Prompt to Page with David Arnold

Each month, we interview a published writer who shares their favorite writing prompt. Whether you’re just getting started or have written for years, you’ll find ideas and advice to inspire you and help you become a better writer.

Prompt to Page is brought to you in partnership with the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning.

Listen to Episode 23

For New York Times bestselling author David Arnold, reading with intention is a kind of writing prompt.

“I think the most important thing about reading a lot is letting yourself become a sponge and soak in the words and soak in the pacing and soak in the stories,” he says.

“But…occasionally let’s look at the mechanics of it, and what is it about this sentence or this paragraph or this book that I’m loving so much, and is there something there that I can intentionally be like, I love that. Let me see if I can apply that in my own writing.”

David offers examples from three books he loves, discussing how these passages helped him try different techniques in his own writing.

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Books David Discusses

About David Arnold

Photo of author David Arnold.

David Arnold is the New York Times bestselling author of Mosquitoland, I Loved You in Another Life, The Electric Kingdom, Kids of Appetite, and The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik.

He has won the Southern Book Prize and the Great Lakes Book Award, and was named a Publishers Weekly Flying Start for his debut. His books have been translated into over a dozen languages. He lives in Lexington, Kentucky, with his wife and son.

Learn more at and follow him on Instagram @iamdavidarnold.