Creative writing prompts

Get students writing with our ultimate list of creative writing prompts. Helping students explore their curiosity and giving them the push they need to get started with writing.

What story could these images tell? Use your imagination.

Around the campfire

Tech gadgets

A Letter in the mail

Or choose a writing prompt from the list below

  • Imagine that we lost all electricity, water, and gas for a month without any time to prepare. Write about how your life would change and how you would survive.
  • What animal would judge us the most? Write a scene (based on truth or fiction) where two or more people are doing something silly, and they're being observed and criticized by animals.
  • Can honesty honestly be bad? Write about someone, fact or fiction, who gets in trouble for being too truthful.
  • Pick two characters from different books you’ve read this year and have them get in an argument about something (e.g., who has suffered more, who has had a happier life, etc.).
  • What if your pet could only talk to you at midnight for an hour?
  • Imagine that you are an astronaut who has been doing research on the moon for three years. You are going to go back to earth in a week when nuclear war breaks out on earth. You watch the earth explode. Then what?
  • Create a menu from a fictitious restaurant. Make sure the restaurant has a theme, such as Classic Books, and the food should all be given appropriate names (e.g., “Mockingbird Pie”).
  • Imagine a moral dilemma (for example, you see someone shoplift or a friend tells a blatant lie to her parents about where she was last night) and explain what you would do and why you would do it.
  • You’re a talk show host. Pick two guests. Why did you choose them? Are they people who get along, or people with vastly different viewpoints? Write about the episode.
  • Free write on this quote by Woodrow Wilson: “Friendship is the only cement that will hold the world together.”
  • Describe your dream bedroom. What would be in it and why?
  • The moment I woke up, I knew something wasn’t right…
  • List six true sentences that begin with the words “I'll never forget…”
  • Tell this story: “Well, I thought it was going to be a regular summer doing all our regular things…”
  • A guitar pick, a red balloon, and a wicker basket. Write a scene or a poem that includes these three objects.
  • Imagine that someone says to you, “Because that's how we've always done it!” Write this out as a scene. (Think: Who said it, what were the circumstances, how did you respond, etc.)
  • What can we learn from contrast? Write a description of something very dark (like a crow) in a very light place (like a field of snow). Make the dark thing seem innocent and the light thing seem ominous.
  • “I was so mortified, I wanted to crawl in a hole!” Write a short narrative (fiction or nonfiction) where this is your first sentence. Illustrate it if you want.
  • Tell this story: “There it was, finally. Our island. Our very own island. It looked beautiful above the waves of fog, but there was still one question to be answered: why had they sold it to us for only five dollars?”
  • "When I stepped outside, the whole world smelled like…" Write a scene that starts with that line.
  • Use these two lines of dialogue in a story: "What's in your hand?" "It's mine. I found it."
  • Write a story for children. Start with “Once upon a time” or “Long ago in a land far away.” Include a dragon, a deadly flower, and a mask.
  • "Did she actually just say that?" Write a scene that includes this line.

    Create a story using words of one-syllable only, beginning with a phrase such as:
  • “The last time I saw her, she...”
  • “From the back of the truck...”
  • “On the night of the full moon...”
  • “The one thing I know for sure…”
  • “What you don’t know what hurt you.” Write a story that begins with this statement.
  • "That's not what I meant!" Write a story that has this line in it somewhere