October 2014 Issue
Free Writing Downloads
Workshops Starting October 2nd
Writer’s Digest Popular Fiction Awards—Deadline Coming Soon!
Writer's Digest Popular Fiction Awards—Deadline Coming Soon!
Hurry—submit your short story by October 15!
Submit your best short stories in the Romance, Thriller, Young Adult, Crime, Horror or Science Fiction genres for a chance at the Popular Fiction Awards Grand Prize of $2,500 cash and a trip to the 2015 Writer’s Digest Conference!
Enter as many stories as you like in multiple genres, but all entries must be fewer than 4,000 words. Don’t delay—this could be your winning year!
Creative Writing Prompts
Need an idea to help you get started writing? You’ll find hundreds of fun writing prompts here – perfect for beginning a new novel or short story, or simply giving your writing muscle a workout.
You’re leaving your favorite restaurant after eating breakfast when a stranger taps you on the shoulder. But this tap leads to a conversation—and adventure—that leaves you with one item that you never … Read more
The phone rings. It’s your mother and she’s upset. “What’s wrong?” you ask. “It’s your father. A spell has been cast upon him and he’s been frozen solid.” You pause, knowing two things that your mother doesn’t: 1) This is your fault and 2) you’re the only one who can fix it. “Don’t worry, Mom. I’ll take care of it.” Write this scene. Read more
It’s your 18th birthday and, upon it, you parents deliver some pretty shocking news: You’re not really human. They admit that they’ve been covering up the fact that you are actually a (fill in the blank). After hearing the news you still decide to go to school, but this school day is different than all your school days past, especially when it’s revealed to others what you truly are. Write this scene. Read more
There’s a knock on your door. When you open it, you find a cowboy—complete with the hat, boots, spurs, six-shooter, the accent, everything—standing on your front step. He claims he has no … Read more
The department store elevator shuts down on the way to the fourth floor, with you and ten other people in it. You remain calm, but other people begin to panic. Write this scene and the dialogue between characters. Read more
You are a world-renowned mystery writer living a life of seclusion. A random email informs you of a great story, the next bestseller. Unfortunately, you find the details to be a little too close to home. Write a scene where you confront this mysterious informant, who seems to know a little too much about your personal life. Read more
You return home from work to find a Dear John letter on your kitchen table. Oddly enough, it’s from one of your favorite pieces of furniture. What does the letter say? Read more
The year is 3014, and you are on an intergalactic out to protect your planet. During your final battle, you cross paths with the leader of the opposing forces. It ends with the two of you in a sword fight, only problem is instead of swords you are both using (fill in the blank). Write this scene. Read more
You’ve been playing cards with your friend at a Las Vegas casino for a couple of hours now and he’s up big. Suddenly, a pit boss grabs you and your friend and hauls you both off to a back room, where several rough-looking guys are waiting for you. “What’s going on?” you ask. “Your friend has been counting cards, and we don’t approve of that here.” Write this scene. Read more
You call an old flame from high school whom you still have feelings for and ask to meet up. The flame says, “Sure, how about noon at the pub by your house.” While waiting at the pub, your flame walks in—wearing a wedding dress (or tuxedo). The flame looks at you and says, “I’m supposed to be getting married today, but …” What happens? Write this scene. Read more
The snow is coming down and school has been canceled. Your brother, who has an important government job, has asked you to watch his kids during the day so he can go to work. While watching his kids, they reveal something top secret about your brother’s job—and it’s something, for the sake of your family, that you need to stop. Read more
You receive a mysterious email and the subject line reads “Everything you know is a lie.” You open the email and read further: “Act calm as to not alert anyone, but everyone around you is not who they say they are. You need to quietly get out of there and meet me at the spot where you had your first kiss. You know the place. My name is Mark.” Read more
You’re a struggling musician who is playing small clubs on a summer tour across the country and who generally sleeps in your van. But one night, in a small town in (fill in the blank), a concertgoer offers to let you sleep on his/her couch. You take the offer, but by morning you regret it. Write a story that explains what happens. Read more
You had the best time at your New Year’s Eve party—such a good time, in fact, that you can hardly remember it thanks to a little too much vodka. While nursing a hangover, a friend calls and says, “I’m so pumped we’re doing this New Year’s resolution together. I know it’s unusual, but doing it together will make it easier. I’ll pick you up in an hour.” The problem: You have no idea what your friend is talking about. Write the scene starting with the car ride. Read more
What are your New Year’s resolutions for 2014? Post them here and then at the end of the year, I’ll feature this in the newsletter and ask you to check in to see which ones you’ve accomplished and reflect on your writing year. Read more
Write a Christmas poem parody of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, only write it about an unexpected guest who isn’t Santa. Read more
An anonymous friend has been leaving you gifts at work to celebrate each of the 12 days of Christmas. All was fine and good for the first 11 gifts, which were thoughtful. But the 12th gift isn’t actually a gift at all—it’s a photograph of someone you love doing something they shouldn’t be doing and an extortion note demanding $10,000 in cash or that photo goes live on the Internet. What do you do? Write this scene. Read more
Write an end-of-days story from a non-human point of view (animal, tree, insect, cloud, etc.) Read more
Your neighbor started hanging her Christmas decorations. You smile, wave and say, “Looks good,” as you pull into your garage. Suddenly, you take pause and notice that her decorations look very familiar and, are in fact, yours. To confirm you dash to the basement and see that all of you Christmas decorations are missing. You decide to steal back your good in the middle of the night but it doesn’t go as planned. Write this scene. Read more
You’ve been invited to attend a Thanksgiving dinner at a friend’s house, but when you walk in you notice there’s no turkey and, instead, a giant “Intervention” sign hanging across the mantle. Your friend, who is surrounded by many of your other friends and family, sits you down and explains that you have a problem: you spend too much time writing! Write this scene and how you handle it. Read more
While shopping downtown one day, you find an antiques store that has a rare, old doll. You buy it for your daughter. A few days later she tells you her new toy can talk. You don’t believe her, until one afternoon you find yourself alone in the house, and it starts talking to you. Write this scene. Read more
Your spouse wants to move out of your new apartment, saying that there is a large space you both can move into. When you go to visit the new digs, you find it’s an abandoned warehouse at an old train yard. Clearly you can’t live there. Only your spouse just spent your life savings to buy it. What do you say? Read more
Flipping through your library books for research, you find one of the books you incorrectly checked out. It’s a handwritten journal authored by someone you know. Who wrote it and what does it say? Read more
You are trying to read the morning newspaper when your cat begins pawing at your leg. You brush it away, but it jumps on the table and begins meowing. Finally, the cat speaks. What does she say? Write this scene and what she is trying to tell you. Read more
Everyone has an arch enemy, but until now, you never knew who your enemy was. That all changed one grueling night when, while on vacation, your evening was ruined by your enemy. What’s more peculiar is that your enemy is a famous celebrity! Write about your evening, who your famous arch enemy is and what you did to redeem the night. Read more