Letters of Ted Hughes, selected and edited by Christopher Reid (Faber and Faber, 2007), is a fascinating read and includes some useful support for aspiring writers. See the book for yourself; by way of review, and to tempt you, here's a bit of his 'Champagne Method' (pp 314-5).
It seems that back in 1971 he and a friend devised for mutual friend Irish poet Richard Murphy a list of exercises as a stimulus to his writing. Penalties and rewards were to be paid in champagne. Murphy recounts this in his memoir, The Kick (Granta, 1993). There are 15 items on the list; here are 5, and the instructions from Hughes:
All considered only as starting points--Also, each exercise to cover 3 pages in order to make a habit of flow & release. Also, under Beethoven's dictum to pupils: "Never mind the wrong notes--go through to the end." Very good dictum as dicta go.
- A congregation of gulls, storm petrels, seals -- the text, the service
- The voice in the well
- The Saint's curse on desecrators
- Fifty metaphors of High Island [choose some other place you & your students all know]
- High Island considered as a woman
So give it a go! Up to you to devise the rewards and penalties -- and to lay in the champagne (or maybe cava, these days).