Writing Prompts

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124 articles found

Last summer

  “I love writing about the summer between high school and college. It’s the last gasp of really being a teen.” —Sarah Dessen   Craft a fictional story about a teen’s final summer before heading to college; alternatively, write a nonfiction retelling of your own final summer. What are the stakes? What emotions does a …

Published: July 22, 2016

Bouquet of secrets

A character opens the front door and discovers a bouquet of flowers on the doorstep. But the flowers have a hidden meaning. What do they symbolize? Who left them there? How does the character react?

Published: July 15, 2016

In knots

The woman smoothed down the knots in her hair, not noticing the ragged rip in her skirt or the dark stain on her blouse. What happened to this woman? Where is she going? Create a backstory and decide how this experience will affect her future.

Published: July 8, 2016

Wedding bells

After saying “I do,” a bride bursts into laughter. Meanwhile, bells are about to ring for another bride. But as she steps into her gown, she’s not thinking about her fiancé. Or her wedding. Write a story about how these two moments are connected by the secret these brides share.

Published: July 1, 2016

Back peddling

Some of the best material can be found deep within our past. Think about the things that you always loved doing, the places you used to frequent, the people you once called friends but with whom you have since lost touch. Flip through childhood photos or dig into old home videos to see your past …

Published: June 24, 2016

New year, new them

Chances are, you recently made a promise to better your life in the new year. Now it’s time to be secretly judgmental.

Published: January 15, 2016

Twas a rough night 

Your character has tossed and turned, counted forward and backward, assigned a word to each letter of the alphabet. After what feels like an eternity, first light finally arrives. Write a 250-word piece about the strain and stress of restlessness for your character. What caused the distraction? Is it resolved or exacerbated by a sleepless …

Published: January 8, 2016

Motivation Monday: The old object

      Choose an old object from your home. If you don’t have one, find a picture of an antique online. Imagine that when you touch the object, you are transported to its original time and place. Where are you? What happens? How do you interact with the object? What emotions does the object …

Published: November 30, 2015

Structure Sunday: Write dangerously

“The modern writer must be an adventurer above all, willing to take every risk, and be prepared to founder in his effort if need be. In other words we must write dangerously.” –James Joyce A legend of Irish literature, Joyce used his fearless approach to pen groundbreaking novels such as Ulysses and Finnegans Wake. Take …

Published: November 29, 2015

Sensational Saturday: Bottled up

    What makes your character impatient or angry? How does he or she deal with anger? Does your character keep it bottled up to explode later over something insignificant? Let it all out at the moment and move on? Count to 10? React with fists or words? What does it take to get a …

Published: November 28, 2015