One Word Prompts for Writers of All Ages
Whether your students are beginning writers or seasoned journalling pros, sometimes everyone could use a little extra inspiration. Of course, there are plenty of ways to jumpstart creativity, but we’ll always be partial to the new ideas that stem from writing prompts!
Writing prompts come in all forms, but they can sometimes be as simple as even a single word. One word prompts truly have the power to showcase creativity, as they inspire each student to interpret and reflect in their own unique way.
This brand new list of 100 one word prompts is designed to give writers of all ages a fresh creative start. Since each prompt is just a single word, students will naturally come up with individualized ways of approaching the topic—particularly with prompts such as the words “present” or “space” that can have multiple meanings. Encourage your students to simply begin writing and to go along in any direction that feels inspiring in the moment!
One word prompts are all about starting with something small and experiencing the wonder of where you find yourself in the end. Use these one word prompts whenever your students need a fresh creative journey.
100 One Word Prompts for Writers of All Ages
Writing Prompts: Why Use Them?
People of all ages who write creatively and keep journals use writing prompts as fuel to get their creative juices flowing.
Writing prompts are unique, fun, or inspiring words, thoughts, or pictures that help writers formulate ideas. They can be in the form of a single word, a sentence, or a paragraph—or even a photo or piece of art that inspires new and engaging thoughts to write about. Best of all, writing prompts can be found anywhere: the dictionary, TV ads, newspapers, magazines, photos, or on the Internet.
As we explored in the one word prompts listed above, a single word has the power to spark new ideas for a student to explore in writing. And you never know what may result from that one single word—perhaps a few paragraphs, a short story, or even an entire novel!
The word “star” is a wonderful example of an effective one word prompt because it can be interpreted in so many different ways.
For instance, one writer may choose to explore what it means to wish upon a star and have that wish come true instantly. Another writer may be inspired to write about stardust streaking across the cosmos at stellar light speed. And yet another writer may choose to write about movie stars or music stars and imagine what it would be like to be one. The writing ideas that can be generated from a single word are truly endless.
Purposes of Writing Prompts
The first purpose of writing prompts is that they give the writer an idea to expound upon. Some writers, when given a blank page, are at a loss as to what to write. Their minds may go blank and they may even experience writer’s block. With a one word prompt or a fresh story starter, the writer’s creative mind engages and her creative wheels begin to spin.
Another fabulous purpose for writing prompts is that a writer may create some really great material. Imagine an idea that started with a word or a phrase but in the end becomes a masterpiece. This is entirely possible! With good writing prompts, a writer’s mind flows with ideas, and many people find it amazing how much inspiration writing prompts produce.
A third purpose to writing prompts is that they support the habit of exploring new ideas in one’s writing. This exploration of new thoughts and ideas becomes a sort of exercise for the mind. It flexes your writing muscles, strengthens your imagination, and develops your writing skills.
Many writing groups, creative writing classes, and English teachers use writing prompts as a means to motivate and inspire students—and to expose them to new ideas that they may never have thought of if left to their own devices. And of course, many websites (including ours!) exist to share writing prompts and boost creativity through this wonderful medium. We suggest you explore them…we think you’ll be glad you did!
Related Links & Resources
Until next time, write on…
If you enjoyed these One Word Prompts for Writers of All Ages,
please share them on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Pinterest.
I appreciate it!
creator and curator
365 Of The Best Daily One-Word Writing Prompts
Sometimes, when it comes to writing prompts, less is more.
Otherwise, why would you be here looking for one-word topics to write about?
One solitary word can contain a universe of ideas — even small words like “if” and “or.”
So, why not keep it simple this coming year with a daily word prompt?
Who can tell what a full year of using word prompts can do for your development as a writer?
There’s only one way to find out.
And while we’re encouraging you to try, it seems only fitting to share what this practice has done for other writers.
Why Use One-Word Writing Prompts?
One-word prompts give you so much freedom in deciding what to write about. For one thing, a single word can have multiple literal meanings. And besides those, each word has various connotations, depending on its usage and the connections you make in your own mind.
That’s what we mean when we say one word can contain a multitude of ideas. But it might still help to spell out the benefits of using one-word prompts like the ones in this list:
- Smaller, less specific prompts = more flexibility
- One word is sort of like a Rorschach test; write whatever comes to mind.
- One word can generate a network of different story ideas.
- One word doesn’t take long to read and is easier to remember.
- One-word prompts erase the “I don’t know anything about that” excuse.
Each word on the list below is open to various interpretations, even if you don’t have personal experience with it. Read the word aloud or let it echo in your mind, and see what comes up.
How to Use One-Word Prompts
Here are some ideas on how to use these one-word prompts:
- Write each word on a slip of paper and draw one from a jar each day.
- Draw two or three for an extra challenge, or
- Keep the same word for multiple days, writing something different each day.
- Place your memorized word under a candle and light it before you begin.
- Do a free association exercise with an index card mindmap before starting.
- If you’re stumped, do a quick image search of your word.
You can easily incorporate any rituals you prefer for your writing time, whether that involves a Pomodoro timer, your favorite hoodie, a particular kind of music, or anything else.
365 One-Word Writing Prompts (One for Every Day)
Think of the following list as your own one-word prompt generator. With one word per day, you’re all set for a year of inspired writing. Read each word and take a moment to call forth your ideas before you choose one and start freewriting.
More Related Articles
Ready to use these one-word writing prompts?
Now you’re all set for a whole year of using a single word each day to start a new and potentially life-changing story idea. If you’re thinking, “Well, I’m gonna need a new notebook or journal just for this,” we’re not about to discourage that.
But don’t forget, as you read another word from the list, to express gratitude for your creative mind, for your writing tools, and for the time you have to devote to your craft.
With the words “Thank you” as part of your everyday writing routine, you’ll never lack for inspiration.
102 One Word Writing Prompts
Whatever you believe helps you to be creative and write a story that takes the reader on a journey, let’s give it a helping hand – through just a single word.
Let’s use one single word to spark the imagination, and let creativity take over.
One word not enough to trigger your creative writing?
Ok, fine. How about 102 in quick succession?!
I’ll eat my hat if that doesn’t activate your neurons enough to get a concept for a story bubbling to the surface.
How to use one word prompts?
Creativity has few rules.
And nowhere is that more evident than with writing.
Maybe you want to create short story after short story. Perhaps you’re working on your novel and want to try and give each new chapter an overarching theme.
Whether you’re creating your own work of fiction, creatively challenging yourself, or encouraging students to get writing, making use of the prompts below should be helpful to you.
I’d love to hear your short stories that you’ve written following reading these!
102 One Word Writing Prompts:
Looking for a one word prompt generator?
Well you’re in luck. I’m making one for you all to use, so keep a look out for that. I’ll update this as soon as it’s released.
I’m still deciding how much complexity to build into it – ironic given the number of words involved. But I think I’ll keep it nice and random to keep your ideas flowing – the brain seems to love that and create plots out of thin air from a series of prompts!
You might like to jump on our newsletter to keep informed about new tools and resources we’ve published (all for you to use free!).
Want more prompts?
Well, you’re in luck! WE have plenty more where that came from, just check out our writing prompts section for hundreds more!
Download 20 Picture Prompts Free!
We’ve made a stack of inspiring picture prompts for you and your class to use. Download all 20 high resolution PDFs in one pack right now – only shared with our Secret Library community!
Make use of all our free teaching tools!
We release new easy to use reading, writing, assessment and mathematics tools each week!