The Grow Write Guild

Note: You can skip my explanation and go straight to the Grow Write Guild page to find out more.

Tell More Stories.

Back in December I declared that this was my goal moving forward. The more I know about gardening and the more I write about it, the more I see that it is all about the stories. As a professional garden writer I am supposed to identify myself as an expert and make sure to position myself in that way in order to rise above the herd and increase my value. “Citizens of the World, I have all of your gardening answers!” But the reality is that while I have learned a lot, there is far, far more that I do not know. Infinitely more. And other things that I forget. This is not a bad thing. It keeps me humble. It’s also a challenge to learn and a guarantee that I will never be bored — that I can carry this obsession with plants through the whole of my life and it will always be as vivid, dynamic, and alive as it is right now. Maybe even more-so.

Which leads me back to Tell More Stories.

These days, even if I have something how-to up my sleeve, I aim to tell it as a story. But there are still more stories that I want to tell. Stories about what gardening means to me the person, and how much sticking my hands into the earth has brought me to myself. And there are other stories, too. Stories about vulnerability, anger and deep sadness; stories that stay balled up inside me because I keep telling myself that they are too much, dangerous, and they should not be put onto paper or said out loud. Or I don’t have the words. Or when I have the words that they are not the right words and who am I to write them? And who will care what I have to say? And in gardening of all genres. Such a happy-go-lucky hobby. And here I come, mucking it up with my messiness.

It’s funny. So much about gardening is emotional: finding joy, working through pain, digging away at our anger, gently nurturing ourselves as we show our plants the care and tenderness we need to give ourselves. It surprises me how much these topics are avoided.

A Creative Writing Club for People Who Love to Garden

I want to write more stories. And while I am doing it, there are so many more still that I want to tell. So I started to take down ideas to help me dig in further. In doing so, I imagined that some of you out there are like me and could also benefit from some prompts and a little encouragement. And that’s where the idea for the Grow Write Guild came from. Every two weeks I will post a writing prompt. Some will be really simple and others will encourage a longer response. Some will be just one sentence, while others will include further hints to get you thinking about different ways that you can approach the topic.

You can choose to follow along and write a response that is made public on your own blog or kept completely private. Should you choose to make it public, come back to this site and share it in the comments by posting a link to the work. Even if you don’t make it public, I’d love it if you came back to share how the prompt worked out for you.

I’ve created a permanent page for the Grow Write Guild on this site that includes all of the info you will need as well as an evolving FAQ. Over time the prompts will also appear there so that they are easy to find later on.

Tomorrow I will post the first prompt.

Let’s write our stories together.


A special thanks to Davin Risk who illustrated a beautiful club insignia for us.

Gayla Trail
Gayla is a writer, photographer, and former graphic designer with a background in the Fine Arts, cultural criticism, and ecology. She is the author, photographer, and designer of best-selling books on gardening, cooking, and preserving.

Subscribe to get weekly updates from Gayla

31 thoughts on “The Grow Write Guild

  1. Just a note that these are written so that you can choose how to respond — they are not meant to be heavy if you don’t want them to be. And some of them are silly.

  2. Oh my gosh does your blub on the Grow Write Guild page ever strike a cord! I started my blog for a couple of reasons and in the beginning it was fun and then it became un-fun and then it nagged at me to come back to it, so I try… This challenge will be good for me! Thank you.

  3. Oh I need this. I opened a blog with the intention to write about my garden and local resources but I just can’t start :/

  4. This definitely looks like fun! I’ve been telling myself recently that I need to create more, and tell more stories.

  5. This is very exciting! I have just bought my first house and am planning my first garden (and starting seeds in my basement – just repotted the tomato seedlings a few minutes ago. Your site and books have been SO HELPFUL.) I have been REALLY looking forward to tracking my garden on my homemaking blog: Prompts are going to make this a lot more fun. Thank you so much for this – can’t wait to see what you and others have to say and to share my own writings.

  6. Awesome idea Gayla! I can’t wait to participate, I’ve got the button added to my blog. Now I’ll anxiously await the first prompt, this is exactly what I needed to get my booty in gear ;)

  7. Sounds like fun! What about linking to a myfolia journal entry, rather than a blog post? (I’m on a bit of a blogging hiatus at the moment.)

  8. PERFECT timing – my garden has been sorely ignored for four or five years now and I’m hoping to revive it this year and my husband even bought a small greenhouse that should arrive tomorrow to help with gardening at high altitudes (9100 feet in the Colorado mountains).

  9. So exciting and also exactly what’s needed to inspire my gardening reflections! I’ve already added the wonderful badge :)

  10. I’m in! My blog ranges across urban-rural topics, dealing with sustainability and conservation considerations across that spectrum. That means, there’s a fair amount of talk about food and gardening. Can’t wait to see the prompts.

    More specifically, is it possible to subscribe to the prompts by email, or more generally to this blog by email? I can only seem to find RSS and Google Reader options.

  11. Wonderful! Just found your blog today and now just found this post about the writing prompts. Two years ago I planted a garden for the first time and fell in love. I’ve wanted to start a gardening journal of sorts to kind of track my progress, thoughts, ideas, and everything I learn along the way. These writing prompts will be a great addition to that! Thank you!

  12. This is exactly what I need right now. I haven’t kept a blog for a few years now because all the things that were happening to me were private- special moments for my family to share together, but nothing that I wanted to put out there. Plus, I wasn’t gardening! Oh I was getting dirty, but it was more like tearing my yard up by its roots (and its concrete. Oh, it’s concrete). Now we are finally into the putting plants in the ground phase, but a recent discovery about our soil has turned all my plans for the garden upside down and it’s something I need to put out there now. Yes, this writing project is just what I needed.

  13. Gayla, I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love this idea, or how much I *need* it right now. After ten years in one blogging space (, I’ve just taken a huge leap into a whole new place to write –, and while it won’t be a true gardening blog, what I publish there will be very garden-centric. So I can really, really use your prompts to start filling up my new note notebook!



  14. This is perfect. I just started my blog about quitting my job and jumping head first into a new life with gardening & homesteading as a large part of it. I was just brainstorming a long list of topic ideas yesterday, and this will be a welcome addition every two weeks! Thanks!

  15. Hi! I love the idea, although I’m a bit confused as how to ‘sign up’? Are we just supposed to sign up here in this comments?
    thanks and looking forward to being a part of the group!

Comments are closed.