WEEKLY WRITING PROMPTS
Join (probably?) the world’s largest writing contest. Flex those creative muscles with weekly writing prompts.
Showing 1289 prompts
It’s Called Fashion, Look it Up
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
Closes at 23:59 – May 13, 2022 EST
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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.
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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Top tips for creative writing
Crafting an original work of fiction, poetry, or creative non-fiction takes time, practice, and persistence. While there’s no exact science to creative writing, the following tips will help you get started:
1 Write about what you know
Beginning writers always get told ‘write what you know’, but it’s good advice. Use settings, characters, background, and language that you’re already familiar with and create new stories from the world that you already know. This is like using research you’ve already done. And remember, your background, what you bring to the act of writing, is as valid as what anyone else can bring.
2 Write about what you don’t know
Use your imagination to create new situations, new characters, new relationships, even new worlds. Choose to write about a different period in history, or a place that you’re not familiar with. Where your imagination needs help, fill in the gaps with research. The best thing about being a creative writer is creating.
3 Read widely and well
Writers love reading. Make yourself familiar with the published landscape of writing in your chosen field, whether it’s modern poetry, literary fiction, thrillers, short stories, or fantasy. Nothing encourages good writing like reading good writing.
4 Hook your readers
Nobody is forced to read your novel or short story, so it’s important to hook readers right away. Your opening sentence or paragraph should encourage them to continue, perhaps by making them laugh, or exciting their curiosity, or just making them want to find out what happens next.
Consider the intriguing sting in the tale of the opening sentence of George Orwell’s 1984:
It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.
It seems like a very traditional opening and then – thirteen? You want to know more and so you read on.
Now look at the first sentence of Raymond Carver’s short story Viewfinder:
A man without hands came to the door to sell me a photograph of my house.
Just a short sentence but with so much that we need to have explained. We’re hooked.
5 Get your characters talking
We find out about the people we meet through what they say to us, how they say it, their choice of words, their accents, their verbal habits. Readers should be able to do the same with fictional characters. People on the page really start to live when they start exchanging dialogue.
Writing dialogue needs a lot of work – making it fresh and authentic, editing repeatedly to get it right – but it’s worth the effort.
6 Show rather than tell
Too much description, too many adjectives and adverbs, can slow up your narrative and cause your readers to lose interest. Where possible, it’s better to show you readers what a person, the atmosphere in the room, the relationship between your characters is like – show, that is, by what they say, how they interact, what they do. It’s more effective than telling the reader through wordy piles of information.
This is a tricky one. You have to do some telling so it’s important not to become obsessive about avoiding it.
7 Get it right first time
Try to get your first draft as near perfect as possible. Few writers manage this kind of quality the first time but no one ever wrote great literature by aiming low. On the contrary, aim for the best and do your best from the very start.
8 Keep polishing
If you don’t get it right first time, you can do what most writers do – polish and perfect through the editing process. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that editing is the same as proofreading; it’s about much more than correcting errors. Rather, editing involves carefully going through your work to see what to leave out, what to change, finding out what you have to do to improve your writing, make it sharper, tidier, better.
Editing can be hard work. It’s said that Ernest Hemingway took the last page of A Farewell to Arms through nearly 40 drafts, so don’t give up if you feel you’re getting nowhere.
9 Make the most of your opportunities
Many aspiring writers claim they simply don’t have the time to make the most of their ideas. Yet, if you analyse a typical day, there are always those intervals – using public transport, waiting for a friend, time spent in the waiting room of the doctor or dentist – when it’s possible to pull out a writing pad, a laptop, a tablet and just write. Identify your opportunities – five minutes is enough to get a few sentences down – and use them.