Writing Prompts

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153 articles found

Curbside encounter

You’re walking through your neighborhood when you see three children sitting on the curb. It’s 11 a.m. on a school day. What are they doing there? Where are their parents? Are they happy, upset, scared? Write a scene about this encounter.

By Hillary Casavant | Published: July 12, 2013

Two truths and a lie

“Write the truest sentence that you know.” —Ernest Hemingway Write down 10 truths: historical facts, pop culture trivia or details about yourself. Then rewrite each item on the list so the truths become lies. Choose two truths and one lie as a base for your next story, poem or essay.

By Hillary Casavant | Published: July 5, 2013

History repeated

Imagine you could travel back in time to a moment in history: the invasion of Normandy, the flight of Amelia Earhart, the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Write a description of the environment and capture the tension. Would your presence rewrite history?

By Hillary Casavant | Published: June 28, 2013

In the company of greatness

Imagine you could spend a single day with your favorite writer or poet, either living or deceased. What would you do? What questions would you ask him? What writing advice would she give you? Write about your day together, and incorporate the writing tips into your own work.

By Hillary Casavant | Published: June 21, 2013

Tale as old as time

“Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.” —Franz Kafka Imagine a character who has never grown old. What has he seen or experienced? How many people has she loved or lost? Does he see still see beauty in the world, or is he jaded? Write a character sketch of this person.

By Hillary Casavant | Published: June 14, 2013

The art of writing

Wander through a local museum or art gallery and choose the painting, sculpture or exhibit that most inspires you. Write a description of the art piece and use its subject and emotion as a platform for a poem or a scene. Can’t make it to a museum? View international art from the comfort of your …

Published: June 7, 2013

Not so ever after

Write the sequel to your favorite fairytale. Are Hansel and Gretel tried for murder? Do Snow White and her prince contemplate divorce? Does money really buy happiness for Jack and his beanstalk? What happens after “The End”?

By Hillary Casavant | Published: May 25, 2013

The other four senses

Pick a spot, sit down and close your eyes. Notice the scent. Does the air smell like car exhaust or lemon disinfectant? Listen to the sounds. Do you hear a keyboard tapping or a creaking door? How does the asphalt feel beneath you, or the fabric of your picnic blanket? Now write it down. Make …

By Hillary Casavant | Published: May 24, 2013

“Do you need help?”

Use this line at the beginning, end, or somewhere in the middle of a story. Who needs help? What do they need? Why do they need it?

By Hillary Casavant | Published: May 10, 2013

Tickle the taste buds

What does a sunset taste like? How about a conversation between former lovers? Is longing like dried cherries, desire a slice of chocolate torte? Make a list of food metaphors that give an abstract emotion or complicated situation flavor and substance.

By Hillary Casavant | Published: May 3, 2013