So for years I’ve threatened to create a blog prompt challenge. I’ve created monthly bookstagram challenges in the past and they were fun but I think daily or even weekly challenges can end up feeling a bit too much like work so I decided to create a monthly blog prompt challenge. Monthly should make it easier to follow and keep up and if you, like me, sometimes fall behind on blogging then at least you get in one blog a month and if nothing else will have blogged 12 times in 2022. That’s an achievement as far as I’m concerned!
I’ll assign a prompt for each month and then post about anything book related that fits that prompt at anytime throughout the month. This can be a review, a top 10, 5 or even 2, a trope that fits that month or just a gallery of photos that fit the prompt for that month.
Please link back to Mindforbooks in your post so that others know where to find information about the challenge and leave a comment with a link to your own actual post and not your blog in the comments on my monthly prompt response post so that I can add yours to the end of my post throughout the month.
I’m also planning on using this over on bookstagram so if you don’t feel like blogging use #MindforBooksPrompt (add corresponding month to the end of the hashtag) on your post there and I’ll give you a shoutout as I see them. Just be mindful that sometimes Instagram will shadow ban you so even if you are a public account it won’t necessarily show under that hashtag. Remember to mix up your hashtags and stay away from the common ones.
I’ll also create a page under my ‘Library’ tab called ‘Monthly Prompts’ where you’ll be able to find all my posts and therefore all the posts from people for each monthly prompt.
I got Toksvig’s Almanac by Sandi Toksvig for Christmas 2021 and I spent the year reading it. This has been a really lovely book to pick up at the end of each month and take note of all the amazing women in history as well as learning more about the months themselves, so I’ve used it as inspiration for a lot of my prompts. Some relate to the month itself and some relate to women I found to be inspiring or awesome. Prior to each month I’m going to post that months prompt in it’s own post (so you don’t have to keep coming back to this main post) and in that post I’m going to give a shoutout to some of the women Sandi mentioned in that month. This is going to be hard because even the villains’ are worth talking about.
Schedule for the years topics is below:
January – Wolf Moon
Apparently, the Anglo-Saxons called January Wolfmonath (Wolf Month). According to an Anglo-Dutchman called Richard Verstegan this is because in the 1600’s January was the month you were most likely to be eaten by a wolf. I kind of love it! 😀
So for January give me wolf shifters, give me books that have a moon on the cover or in the title, give me your dog with a book, just make it lupine/canine or lupine/canine adjacent.
February – Imbolc
It is believed that Imbolc was originally a pagan festival associated with the goddess Brigid, and that it was Christianised as the feast day of Saint Brigid, who is likely (along with lots of other things) a Christianisation of the goddess.
So for this prompt we are going to use all the things Brigid and St. Brigid encompass. This is A LOT OF THINGS!
First up Brigid and Imbolc so anything Spring related.
St. Brigid is the patron saint of County Kildare, babies; blacksmiths; boatmen; brewers; cattle; chicken farmers; children whose parents are not married; children with abusive fathers; children born into abusive unions; Clan Douglas; dairymaids; dairy workers; Florida; fugitives; infants; Ireland; Leinster, Mac Brádaigh family, mariners; midwives; milk maids; nuns; poets; poor; poultry farmers; poultry raisers; printing presses; sailors; scholars; travellers; watermen.
So if you’ve read a book about a chicken farmer in Florida you are off to the races! 😀
Fun fact, St. Brigid’s Day is on the way to becoming a new bank holiday here in Ireland. It’s particularly popular because Biddy was a bad bitch, she is the only female Saint we have and pagan ties make me happy.
March – Women Taking Charge
March is Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day is on the 8th so it’s only right that we make this prompt all about women and I’d love to see women who kick ass and take names.
Matriarchal societies, queens and warriors. Women who overcome adversity or non-fiction about or by women who inspire and change the world.
April – Aphrodite
There is a whole thing in relation to the naming of April and in a very tangential and roundabout way, one of the many theories is that it was named for Aphrodite. It’s stretching but I want a romance month so here we are!
Prompt for this one is love, lust, beauty, pleasure, passion and procreation. Have at it!
May – Anisguti (Planting Moon)
May is known as Anisguti (the planting moon) in the Cherokee calendar and I kind of love the imagery it conjures up. Especially because this is the month I start in on my garden for the summer.
Green and plants come to mind! Green covers, plants on covers, sprayed/stenciled edges, green or plants in the title or in the story. Hey, characters who display large amounts of growth throughout the story would totally work as well.
Also would love to see posts that include books that represent any and all indigenous people and culture. From USA, Canada, South America, Australia, New Zealand and all in between.
June – Pride
I forgot how lush and electrified“Gay pride weekend S.F., 1992” by Brenda Shaughnessy
it was with you. The shaggy
fragrant zaps continually passing
back and forth, my fingertip
to your clavicle, or your wrist
rubbing mine to share gardenia
oil. We so purred like dragonflies
we kept the mosquitoes away
and the conversation was heavy,
and the sad way we’d both
been both ignored and touched
badly. Knowing that being
fierce and proud and out and
loud was just a bright new way
to be needy. Please listen to me, oh
what a buzz! you’re the only one
I can tell. Even with no secret,
I could come close to your ear
with my mouth and that was
ecstasy, too. We barely touched
each other, we didn’t have to
speak. The love we made leapt
to life like a cat in the space
between us (if there ever was
space between us), and looked
back at us through fog. Sure,
this was San Francisco, it was
often hard to see. But fog always
burned off, too, so we watched
this creature to see if it knew
what it was doing. It didn’t.
A fairly self explanatory prompt for this month. Posts celebrating all that is Pride. Would be great if books used were written by LGBTQIA+ authors.
July – Pirate Queen
Sayyida al Hurra dies on 14 July 1561 and she sounds like a legend.
Her name translates as ‘Lady who is free and independent; the woman sovereign who bows to no superior authority.’ Born Lalla Aicha bint Ali ibn Rashid al-Alami, in 1485. Pirate queen. Very important woman of Islamic West, and fluent in several languages. Became al Hurra (queen) of Tétouan in Northern Morocco in 1515 after the death of her husband and because he was ‘the undisputed leader of pirates of the western Mediterranean’. Ruled for thirty years till overthrown by her son-in-law. Lived twenty years in retirement.Toksvig’s Almanac
I just love everything about this, especially given that a particular favourite trope of mine is voyages. Any and all seafaring books for this prompt and if pirate queens are involved I salute you and will be adding to my tbr if I haven’t read them already!
August – Perseids
The Perseids are a prolific meteor shower associated with the comet Swift–Tuttle. The meteors are called the Perseids because the point from which they appear to hail (called the radiant) lies in the constellation Perseus. Visible between July and August each year with the peak being around 13th August.
So for August we are taking to the stars and the prompt is for everything Space related! 🌌
September – Mabon
Mabon is a pagan holiday which celebrates the Autumnal equinox. In the astronomical season, it marks the first day of autumn in the Northern Hemisphere or the moment when the Sun is exactly above the Equator, meaning day and night are of equal length.
September is my birth month so therefore my favourite month. For me it’s also the start of Autumn, I grew up with that being the case and nothing will change my mind so this months prompt is everything Autumn. Books with Autumn as the focal point, autumnal colours, books that remind you of the season or even an ode to this wonderful time of the year.
October – Winterfylleth
Winterfylleth (Ƿinterfylleþ) was the Anglo-Saxon name for the month of October. It marked and celebrated the beginning of winter and I love the images it conjures. I get very dark fairytale vibes and that’s what I’m rolling with for this month.
I’m looking for Gothic and Noir everything and anything!
November – Sacrifice
Petronilla de Meath is burned at the stake on 3rd November 1324.
De Meath, born around 1300, was the maidservant of Dame Alice Kyteler, a wealthy 14th-century noblewoman and the first person recorded of being condemned for witchcraft in Ireland. Kyteler was accused of practicing witchcraft to make her money and get rid of her husbands. Her weirdest charges were of ‘cutting up animals to sacrifice to demons at crossroads’ and having sex with a demon named ‘Robin Artisson’. Petronilla was charged as an accomplice, flogged and burnt at the stake. Dame Alice escaped and fled the country.Toksvig’s Almanac
November was known as Blōtmōnaþ by the Anglo Saxons (“Blod-monath is month of immolations, for it was in this month that the cattle which were to be slaughtered were dedicated to the gods.”) and the story of Petronilla de Meath makes this a fitting month for all things related to witches or sacrifice. Especially given the fact that it seems like she was literally sacrificed by a wealthy noblewoman, that being said, it’s obviously the men involved in this case who were the problem!
So the prompt is witches from across the globe, sacrifices of all kinds, be it fantasy or non-fiction. This could get dark but I’m actually super excited about it! 🖤
December – Yule
After October and November I think it’s time for something cheerful so for December the prompt is all the holidays celebrated in December.
Hannukah, Yule, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Yalda, Hogmanay, Ōmisoka and the many I’ve surely missed! Pick whatever you celebrate/love and hype it up or post about a book you love that takes place during one or even a trip you take for one of these celebrations.