Prompts to get you writing

A woman writing in a notebook

Image credit: Alessandro Biascioli

The best way to get better at creative writing is to practice as often as possible – ideally daily, but it depends what fits in with your lifestyle. However, it can become tricky to think of topics to write about so frequently, and that is where writing prompts come in. Whether it’s a word, a phrase or a picture, a writing prompt is there to kickstart your creativity and inspire your imagination.

What you do with your writing prompt is up to you – you may respond with a sentence, a paragraph, or even a full story. Just go with the flow and see where you end up. Don’t stop to think about if what you are writing is ‘good’ or not; don’t stop writing until you have all of your ideas down on paper (or your computer, if you prefer to type).

Take a look through our selection of creative writing prompts below, and see what takes your fancy.

Creative writing prompts

  • You find a letter hidden inside an engraved musical instrument.
  • At first, she thought she had imagined it all. Then she saw the blood.
  • You receive a business email from a man you went to primary school with. He doesn’t remember you – or does he?
  • There’s a light on in the shed at the end of the garden. Except it doesn’t have a light installed, and you live alone.
  • A cure for a major disease is found, but there’s a catch…
  • Write a story around this image:
A telephone off the hook

Image credit: EvgeniiAnd/

  • The printer isn’t working, and you urgently need to leave the library, but you can’t cancel the print request.
  • You return a missing cat to its owner, but the reward is an unexpected one.
  • You find a note you wrote, except you don’t remember writing it, and it’s dated just one week ago.
  • You overhear a conversation on the train and wish you hadn’t.
  • I tightly held his hand, moist with perspiration, and then we jumped.
  • When Mr Cornish walked in and caught me, I felt so embarrassed. Life would never be the same again.
  • If I’d known then what I know now, I never would have…
  • She walked out of the exam room, down the corridor, turned left, and that’s when it happened.
  • As the door slowly opens, Stacey can’t believe her eyes.
  • Write a short story that features: a Honda Civic, an umbrella, and a sloth.
  • Use this dialogue somewhere in your story: “We’re getting a divorce”.
  • He went missing on Christmas Day in the most unusual of circumstances.
  • You thought your wife was having an affair, but it turns out to be something far more shocking.
  • Everyone else was laughing as a tear slid down my cheek.
  • As he started the fire, he had no regrets. Then he heard a scream…
  • The footsteps got closer and closer, and I had cramp in my leg from crouching in the wardrobe.
  • I should have lied.
  • After seeing her on the daily commute for four months and two days, it was time to make a move.


Got some great writing prompts? Please add them in the comments below for us and others to read. Happy writing!

Lucy is our lead editor and has been passionate about stationery since childhood. She has a particular fondness for rollerball and calligraphy pens and is a keen advocate of snail mail.

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  1. Pingback: Embarrass your story characters with these 21 writing prompts - The Pen Company Blog

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