Wednesday Writing Prompts

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The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau

Twenty-five years ago next year, on 25 June 1997, marine conservationist and legendary oceanographer Jacques Cousteau died at the age of 87.

I remember watching The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau on the telly, and also I remember that he had something to do with the whales in the St Lawrence Seaway on the east coast of Canada.

What I didn’t know was that he was a co-pioneer of the aqua lung, or scuba diving gear. 

What else can you find out about him? Where was he born? Where did he live? Why did he become involved in marine conservation? What is his legacy?

Here are a few ideas that I came up with following a quick brainstorm:

  1. the story of the Calypso
  2. a potted bio of Jacques Cousteau
  3. ten top documentaries from Jacques Cousteau
  4. five favourite books by Jacques Cousteau
  5. the Oceanographic Museum in Monaco
  6. spotlight on the Cousteau Society
  7. how a killer algae is destroying the Mediterranean eco-system
  8. how we can save the Mediterranean eco-system (can we?)
  9. where to learn to scuba-dive
  10. ten top scuba-dives

And this doesn’t even touch where you can take it with fiction. How about a story featuring a marine biologist?

Or someone who takes tourists out to see the whales from Tadoussac?

Or even a tourist who goes to see the whales and returns home to start a campaign to stop these whale tours happening?

The Tsar and Tsarina

Thirty years ago next year, on 22 June 1992, two skeletons excavated in Russia were identified ad Tsar Nicholas II and Tsarina Alexandra.

There are lots of stories you can research and write about the Russian royal family who were all murdered towards the end of the First World War. And there is much speculation too, with numerous claims from various people that they survived the tragedy.

Who else was killed with the royal family? What were their jobs? What did they do to deserve such a fate? In fact, the other victims might put a fresh slant on things.

What can you find out about the Russian royal family? Where did they live? How did they live? Again, why were they murdered? And, more importantly, why was it covered up for so long?


Fifty years ago next year, on 27 June 1972, Atari was founded in California.

Could you write a nostalgic piece about your first Atari? Or how about your first Spectrum? Or even simply your first home computer or games console? What about the arcade games that were popular?

Here are a few ideas:

  1. my first Atari and why I loved it
  2. ten top retro arcade games
  3. the evolution of arcade games
  4. my first Spectrum and why it was fantastic
  5. my first home computer/games console
  6. how we all used to get excited at playing Pong (it was just a blip and 2 paddles!)
  7. the evolution of the home computer
  8. how I learnt to write computer code when I was only 8
  9. five fave games you had to play from a cassette
  10. when Space Invaders gave way to Asteroids

Or you could go in the direction of platform games. How about a story about the best platform gamer in the village?

Over to you…

… and don’t forget to come back and let me know if and what you did, and how it fared.