minutes about your pet peeve, including some sensory details. Post your rant in the comments below, and you could win a free class!


  1. Matt Clisbee
  2. Mike Sorce
  3. Sherri Valley
  4. Amy