Writing Prompts

73 articles found

Make them laugh

To celebrate National Humor Month, repurpose a classic joke as a short story or piece of flash fiction. What narrative can you tell about a chicken that crosses the road? What really happens when a rabbi, a priest and a minister walk into a bar?

Published: April 11, 2014

If walls could talk

A family moves into an old house with a checkered history. What do they discover there? How do the stories of past residents reflect the family’s own conflicts? What situations are the same in the past? What has changed?

Published: April 4, 2014

Kitchen conflict

A baker discovers a secret ingredient for cupcakes, but the recipe has unexpected consequences. What is in the cupcakes? How does the recipe affect the baker’s customers? How does the discovery change the baker’s future? Use secondary characters to create conflict in the kitchen.

Published: March 28, 2014

The fragile character

“I have found it easier to identify with the characters who verge upon hysteria, who were frightened of life, who were desperate to reach out to another person. But these seemingly fragile people are the strong people really.” –Tennessee Williams

Published: March 21, 2014

Breaking news

Three individuals in three separate locations see a breaking news item flash across a TV screen. How does each person respond? How does the event affect (or not affect) each viewer? How does this incident unite them in the future?

Published: March 14, 2014

Park bench confession

Two strangers sit beside each other on a park bench, both hiding secrets they’ve never told anyone before. In the course of their interaction, how do these secrets come out? How are their stories related? How does this encounter change their futures?

Published: March 11, 2014

Road block

A woman is driving her car when she sees something unexpected in the middle of the road. She pulls over to get a closer look. What is in the road? What happens when she gets out of the car? How does the object in the road reflect something significant in her life?

Published: February 28, 2014


A burglar breaks into a home and steals three unusual objects which appear to be worthless. What are the objects? Why does he or she steal them? What happens next to the burglar and the homeowner?

Published: February 21, 2014

Waiting room

Three strangers are sitting in a doctor’s office waiting for their appointments. A patient’s bag tips over on the floor and something falls out. What is it? What do the characters say to each other that makes this a significant moment in their lives?

Published: February 14, 2014

Seventh floor, please

A character walks into an elevator and accidentally presses the wrong button. The elevator doors open on the seventh floor. What does the character see, or who steps onto the elevator? How does this event change the course of the character’s story?

Published: February 7, 2014