Writing Prompts

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179 articles found

April writing prompt: Sorry, not sorry

  Read “This Is Just to Say,” the famous apology poem about plums in an icebox by William Carlos Williams. Write your own apology poem about something you are not really sorry about – maybe erasing your spouse’s favorite reality show from the DVR, tossing the belongings of a difficult ex, or eating the whole …

Published: March 30, 2018

Literary remix

Borrow a couple of characters from a favorite classic novel, put them in a situation from another novel, and write what happens next. For example, imagine Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester on the whale ship Pequod from Moby-Dick. Why are they there? What happens? How do they interact with Captain Ahab and Ishmael?

Published: March 21, 2018

A life remembered

Write your own eulogy. What events in your life would you emphasize? What aspects would you downplay? Capture the essence of your character through anecdotes and specific details. Provide enough information so the reader has a clear, overarching impression of your life. After writing the eulogy, choose one event or aspect as the base for …

Published: March 2, 2018

Lost & found

  Write about something you lost at some point in your life, something you’ve never found. Next, write a scene in which you find it. Where do you find it? How much later? Does it still hold the same meaning for you? Write at least two pages.

Published: February 8, 2018

If you give a mouse a cookie

Choose a line from your favorite children’s book and use it as inspiration for a newly imagined short story for adults. How can you transform this line and apply it to a unique situation with fresh characters? Use the line’s message (whether implicit or explicit) as the spine of your story. Need a starting point? …

Published: January 2, 2018

1,000 words: Prompting thanks

  Our “1,000 Words” writing prompts take a picture – beautiful, wacky, abstract, or otherwise – and ask the writer to write whatever comes to mind. Fiction? Poetry? Essay? The choice is yours, scribes. Just start writing.   For more inspiration, visit our database of writing prompts.

Published: November 17, 2017

A Martin Luther writing prompt

  In 1517, Martin Luther posted “The Ninety-Five Theses,” a protest document against practices in the  Catholic Church, on the Castle Church door in Wittenberg, Germany. This started the Protestant Reformation. If you were to write a protest document, what would your theses be about? What would your character protest? What kind of reformation would …

Published: November 10, 2017

Phone tag

  “Don’t worry about me.” It was the second time he had said it, and when my phone rang later that night, I instantly knew who it was and what had happened.   Use these lines as the opening for a short story or scene in a novel. Who said these words? Who is calling? …

Published: November 3, 2017