Refugee Week – Creative Transformation Writing Exercise

In Creative Writing, Poetry, Refugee Week by Kateinnes_123.@hW

Creative Transformation:

In this creative writing exercise we are going to be allowing ourselves to go into positive, rewarding, uplifting territory.

That doesn’t mean we deny that terrible and horrendous things are going on, and in some cases have happened to us and people and places we love.

It means that we are giving ourselves a place to go where we are in control of what happens.  We can make good changes. We can meet out justice. 

If we think about all the bad things happening, we feel awful if there is nothing that we can do to help make it stop. But, it is very helpful to give ourselves something in fantasy that we can’t have in reality. This helps us all to think more positively and happily about ourselves and the future.  

This technique has been used in fiction from the earliest myths about the Greek gods and the ancient tales in the Arabian Nights – to Roald Dahl in his stories like The Magic Finger (in which selfish people are turned into ducks) – and changing something scary into something ridiculous in JK Rowling’s book Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

In the sovereign territory of your imagination, you can make anything happen – you can make anything change. You can use a supernatural force – like the pagan gods or superheroes we have in popular culture today – or you can use prayer or magic. 

Or you can just decide that this is how it is going to be.

One of the poems in my sequence Modern Mythic Metamorphoses – ‘In which the hunters mysteriously disappear’ changes the rules so that as soon as a hunter tries to shoot an endangered animal, that hunter transforms into the animal he was trying to kill. This then leads to an increase in animal numbers and an increase in forests and other wild places – and greater biodiversity. Through one little change many other good things result. 

You can watch the video of this poetry sequence here:

So – in this creative writing exercise – don’t worry about being realistic. 

Give your imagination plenty of freedom to dream and create a better world.

Write a short description – can be prose or poetry – of a transformation. 

1.  Think of a situation or a person that needs to be changed. 

It can be political, social, or very personal. It can be someone who lives near you or on the other side of the world. It can be an object that you think should not exist in its current form. (eg. what would happen if all mobile phones turned into tulips?)

2.  Name what will be changed:  ______________________________________________________________

3.  Name the animal, plant, thing, situation that you will change it to:


4.  Now write about the transformation and the outcome of it – how have things changed for the better – or are there some unintended consequences of your divine intervention?

Spend about 10-15 minutes getting the basics down. 




Sometimes a poem or piece of writing is quick and sometimes it takes a long time. Spend some more time making this work as good as you can. If you’ve enjoyed it, you can choose another situation or person who needs the creative transformation treatment.

There is no limit to what you can do – you are in charge. 

If you want to share your ideas with us, that would be great! Share to the Refugee Week post on my Facebook page

or email [email protected]. I will respond in both cases. 

If you have emailed me, I will ask if you would like to make your work public or not. 

If you would rather not share at all – no worries – keep it as your powerful secret.