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Prompt to Page with George Ella Lyon

A JCPL librarian interviews published writers about their favorite writing prompts—exercises that can help inspire, focus, and improve your creative writing. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, a novelist, essayist, or poet, you’ll find ideas and advice to motivate you to keep writing. 

Brought to you in partnership with the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning.

Listen to Episode 32

Do you wonder if you have a book inside you? According to Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame member George Ella Lyon, “you have to write to find out.” George Ella says writers “have to dwell in uncertainty. Because that’s the one thing that’s certain, is that you’ll be uncertain.”

George Ella, who writes for all ages in multiple genres, shares the prompt that inspired her to write Many Storied House: Poems. So take out some paper (two sheets of at least 8.5 x 11″) and get ready to draw your way into your next story, poem, or essay.

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About George Ella Lyon

Author George Ella Lyon holds a copy of her children's book, Time to Fly, at the Kentucky Book Festival.

Harlan County native George Ella Lyon writes in multiple genres for readers of all ages. She has published five poetry collections, a novel and memoir for adults, novels and poetry for young people, and many children’s picture books. Her most recent titles include Back to the Light: Poems (Univ. Press of Ky 2021) and Time to Fly (Atheneum 2022).

Her poem “Where I’m From” has gone around the world as a writing model. Married to musician and writer Steve Lyon, she served as Kentucky Poet Laureate (2015-2016) and was recently inducted into the Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame.

Photo of George Ella Lyon by Deborah Kessler.