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PicLits: Visually inspiring creative writing

Several folks from my Twitter network were talking about PicLits today, so I thought I’d take a look. 

PicLit from

(By Terry Friedlander, Founder & Creative Head of State, of

This creative writing site allows users to

match beautiful images with carefully selected keywords in order to inspire you. The object is to put the right words in the right place and the right order to capture the essence, story, and meaning of the picture.

Users have the choice of dragging and dropping words from their parts-of-speech categories (nouns, adjectives, adverbs, verbs, etc.) or working freestyle (writing without a prompted word list) as they select visual background inspiration from an array of powerful images that displays as a slide show across the top border.  The drag and drop feature may help reinforce grammar lessons.  Pull-down menus offer options to capitalize and change word forms.

PicLits may be saved, shared with the community, rated, emailed, and embedded into other 2.0 apps.

Instructional support for site takes the form of three mini-lessons areas: Write It; Rhyme It; and Master It.

The impressive selection of Master It lessons includes:

I’ll be sharing this tool with secondary language arts teachers and introducing the free-style approach with our world language teachers. 

I can see PicLit being used simply as a back-to-school ice breaker, but more formally to introduce various poetry and creative writing units.  Secondarily, the results will fill your classroom or library with posters displaying your students’ creativity.

Joyce Valenza About Joyce Valenza

Joyce is an Assistant Professor of Teaching at Rutgers University School of Information and Communication, a technology writer, speaker, blogger and learner. Follow her on Twitter: @joycevalenza


  1. Terry Friedlander says:

    Thanks Joyce.

    The review and summary of PicLits was pretty thorough. We just added a new dimension to FREESTYLE. When you go to FREESTYLE, we randomly supply 11-13 words from the DRAG-N-DROP word list for those who need a nudge. Below that is “MORE KEYWORDS” which will bring up ALL the keywords from DRAG-N-DROP that can be included or not.

    DRAG-N-DROP is the IP and is totally SECURE, levels the playing field when applied to a classroom lesson or contest, and it conjugates verbs and allows for capitalization etc.

    Tell me about the Twitter network for teachers?
    ( )

  2. Terry Friedlander says:

    Hello Joyce. Are you still Tweeting with teachers? I am always interested in reaching language arts and ESL/ELL teachers. The site is doing well within the K3 thru K12 ages. I did a WHITE board demo and it was very compelling. The entire class got engaged. Please remind your friends that we are still active and the site is FREE. We have gone over the 1 million mark in page views and over 16K in PicLits written. I am always open to feedback and ideas. Thanks in advance.
    Terry Friedlander, ( )

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