Tuesday, February 17, 2015

What Can You Write About A Pancake Race?



                                                                                         A small Kansas town created a special event
                              

Pancake Race in England--pancakes are flipped at 
both start and end of the race; aprons and scarves
are required to participate in the race. 

Too often, writers claim they can find nothing to write about. My answer has always been to 'look around, there are stories everywhere.' Today is a perfect example of finding a story right under your nose.

It's Shrove Tuesday, the final day before the Lenten season begins for Christians. It's the end of Mardi Gras celebrations in New Orleans and many other cities in the USA. I read only yesterday that St. Louis has the second largest Mardi Gras celebration, right behind New Orleans. Who'd have guessed?

Another celebration on Shrove Tuesday is the Annual Pancake Race between the city of Olney in England and Liberal, Kansas. There are other towns in various places that observe this custom, but the Olney/Liberal race is recognized nationally in both countries. Read the history of the race here.

In England, Shrove Tuesday has become known as Pancake Day. In the USA, many churches and other groups have Pancake Suppers.

Why all the info above? Look at the ways you can use this topic in your writing. You could:

1. Write an article for a magazine

2. Do a photo-essay if you attend one of the races

3. Interview a contestant in the Pancake Race

4. Use it as background in a fiction story

5. Use it as part of a mystery story

6. Write a travel essay

7. Write a humorous essay

8. Write a historical feature

A simple event like today's Pancake Race can provide the basis for many writing projects. There are events going on all over the world every single day of the year. They are not going to come floating through your door and fall in your lap so that you can write about whatever it might be. You need to pay attention to things you see, hear and read. Train yourself to 'find a story' everywhere you go and in what you read.

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