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Ekphrastic Writing

Updated: Feb 23, 2022

Ekphrastic writing means, essentially, writing about a piece of art. Ekphrastic writing is having a resurgence lately and it’s so easy to get involved. If you’ve never written a piece of Ekphrastic writing, check out this poem by Writing Academy graduate August van Stralen in the Ekphrastic Journal.

If you want to get started writing Ekphrastic pieces, there are a couple ways to start.

  1. Find a piece of art that speaks to you. Let the image or the colors guide your pen. You can write directly about the art, take something from the piece and make up a story about that, or just let the images be an inspiration.

  2. Check out Visual Verse. On the first of each month, they post an image and ask for short pieces inspired by it. Here, you can read other pieces on the same image or submit the piece you wrote by the 15th of the month.

  3. Take a class. The Ekphrastic Journal offers workshops on Ekphrastic writing. A small group gathers on zoom where the instructor talks briefly about a piece of art, then gives participants a prompt to write about it. You can also browse past Ekphrastic submissions and take part in Ekphrastic challenges. Maybe you will even submit your own Ekphrastic piece!

We’re big fans of anything that gets people writing. If Ekphrastic writing sounds appealing, why not check it out? And let us know if any of the images inspire you!

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