Writing Prompts

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132 articles found

An ocean of possibilities

Choose one of the ocean-themed quotes below to serve as a diving-off point for a 1,000 word short story. And then enter it in our writing contest, which ends on April 30. Find out more information about the contest here. “Because there’s nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the …

Published: April 24, 2015

Vocabulary lesson

Select a piece of work  from your archives and read it through, paying close attention to the vocabulary. Note any words that you use repeatedly and substitute them for something new. Punch up the wording throughout the piece to elevate the level of the writing while still being mindful of the overall tone. Having an expansive vocabulary …

Published: March 27, 2015

Welcome spring

“Behold, my friends, the spring is come; the earth has gladly received the embraces of the sun, and we shall soon see the results of their love!” —Sitting Bull Write a letter to spring, welcoming her to 2015, telling her of the anticipation with which she has been waited. Paint a scene of what you …

Published: March 20, 2015

Animal kingdom

Lush, green and ready for spring, these animals are ready to break out of winter – and the topiary garden in which they live. Write a fanciful account of their escape and adventures they face along the way. Gear your story toward young readers, providing lots of imagery and excitement as they cut ties from …

Published: March 13, 2015

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