Writing Prompts

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185 articles found

Back in time

If you could change history, would you? For your main character, the chance to meet his or her favorite musician means he or she doesn’t have a choice. This week’s writing prompt was created by Michael Heiss as part of The Writer‘s “Pitch Your Prompt” contest at AWP 2015.   For more inspiration, visit our database of …

Published: June 12, 2015

It was just a dream

A character has been having the same dream over and over for years. What is the dream? How can he or she get out of the loop? Make the dream integral to the plot of the story. This week’s writing prompt was created by Tiffany T. Cole as part of The Writer’s “Pitch Your Prompt” …

Published: June 5, 2015

Double occupancy

You check into your hotel and a stranger is already in your room. What happens? This week’s writing prompt was created by Susan Ito as part of The Writer‘s “Pitch Your Prompt” contest at AWP 2015.   For more inspiration, visit our database of writing prompts.

Published: May 29, 2015

An awkward lunch

You are enjoying lunch with a friend when he or she states, “I was a cannibal.” Write the conversation and the lunch scene that follows. Be sure to describe emotional and physical reactions. This writing prompt was created by Patricia Stinson as part of The Writer‘s “Pitch Your Prompt” contest at AWP 2015.   For more inspiration, …

Published: May 8, 2015

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 shoreline, …

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