Our blogs

Regular news and insight from our many poets, writers, educators and facilitators

07 May 2024

Posted by Harley Truslove

Fortune Tellers & Future Letters

The group came into the room today to find the table covered in paper fortune-tellers, hand folded by Holly! They would be for a little bit later, though, as instead we began the session by writing fortunes on little slips of paper (such as one might find inside a fortune cookie). When everyone had written a fortune we screwed them up into balls and distributed them randomly, and Holly challenged the group to write in response to the prompt they received. 

After a five minute freewrite, our writers wrote in response to fortunes such as:

  • Remember to watch your back… always

  • Over the garden wall is another garden wall is another garden wall is another garden wall…

  • A grey sky doesn’t mean the future is bleak, grab joy today in any form 

  • The end is never the end is never the end is never the end...

  • Don’t trust bald men over the age of 37

  • It may feel like the end but it’s only the beginning

We got some amazing pieces in response, including this story by Katie:

“Jasper had always been an odd sort of person. His face folded into patterns that resembled failed origami experiments more than anything else. His head was bare, and had been for several years now. This is not what made him odd. What made him odd were the grey, leathery wings that were, according to his very expensive doctor, attached to his spine - this would, Jasper supposed, explain their extreme sensitivity. They resembled bat wings from a slight distance, but a stringent - some might say obsessive - search had revealed some notable differences. The spine thing, for one. And for another the complete lack of hair on their wrinkled and delicate flesh. Jasper was bald in more than one way, and it worried him. Worried him because he was nearing his 38th birthday, which scared him far more than any wings, or doctor, or possibly bat-ish genetics ever had. Bald men over 37 had never been good news where Jasper was concerned, and he didn't see why he would be an exception. He had considered getting implants, or a wig, or something, but his doctor had advised against it. Too many unknown variables, he said. (About the implants, that is. Jasper had vetoed a wig himself since it hardly seemed to count). And so his birthday grew closer and Jasper grew more and more anxious. He bet bats didn’t have this sort of problem.”

Holly then challenged the group to find something in their writing which called to them in order to write a letter to their near-future self. The writers had fifteen minutes and said their letters contained a variety of things, including discussions about grade averages and hating food tech GCSEs.

Finally, the writers filled out the paper fortune tellers. They picked four main themes from their future-self letter to have on the outside, phrases from their letters inside that, and then little notes, or poems, or messages to themselves in the final folds. It was a lovely exercise which gave our writers something to look back on in a couple of years.


Back to blog

What's on

Find out more

Our projects

Find out more

Our films

Watch now

Headlight Press

Find out more

Latest news

17 June 2024

New Forest Writer in Residence

Immediate Release                                                             Issued June 2024 Countryside Education Trust, Beaulieu, appoints its first Writer...

Read more

Our blogs

Regular news and insight from our many poets, writers, educators and facilitators

Find out more


Why not get in touch?