Writing Prompts

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137 articles found


  Much of who we later become is formed in adolescence, and the lessons we learn in the school yard often stick with us for the rest of our lives. What was your main character like in elementary school? How did they adjust to high school? How did they handle their newfound freedom in college? …

Published: August 12, 2016


Every piece of writing contains golden nuggets – moments or phrases that make the story special. Go through some of your favorite texts to find the golden nuggets within. What makes them stand out? Why do they work? Next, do the same with your own work. How many golden nuggets do you have in one …

Published: August 5, 2016

Fly on the wall

  Part of being a good writer – and especially of being a good humor writer – is being an eavesdropper. So much inspiration can be found in real life, as has been proved countless times by stand-up comedians. The next time you are in a crowded place – on a train, in a mall, …

Published: July 29, 2016

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