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Writing for the Quarantine

Updated: Mar 26, 2020


So… Life is weird right now. If you’re like us, school has been cancelled and you’re sitting at home working through whatever online learning looks like for your school district. But even that isn’t enough to take up a full day, so you try to think of something to do that doesn’t involve talking to people or going anywhere there might be a crowd. Pretty soon, you’re going to run into a pandemic that’s not coronavirus: boredom. Here’s a list of suggestions of what to do compiled by the Voices team!



If you’re willing and able to go outside, head to the library and pick up a stack of books to read. Catch up on that “To Read” list that’s been getting really long. If the library sounds like too much of a risk right now or if it’s closed because of the coronavirus, you might have access to an e-library. Chicago Public Library has a wide selection of e-books and audiobooks you can check out without ever talking to another person. To get started, you can either look up your library and check for online resources or download an app like Libby and sign into your library. You have similar access in libraries in New York, such as the Shelter Rock Public Library.

Book Lists

The New York Times has published a list of quarantine themed books you can read while you social distance. If you’re looking for something more light hearted, try revisiting some of your childhood favorites to remember why you liked them so much!

Read the News Find out what’s going on in the world! Read up on the 2020 presidential race! Find some opinion pieces you strongly disagree with or an advice column that answers completely ridiculous questions (Slate’s Dear Prudence column is a good place to start and, though it’s not technically news, it’s still fun). Or, if you really want to, read about social distancing and the coronavirus. If you choose to do that, be careful not to stress yourself out too much!


Try an Online Workshop

If you’re looking to improve your editing skills, try Polyphony Lit’s “How to Be a Literary Editor Workshop”! It’s on-demand, self-paced, and takes 3-5 hours. First and Second Readers are especially encouraged to take this class. Plus, all proceeds help support us, your favorite high school literary magazine!

Form a Writers Group

It’s important to maintain social connections, even as we stay physically distant from one another. A writers group that facetimes once a week is a great way for you and your friends to talk to each other while also improving your writing skills.

If your friends are less literary minded, worry not. Polyphony Lit is here for you with this Writers Match document where you can leave your information and contact other editors you’d like to write with!


Use all that free time that’s opened up to you to actually sit down and write! Although no one knows the exact timing, historians think Shakespeare wrote King Lear and other plays during the Plague quarantine. You, too, could write a play destined to be performed in ninth grade English classes across the country!

Make some Art!

Polyphony Lit is always looking for our next cover artist. Try your hand at making a piece, and you might end up being the cover artist for Volume 16! Find the application here.

We know this can be a stressful and unusual time. Stressful and unusual times are exactly when it’s important to focus on literary pursuits and the arts. Stay healthy and keep writing!

- The Voices Team


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Grace Scullion
Grace Scullion
Mar 30, 2020

Ok ok ok I read this article by George Saunders that screamed Polyphony to me. Thought I'd drop it here as another item for the Polyphony-Lit-catered list of things to do once you've watched Tiger King.

If anyone else has any articles/pieces that are ~speaking~ to them at this time, I'd love to read!

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