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What are Quick Writes?

Quick Writes are my most favourite writing tool, writing strategy and writing buzz! And I haven’t yet had a student across Years 3-6, across the world, who hasn’t agreed with me. For me Quick Writes are simply one of the most important tools I can add to my writers’ tool box.

What are they?

Quick Writes are short 2-5 minute lightening writes prompted by a word, an image, an idea, an author technique, a possibility. The function of Quick Writes is to limit the time for writing to free the mind from thinking that it cannot 'do'.

Once we get out of our own way, we are free to explore new territories, thoughts and ideas that can otherwise be halted by what every writer knows as 'writer's block'. We overthink it.

Quick Writes give us no time to think, other than what is dwelling deep in our subconscious.

Pencils and minds need to power through, not stopping. This takes some training, practice and persistence. It also takes an enabling adult to get us there, through modelling, coaching, to build writing muscle.

I find Quick Writes:

  • excite students
  • draw on and develop imaginations
  • free up the writer to write
  • live alongside a rich and extensive Read Aloud program
  • develop an awareness of the rich techniques that writers use
  • increase opportunity for volume of writing
  • undoubtedly improve the quality of writing


On our Teachific site we have Quick Write Prompts that are the starting point for your students.

Each Quick Write Prompt set includes:

  • The prompt
  • Associated artefacts for the prompt: photos, prompt cards
  • Prompt stickers (small versions of the prompt for students to glue into their Quick Write book. These serve as a great record of the prompt, not only for this Quick Write but also for another time.)
  • Some added extras depending on the set: Student writing examples from my collection, routines, links to reading.

The prompt gives us no time to think, other than what the prompt forces us to think about.

I have never doubted the value of Quick Writes for growing serious, authentic, excited writers. I could see that from the very early stages.

Parent letter

As I went back to the class published Quick Write books I first made with my students in 2001, I came across this letter tucked in with my collection.

"Dear Sharon,
Christopher showed me his 'Quick Writing' book last night.
I was amazed at what I saw.
I had no idea he could write so well.You have obviously tapped a very deep well within him, and he is working with more confidence and enthusiasm than I have ever seen.
Thank you.


Quick Writes: Research can tell us of the benefits, students can vouch for the process, and the letter above from a parent’s heart reminds me that that is why I still love introducing Quick Writes, to enable writers to find that well. I hope you find it too.

Read Our Newsletter on Quick Writes!

Related Books: Chris Van Allsburg books (and their images) are wonderful as Read Alouds and as prompts for Quick Writes in Years 3-6. See the links to 'The Mysteries of Harris Burdick' below from Booktopia and Amazon. The stimulating ideas and images in this book (and his others) are amazing.

Mysteries of Harris 1 Mysteries of Harris 2 Mysteries of Harris 3 Mysteries of Harris 4

 Mysteries of Harris Burdick on Booktopia (Australia)

 Mysteries of Harris Burdick on Amazon (US)


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