Writing Prompts

88 articles found

A VIP birthday party

Michelangelo, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Ed McMahon, Gabriel Garcia Márquez and Shaquille O’Neal walk into a bar, or some other place of your choosing, to celebrate their birthdays (all of which are March 6). They come bearing gifts according to a pre-determined name drawn out of a hat. What does each person bring, and how does …

Published: March 6, 2015

Adopted language

Studying the vocabulary and patterns of other writers can strengthen your own work. Pull your favorite book, poem or essay off of the shelf and open to a random section. Write down three words from that page, and do the same for two additional pages. The words should be a mix of those you are …

Published: February 27, 2015

Awards show fiasco

You’re back stage at a Hollywood awards show, waiting in the wings with a special press pass in hand. One of the most highly-anticipated awards was just given out on stage, the winner finishing his or her acceptance speech. As the star is ushered off the stage, you hear a commotion behind you and chaos …

Published: February 20, 2015

An unforgettable proposal

  In honor of Valentine’s Day, write the most epic marriage proposal ever. Fill your character’s script with words from the soul, add emotional beats that make a heart flutter, include the nerves that go along with such a momentous occasion and, of course, recap the history that got your couple to this place in their …

Published: February 13, 2015

Navigating the cold darkness

This wintry vista is all you can see, and you are alone. The cold is about to get colder. Write a 500-word, fast-moving short story about your journey to safety – or peril. How did you get here? Were you always alone? How will you save yourself from the unforgiving elements? Include sensory details, including your sixth sense …

Published: February 6, 2015

A moment to shine

You’re in a dark tunnel. The light is bright at the end, flashing and speckled with colors. A roar comes clamoring down the concrete tube before you, the expectation and electricity in it rushes over you. It’s the big game. It’s the biggest day of your life. Write your internal dialogue as you walk with …

Published: January 30, 2015

Duck, duck, oops!

You are 6-years-old and at your best friend’s birthday party. The kids from your class are donned in party hats and on a sugar high from the cake. It’s your turn at the piñata, but things go horribly awry and your best friend ends up in tears. From a child’s first-person point of view, write …

Published: January 23, 2015

A visit from the past

January 16 marks the day in 27 BC that the Roman Empire was created. Write a scene bringing its founding fathers, such as Emperor Augustus, to present-day Rome. What will their reaction be to the changes? Will they recognize anything from centuries past? How will they react to seeing the grand structures they built in ruins – …

Published: January 16, 2015

Begin again

Walt Whitman wrote: “Afoot and lighthearted I take to the open road, healthy, free, the world before me.” Draw a sketch of a character who heads out to the open road to “begin again.” Describe the world before him or her: Where is it? How far is the trip? What is the goal? What or who …

Published: January 2, 2015

52 weeks of your writing

As 2014 comes to a close, take this time to do your own “year in review.” Take out something you wrote earlier this year and give it a good read with a fresh set of eyes. Pay attention to the highs and the lows of the piece and see what needs improvement. Take a look …

Published: December 26, 2014