Writing Prompts

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179 articles found

Dress up

    Find a photo of your favorite childhood Halloween costume and try to recreate that moment on the page. How did you choose your costume? Was it handmade, store-bought, or cobbled together from items lying around the house? How did you feel the moment you put it on? Did assuming another identity change your …

Published: October 26, 2017

New tattoo, new you

  Write about a piece of jewelry, body art, or clothing that you admire but would never wear yourself. Then write about wearing it, whether it’s a necklace, nose ring, tattoo – do you feel different? Do you feel people perceive you differently? Do you like it, or is it uncomfortable? (Fiction writers: Feel free …

Published: October 13, 2017

Past relations

  Create an ancestor for one of your characters and write a significant scene from that person’s history. Now write a significant scene for your first character that subtly mirrors the ancestor’s challenges.

Published: September 29, 2017

It’s the Nick Carraway thing

  Many novels feature a writer as the main character, such as Grady Tripp in Michael Chabon’s Wonder Boys or Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones. Develop a dossier for a writer in your story. What kind of writing education did the character receive? What has your writer published? Is the writer successful or struggling? What is …

Published: September 13, 2017


  What place have you always wanted to visit? What attracts you to this place? What do you wish you could experience there?     For more inspiration, visit our database of writing prompts.

Published: August 28, 2017

What she’s having

You race into a restaurant, 30 minutes late for a date with your friend. You see her sitting in a booth with two strangers, engaged in a heated argument. As you approach, your friend secretly signals a  warning to stay away. You take a table alone, and shortly thereafter your friend presses her finger to …

Published: August 18, 2017

Second that emotion

  “Find the key emotion; this may be all you need to know to find your short story.” -F. Scott Fitzgerald “A short story must have a single mood and every sentence must build towards it.” – Edgar Allan Poe Write as many different emotions as you can think of onto small slips of paper. …

Published: August 11, 2017

Coastal crime scene

  While vacationing at a seaside resort, you read about an unsolved murder that occurred in the empty cottage next door. Curious, you decide to try your “psychometric” skills—envisioning the past from an object held in your hand. You sneak into the empty cottage, pick up an object, and clearly visualize the entire crime. The …

Published: June 16, 2017

Yard sale mystery

  During a long car trip, you stop at a yard sale in a strange town and find an interesting picture frame. It holds the photo of a familiar face—your fiancé’s! There’s a passionate inscription to a stranger, dated three weeks ago. You must find an explanation. The first clue comes from the person whose …

By Hal Zina Bennett | Published: June 1, 2017

If these pets could talk

If you have ever had a pet, you surely had many conversations with the animal and probably also wished that he or she could talk. Write a scene from a house pet’s point of view, including verbal and internal responses to conversation created by its owner. Add plenty of personality and mannerisms to make the …

Published: May 19, 2017