A NOTE ON OUR TESTS: The Sylvanusylvania psychometric pages are in no way scientific and are probably not indicative of anything whatsoever. These tests are strictly for personal use and were created solely for entertainment. Please do not request answers to any of the questions here posed. Correct answers invest those who know them with an unequivocal sense of certainty, and any solution that does not impart to the solver such a degree of certainty should be considered wrong. If, however, you feel unequivocally certain that this criterion for right and wrong is intrinsically flawed, please re-examine your sense of certainty for small vestiges of doubt.



THE LITTLE BOOK OF PROMPTS is a test in the guise of a formal poem, formulated to measure linguistic acumen between two and five standard deviations above average.

The test presently consists of twelve sub-prompts, each of which contains its own instructions and constraints. Please follow the instructions carefully, for while virtuosic deviance is permitted, clumsy perversions are harshly judged.

There is no time limit; however, please keep in mind your current age, health, extra-poetic commitments, and mortality statistics before committing yourself to a test of this magnitude. You may esteem THE LITTLE BOOK OF PROMPTS as a worthy endeavor or consider it a waste of time (or worse); whatever the case, please give some thought to your participation before proceeding.


There is currently no fee involved in the submission process, which will continue to be the case until submissions become drudgery or otherwise unmanageable. If a fee is instated, however, it will be refunded in full, so long as it is accompanied by a masterful submission.

It is not necessary to complete all of the prompts to finish the test. However, as each completed sub-prompt adds to one’s raw score, the more sub-prompts completed, the higher one’s raw score. Compelling fragments and false starts are encouraged and will contribute to one’s raw score, if merited.

You may resubmit and append previous submissions.


1. This test makes no claim to good poetry (nor does it claim to have a working definition of what ‘good’ poetry is). Sometimes the etude is music; often it is boring music. What separates THE LITTLE BOOK OF PROMPS from similar mental exercises (crossword puzzles, trivia, analogies, etc.) is the creative product that results, which is happily more than a set of correctly filled-in blanks.

2. THE LITTLE BOOK OF PROMPTS tests language acumen at a level where language is intrinsically bound to culture. THE LITTLE BOOK OF PROMPTS is therefore an expressly biased and idiosyncratic test. So while this test is entrenched in the English language at a small junction on the landscape of global culture, no claims are being made to the superiority of a particular language or culture.

3. Due to the volume of submissions, an individual response to each submission cannot be made and should not be expected.

4. The standard deviation for this test is hypothetical and subject to change as the collected data increases. In all likelihood, the test will ultimately discriminate beyond five standard deviations. As such, no claim is made to the accuracy of individual scores with respect to broader populations or in compliance with any scientific standard.


Submitted tests and portions of tests will be considered for publication on the SYLVANUSYLVANIA website. The act of submitting a test will be considered a grant of first serial rights to your submitted work. However, if you do not want a portion or any of your submission published, please explicitly state as much—that you do NOT grant first serial rights to Sylvanusylvania. All rights will revert to the author upon publication.


On the verso of each prompt are additional instructions in the form of a relevant example, puzzle, or some combination of the two. Please note that given examples are not necessarily model answers.


When you are ready to submit your work, please email it to our general mailbox (info [AT] sylvanusylvania.com) with your surname, followed by “PROMPT SUBMISSION” in the subject heading. Cover letters are appreciated, as are any glosses, footnotes, and secondary texts that help elucidate your work in a timely fashion. Handwritten submissions are not discouraged, provided they are legible. Literary giants, future giants, and gifted scribes (Merovingian chancery, anyone?) are specifically encouraged to supply a handwritten submission to enhance the company’s collection of Computer Age manuscripts. Our mailing address is P.O. Box 1333 Cooper Station, New York, NY 10276.


Please be patient while the test loads.