Creative Writing Prompts for High School
Here are some fun high school creative writing prompts designed to get your students thinking and writing freely, while getting their creative juices flowing. Includes great story starters and opening lines with thought provoking questions to get them started.
Prompt 1: Me? A musician? You must have me confused with my brother. In my family, I’m known for being …
Prompt 2: With only a few coins left in my pocket and a broken heart, I gathered my belongings and reluctantly walked down the stairway.
Prompt 3: It was like a bad dream. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I turned and saw…..
Prompt 4: Hey, understand this. I’m usually not a quitter. However, after today I don’t think I’ll ever be able to…
Prompt 5: Ten years from now, you’ll all remember my name, because I will….
Prompt 6: If you are the type of person who believes everything always works out for the best, this is not the story for you.
Prompt 7: As the black pickup truck careened down the hill, I thought of…
Prompt 8: Last night, from my bedroom window, I watched as my neighbor dug a hole in his back yard and buried his…
Prompt 9: A soon as I saw my reflection in the mirror, I …
Prompt 10: The second the elevator doors shut I knew I had made a mistake.
Creative Writing Prompts for High School Continue
Prompt 11: If we get arrested for this, it will be all your fault.
Prompt 12: I have my mother’s eyes and hair but I have my father’s….
Prompt 13: You are going to think I made this up, but I swear every word of it is true….
Prompt 14: As the storm raged around me, all I could think of was….
Prompt 15: It was only the second week of school, but already I’d…
Prompt 16: I had been clever enough to avoid him all day, but here he was standing …
Prompt 17: If it hadn’t been for Jacob, I’d never had been able to….
Prompt 18: For the third time in as many days, I was afraid for my life.
Prompt 19: The moment I saw Melissa, I had to ….
Prompt 20: I’m the only one who knew what had really happened, but I was sworn to secrecy.
Prompt 21: At first I thought the house was deserted until I saw….
Prompt 22: They say nice guys finish last, so it was no surprise when I…
Prompt 23: Now that it’s all over, I wish he hadn’t taken that photograph.
Prompt 24: I don’t want a car for my 16th birthday like everyone else does. Instead, the only gift I want is ….
Fun Creative Writing Prompts for High School
Prompt 25: For the life of me, I don’t know why he did it.
Prompt 26: It was raining the day I died.
Prompt 27: There is a saying which states, “When opportunity knocks, a grumbler complains about the noise.” Do you know someone like that; someone who complains no matter what the circumstances? Write an essay about this person and give examples of his/her grumpiness and how it affects you.
Prompt 28: If you had to spend one week living in a store of your choice, what type of store would you choose and why?
Prompt 29: Write about what you think the proverb keep your friends close and your enemies closer means. For example, can you think of a circumstance or situation where you did just that?
Prompt 30: Write a story about the worst nightmare you ever had. It could be either a real life nightmare or one you had while sleeping.
Prompt 31: You’d think the principal would have a better sense of humor. After all, it was just a senior prank. All Sam and I did was…..
Prompt 32: Do you believe in the saying time heals all wounds? Or do you think some pain never goes away? Write about something that was once very painful for you, but has dissipated over time. Did the pain go away completely or is there still a sting when you think about what happened?
Prompt 33: Who knew that a high school basketball game could change my life? But this one did….
Prompt 34: If you could change one day in your life where you could fix a mistake you made, what day would that be?
Prompt 35: Write a story about something funny, scary or embarrassing that happened when you were learning to drive.
Prompt 36: Have you ever made a change in your life to improve yourself and stuck to it? What change did you make and are you happy with the outcome?
Prompt 37: Where would you prefer to live? Would you prefer the quiet of the countryside or the hustle and bustle of the city? Do you think you’ll feel the same way 10 years from now? How about 30?
Prompt 38: Has a book ever affected you in such a way that you think it should be required reading? What book was it and why do you feel about it the way that you do?
Prompt 39: Do you believe there is life on other planets? Make an argument for why you do or do not believe that it’s true.
30 Creative Writing Prompts for High Schoolers
List of Creative Writing Ideas for High School Students— Oh yeah! we think it’s important for students to play with language. That is why you’ll notice some of the writing prompts outlined below are more whimsical and playful, whereas others are more serious. Whichever prompts your writers use, we hope they inspire great creativity in them.
A Few Quick Words & Instructions
By the time high school students walk into ELA classrooms, they aren’t exactly new to the world of writing assignments. They’ve trudged through the narrative essays, and they’ve most likely practiced the art of persuasion, short story creation, poetry, and non-fiction writing.
They have probably journaled, summarized, analyzed, and reflected in their educational journaling endeavors as well.
So how can you ignite the spark so that students are enthusiastic about writing? What can secondary teachers offer that is new and exciting? We suggest inspiring your students with fresh, fun, and creative writing prompts.
Below, you will find 30 writing prompts that are relevant to students’ lives and that will spur critical and creative thinking. Each prompt can be used solely for journaling or expanded into a unit of study for use in your classroom.
Ok, without further ado, here are those 30 creative writing prompts for high school students.
Creative Writing Prompts for High School Students
- Choose one from each list to make a creature – animal combination. Craft a scene in which this creature appears as the main character.
Lists One and Two
2. Many students love TED Talks and there are a lot of great ones to choose from. Launch the “Inside the Mind of a Master Procrastinator” Talk. Consider what makes it powerful. Choose a tidbit of wisdom or insight from your own life and create your own TED Talk.
3. Select a color and personify it. What does it taste like and sound like? How does it move? What does it want and fear? What special powers does it have?
4. Imagine you are graduating in several months. Write a graduation speech to your fellow students. What would you say to inspire them? How would you make them laugh? What would you like them to remember?
5. Envision a future in which you have a personalized robot who does all of your work. What features would your robot possess? How would you interact with it? What would it be capable of doing?
6. Create a brand new holiday. How would people celebrate the holiday? What traditions, foods, and decorations would accompany it?
7. There are a lot of different types of blogs. Choose a topic that you’re interested in and create a list blog about that topic. It may be a “Top 10 Things You Should Know About X” or “What I Wish I Didn’t Know About X” or any other list-form blog that you can imagine.
8. Reflect on your own worst family vacation. Write about it as though you are a fly on the wall and describe what happened.
9. List as many words as you can think of that begin with your favorite letter of the alphabet. You can include words from another language as well.
10. This prompt is inspired by NPR’s old radio series “This I Believe.” In the show, people from all over the world send in messages expressing a core idea that can be serious or silly, such as “I believe in mechanics.” They then expand on that thought with specific, brief examples of why they hold that belief and how they came to believe it. Use powerful and descriptive sentences to capture your own “This I Believe” statement. For examples and an expanded lesson plan, take a look at NPR’s Lesson Plan Description.
11. Describe a dream that you’ve had while asleep. Make it come alive with vivid imagery and sensory descriptions.
12. Choose a social justice issue that matters to you. Write as though you are directly impacted by that issue and describe what people should do to support people like you.
13. What do you think about when you’re trying to go to sleep? Turn it into a piece of writing.
14. Write from the perspective of an inanimate object that you see every day. What desires does that object have? What does it wish humans would do?
15. Write to someone in a country you know very little about. What would you want to know about them and their country? What would you tell them about yourself?
16. If you were invited to contribute five items to a city time capsule to be opened in 50 years, what would you include and why?
17. Who hasn’t been represented on the United States postal stamp, yet deserves recognition? Whether your example is serious or ridiculous, provide at least three arguments in support of this person’s inclusion.
18. What is your favorite word and why?
19. If you had to choose a different first and middle name for yourself, what would you choose? How would having a different name impact your life?
20. Choose a subject that is not currently taught in school. Why should it be taught? What type of person should teach it? Why would or wouldn’t you want to take the class?
21. What song gets stuck in your head? How does it make you feel the first time you hear that song? The hundredth time you hear it?
22. What life lessons has adversity taught you?
23. If everyone would just go away for a day, what would you choose to do with your time? Why?
24. If someone wanted to really irritate you, what paid job would they make you do?
25. How do you relieve stress?
26. Do you perform better when you are competing or collaborating?
27. When is your most productive time of day? Season of the year?
28. In what ways do you submit to peer pressure?
29. What are some ‘words of wisdom’ that guide your life?
30. How much does your neighborhood influence you?
With journal prompts for elementary school kids to middle schoolers to story starters for teenagers, Journal Buddies is your go-to resource for writing inspiration.
Writers of all ages can use journal writing prompts to help them improve their creative writing skills and feel more confident about sharing their writing.
The Favorites Prompt List
For those more reluctant writers or non-writers, we suggest you use the time-tested favorite writing prompts. They are simple ideas that nearly every writer can answer without much effort. Plus, they are an excellent way to get those creative writing juices flowing for writers of all skill levels.
Have your high schoolers write about their:
- Favorite thing
- Favorite place
- Favorite book
- Favorite hobby
- Favorite season
- Favorite movie
- Favorite video games
- Favorite place
- Favorite summer vacation
- Favorite childhood toy
- Best Friend
More High School Creative Writing Ideas Links & Resources
Until next time, write on…
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