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WEEKLY WRITING PROMPTS

Join (probably?) the world’s largest writing contest. Flex those creative muscles with weekly writing prompts.

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It’s Called Fashion, Look it Up

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Write about a character who decides to give themselves, or someone else, a fashion makeover.

LIVE – General

Think of an item of clothing from your childhood, and write a story inspired by that.

LIVE – General

Set your story at a global fashion event — or a carnival ball.

LIVE – General

Write about a character who wakes up in someone else’s clothes — or utterly weird apparel they don’t recognize as their own.

LIVE – General

Write a story where a particular piece of clothing appears three times.

LIVE – General

Write a story that centres around an Instagram post.

General – 21 stories

Write about a character who’s pathologically camera shy.

General – 25 stories

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A character finds an old roll of film, and takes it to be developed. What do they find?

General – 50 stories

Write a story about a wedding photographer.

General – 34 stories

Start your story with somebody taking a photo.

General – 77 stories

Write a story involving a friendship between two different species.

General – 52 stories

Write about a trip to see a natural sight that’s usually only ever seen in photos.

General – 12 stories

Start or end your story with a person buying a house plant.

General – 66 stories

Write about a character who loves cloud gazing.

General – 62 stories

Set your story in the woods or on a campground.

General – 88 stories

Write about somebody who likes to work in silence.

General – 26 stories

Write a story that includes one character reading aloud to another.

General – 36 stories

Write about a character on the hunt to solve a mystery who uses their local library (or librarian) as a source of information.

General – 28 stories

Write a story about a librarian that doesn’t fit into the common librarian stereotypes.

General – 69 stories

Start your story with someone being given a book recommendation.

General – 39 stories

Win $250 in our short story competition

We’ll send you 5 prompts each week. Respond with your short story and you could win $250!

Contest #145 LIVE

Enter our weekly contest!

This week’s theme: It’s Called Fashion, Look it Up

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Creative Writing Prompts

When the idea to start a weekly newsletter with writing inspiration first came to us, we decided that we wanted to do more than provide people with topics to write about. We wanted to try and help authors form a regular writing habit and also give them a place to proudly display their work. So we started the weekly Creative Writing Prompts newsletter Reedsy Writing Prompts Contest.

Here’s how our contest works: every Friday, we send out a newsletter containing five creative writing prompts. Each week, the story ideas center around a different theme. Authors then have one week — until the following Friday — to submit a short story based on one of our prompts. A winner is picked each week to win $250 and is highlighted on our Reedsy Prompts page.

Interested in participating in our short story contest? Sign up here for more information! Or you can check out our full Terms of Use and our FAQ page .

Why we love creative writing prompts

If you’ve ever sat in front of a computer or notebook and felt the urge to start creating worlds, characters, and storylines — all the while finding yourself unable to do so, then you’ve met the author’s age-old foe: writer’s block. There’s nothing more frustrating than finding the time but not the words to be creative. Enter our new directory! If you’re ready to kick writer’s block to the curb and finally get started on your short story or novel, these unique story ideas might just be your ticket.

This list of 1000+ creative writing prompts has been created by the Reedsy team to help you develop a rock-solid writing routine. Which, as all aspiring authors know, is the #1 challenge — and solution! — for reaching your literary goals. Feel free to filter through by the different genres, which includes.

Comedy — whether satire or slapstick, this is an opportunity to write with your funny bone.

Dramatic — if you want to make people laugh and cry within the same story, this might be your genre.

Romance — one of the most popular commercial genres out there. Check out these story ideas out if you love writing about love.

Fantasy — the beauty of this genre is that the possibilities are as endless as your imagination.

Mystery — from whodunnits to cozy mysteries, it’s time to bring out your inner detective.

Thriller — there’s nothing like a page-turner that elicits a gasp of surprise at the end.

Historical Fiction — your chance to transport readers to times gone by.

For Kids — encourage children to let their imagination run free.

Want to submit your own story ideas to help inspire fellow writers? Send them to us here.

After you find the perfect story idea

Finding inspiration is just one piece of the puzzle. Next, you need to refine your craft skills — and then display them to the world. We’ve worked hard to create resources that help you do just that! Check them out:

  • How to Write a Short Story That Gets Published — a free, ten-day course by Laura Mae Isaacman, a full-time editor who runs a book editing company in Brooklyn.
  • Best Literary Magazines of 2021 — a directory of 100+ reputable magazines that accept unsolicited submissions.
  • Writing Contests in 2021 — the finest contests of 2021 for fiction and non-fiction authors of short stories, poetry, essays and more.

Beyond creative writing prompts: how to build a writing routine

While writing prompts are a great tactic to spark your creative sessions, a writer generally needs a couple more tools in their toolbelt when it comes to developing a rock-solid writing routine . To that end, here are a few more additional tips for incorporating your craft into your everyday life.

  • NNWT. Or, as book coach Kevin Johns calls it , “Non-Negotiable Writing Time.” This time should be scheduled into your routine, whether that’s once a day or once a week. Treat it as a serious commitment, and don’t schedule anything else during your NNWT unless it’s absolutely necessary.
  • Set word count goals. And make them realistic! Don’t start out with lofty goals you’re unlikely to achieve. Give some thought to how many words you think you can write a week, and start there. If you find you’re hitting your weekly or daily goals easily, keep upping the stakes as your craft time becomes more ingrained in your routine.
  • Talk to friends and family about the project you’re working on. Doing so means that those close to you are likely to check in about the status of your piece — which in turn keeps you more accountable.

Arm yourself against writer’s block. Writer’s block will inevitably come, no matter how much story ideas initially inspire you. So it’s best to be prepared with tips and tricks you can use to keep yourself on track before the block hits. You can find 20 solid tips here — including how to establish a relationship with your inner critic and apps that can help you defeat procrastination or lack of motivation.

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✍️ 200+ Short Story Ideas (and How to Come Up With Your Own)

Are you ready to write but don’t know what to write about? Prepare to kick your writing into gear by browsing through our list of 200+ short story ideas. New prompts are added each week, and you can search by genre. But don’t let our categories stop you from putting your own spin on a writing prompt: if you find a short story idea tagged as sci-fi, but you think it would make a great romance plot, run with it! For tips on how to come up with your own story ideas, scroll to the bottom of the page.

We found 236 stories that match your search

You’re sitting at your desk eating candy hearts. You start to realize the notes on the hearts are trying to give you a message.

A team of scientists have successfully teleported an apple. It reappears with a bite taken out of it.

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Curated writing inspriation delivered to your inbox each week.

After the crash, he vanished. Some say he moved to a compound in Africa, some say he went off the grid. But the Silicon Valley genius who engineered the greatest stockmarket disaster in history is hiding in plain sightƒ

Amazon has invented time travel and introduced pre-emptive shipping. Today, you receive something completely unexpected from your future self.

August 30, 1946: The date of the one and only time travel convention. You attend every year.

Every day, you visit the same moment from your past.

In the closet of your new home is a portal through space and time. You accidentally travel to Mars.

Top 10 story ideas. just for you!

Want a story idea right away? No problem! Here are our top ten favorite story ideas for you to use:

  • A group of villains go on a team-building retreat.
  • You are granted one wish. But you have to use the wish for someone else.
  • Instead of trying to get a man on the moon, every nation raced to be the first at the very bottom of the ocean.
  • Money really does grow on trees and is heavily regulated by governments.
  • A plane takes off with 81 passengers. It lands with 82.
  • You are home alone watching TV. A character dials a number on their phone. Your phone rings.
  • You open a fortune cookie at a Chinese restaurant. Inside is a handwritten note.
  • A magician, a troll, and a college student walk into a bar.
  • It is the year 3000. The sun starts to flicker.
  • An optimist becomes a pessimist. Why?

Top 10 short story ideas. also for you!

Every short story author out there knows that short stories are different — and not just because they’re, well, shorter. So if you’re seeking a short story idea, we’ve got you. Here are our favorite bite-sized short story ideas:

  • Turn one of your grandparent’s old stories into fiction.
  • A romance told through a series of texts.
  • Two people are playing chess. One person can read minds, the other person can see the future.
  • Write a story that draws from a moment in your life where you wish you’d made a different choice. Have your protagonist make that choice, and then see what happens.
  • Amazon has invented time travel and introduced pre-emptive shipping. Today, you receive something completely unexpected from your future self.
  • Write about the way the sunset looks from the perspective of two characters. One is sad, the other is happy.
  • A wand-maker goes to the forest ready to work, only to find a group of environmentalists camped out in front of their favorite hemlock tree.
  • Pick a genre and then write about a long walk home after school.
  • The last person on earth celebrates their own birthday.
  • A team of scientists have successfully teleported an apple. It reappears with a bite taken out of it.

How to come up with short story ideas yourself

We get it: writing prompts are an excellent resource, but you want to know how to come up with your own story ideas. Here are four of our go-to tricks when thinking of interesting things to write about.

1) People-watch: Hands down, this our favourite way to come up with story ideas. All stories, even ones about robots or plants, have some element of humanity at its core. There are therefore a countless number of stories to be found by observing human nature. 90% of the prompts included in our writing prompts newsletter are inspired by simply staring out a window and watching people go by.

2) Forget what you already know: Have you ever become trapped in a “but why?” loop with a child? It’s enough to make your head spin or an existential crisis occur. But if you can return to this sense of curiosity and wondering you had as a child, you can find a treasure trove of short story ideas to be found. Take in your surroundings and ask yourself why things are the way they are. What if they were different? What would that look like and how would it work?

3) Use your day job: If you feel like you have the most interesting job on the planet, well, perfect! It shouldn’t be hard to use it as plot-fodder for a great short story. On the other hand, if you find yourself yawning a lot at work, ask yourself: What could happen to make this work day interesting? Let’s say you work as a receptionist but your real passion lies with art. Write a story about a receptionist who sees a colleague hang a new piece of art in their cubicle — one the receptionist recognizes as being famous for going missing a century ago.

4) Read: Imagine walking up to a piano and trying to make beautiful music without ever having heard it played before. You need to consume great short stories in order to know what you enjoy about them. Figure out what you like, and you’ll be on the path to great writing topics.

Ready to start submitting your short story to writing contests? Find the right one for you in our list of writing contests.

Looking for writing tips? Sign up for our free course: How to Craft a Killer Short Story.

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So, you’ve decided to write a short story! Many a published author got their starts from publishing short stories. It’s the perfect medium for so many authors: succinct, clear, character-driven, and brief.

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