17 Impossible Questions for the Writer in Your Life

Ask your friends these "would you rather?" posers for a fun party game that makes everyone miserable

Photo by Jared Cherup

Would you rather have been nominated for the Pulitzer the year they withheld the prize, or for the Nobel the year they gave it to Dylan?

Would you rather be excoriated in reviews for your treatment of the social justice issue closest to your heart, or for your tone-deaf prose? 

Would you rather your best friend avoid all mention of the manuscript you sent for their thoughts, or your mentor?

Would you rather bring your most beloved relative back from the dead, or Toni Morrison?

Would you rather publish your first poem early, but write for the rest of your life and never publish again, or publish only your last poem after persevering through 73 years of rejection?

Would you rather have your work compared to L. Ron Hubbard, or Snooki?

Would you rather teach a 5/5 load of first-year comp as an adjunct on three campuses, or work full-time as a copywriter for a prison supply company?

Would you rather be subtweeted by Benjamin Dreyer, or the Merriam-Webster account?

Would you rather be rejected by every agent you contact based on your query, first chapter, or full manuscript?

Would you rather have a movie adaptation mangle and pervert your story into infamy, or default on your student loans?

Would you rather be on a panel with a favorite writer and listen to them dance around the fact they haven’t read your book, or hear them damn it with faint praise?

Would you rather your status on Submittable remain forever “received,” or “in-progress”?

Would you rather a personal essay be accepted only because the editor knows and pities you, or have it rejected by an acquaintance who tells all your friends how awful your writing is? 

Would you rather learn you’re the subject of Ronan Farrow’s next piece, or that you’re Roxane Gay’s nemesis?

Would you rather have the meaning of your most famous work be misconstrued by a century of schoolchildren, or die unread?

Would you rather that asshole from workshop get a million dollar book deal, or that asshole?

Would you rather, the first time you open your book in a store, find a typo in the first sentence, or the last?


Before you go: Electric Literature is campaigning to reach 1,000 members by 2020and you can help us meet that goalHaving 1,000 members would allow Electric Literature to always pay writers on time (without worrying about overdrafting our bank accounts), improve benefits for staff members, pay off credit card debt, and stop relying on Amazon affiliate links. Members also get store discounts and year-round submissions. If we are going to survive long-term, we need to think long-term. Please support the future of Electric Literature by joining as a member today!

About the Author

More Like This

Which WWI Poet Should You Fight?

Obviously you're going to have to throw hands with one of the great warrior-bards of the early 20th century—but who?

Jan 3 - McKayla Coyle

Classic Literature for Babies

We believe literature should be inclusive, so we've made the Western canon accessible to readers under one year old

Dec 31 - McKayla Coyle

Read More Women Literary Trivia Returns!

Avoid smalltalk with your family edition

Dec 27 - Electric Literature