November/December 2013 Issue
Free Writing Downloads
Workshops Starting December 12th
- Essentials of Science Fiction and Fantasy
- Advanced Memoir & Nonfiction
- Writing Personal Essays 101
- Fundamentals of Nonfiction
- Essentials of Technical Writing
- Writing the Young Adult Novel
- Advanced Novel Writing
- Marketing Your Magazine Articles
- Children's Picture Book Writing
- Freelance Writing
- Essentials of Romance Writing
- Creating Memorable Characters
- Essentials of Mystery Writing
- Essentials of Science Fiction and Fantasy
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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.
When you go to get dressed one morning, you discover that there really is a skeleton in your closet. Write this scene—discover how it got there, why it is there, what to do with it now. Read more
This time, you’re in too deep. You’re gambling losses have been mounting and, with a recent ill-advised bet, have put you $50,000 in debt. Your bookie, knowing you don’t have that kind of cash, is willing to wipe your debt clean if you carry out a very dangerous mission for him. Read more
You’re on your way to lunch when you walk by a crowd of people staring up toward the sky. You look up and see someone at the top of a building getting ready to jump to his or her death. Quickly you realize you know this person—in fact, it’s someone from work. Something about this moment overtakes, so you rush to the top of the top of the building to save this person’s life. Read more
A friend rings your doorbell way too early in the morning to be ringing doorbells. You answer the door in your PJs, and the friend says, “Pack a bag quickly. I have to get out of here now and need you to come with me.” You are intrigued. Read more
You get a message, it is obviously for you, but it is scrawled in lipstick on a mirror in a public restroom. It’s unexpected, but now you know exactly where the killer is hiding. It’s time to find him and, hopefully, your friend (and hopefully your friend is still alive). Write this scene. Read more
The person of your dreams shows up on your doorstep, asking if you’d like to go out for coffee. You are surprised and confused, but you say yes. At the coffee shop, as he/she is talking, you discover that he/she thinks that you are someone else. Instead of coming clean, you go with it—only to be foiled by an unexpected twist that reveals your identity. Read more
You’ve been outside digging a large hole for several hours when you realize that you can’t recall why you are digging it. Retrace your steps to try to discover your motivation. Read more
Your parents have thrown you a surprise birthday dinner and have invited your two favorite fictional characters (can be literary, television, movie, etc.). There’s only one problem: Turns out, the characters don’t get along and, after some mild bickering, they get into a big fight following one particular insult. Write this scene. Read more
You’ve been given the opportunity to see any band (dead or alive) at a live concert in your hometown. At the end of the show, you bump into an old high school friend who is working security and offers you (and the friend you brought to the concert) backstage passes. What happens next is an adventure you’ll never forget. Read more
You’re at lunch when your smartphone buzzes with an e-mail from your boss: “Don’t forget, we have a meeting in 10 minutes.” Of course you did forget, so you rush out of the restaurant and attempt to make it before it starts. But a crazy chain of events stops you from getting back in time for the meeting. Read more
There’s a knock on the door. It’s an IRS agent who has come to your house to audit your taxes. Knowing that you fudged a few numbers on your forms, you decide to attempt to bribe the agent. Much to your surprise, it’s working, but things take an peculiar turn when the agent makes an odd request. Write this scene. Read more
You’ve just moved into a new house and are fixing it up. In the process of painting you find an odd crack in the wall. As you explore further, you find out it’s a secret passageway—and you have no idea where it leads. You decide to grab a flashlight and go exploring. Read more
You open the mail and receive a letter from one of your favorite childhood toys, explaining what the toy has been up to all these years since you have moved on. Some of it comes as a shock to you. What’s even more shocking is the reason the toy is contacting you. Read more
You walked into the emergency room. This simply couldn’t be happening. Just a few hours ago you were playing cards with your friend, listening to your favorite song on the radio—the song that defined your friendship. But now, as you make your way to the nurses’ station, that song was playing again. Only this time, it felt different. Read more
You wake up the morning after St. Patrick’s Day don’t remember much of the evening (thanks to too many green beers). You also notice some discomfort on your forearm. When you roll up your sleeve, you discover a tattoo of a map. Panic sets in as you realize that you now have a tattoo on your arm, but curiosity takes over as you wonder where the map leads. Read more
You receive a phone call from your two best friends. “Hey, we’ve done something terribly wrong and need your help. We can’t talk about it over the phone. Please meet us at the spot where we made our pact back in high school. You know the place.” Nervously, you grab your coat and car keys. Read more
You’ve been writing a blog for a number of months now without issue, then suddenly you’re confronted with an anonymous commenter who posts unwarranted slams against you. A techie friend helps you … Read more
After 40 years at the same job, you are finally ready to retire. Your coworkers throw you a party with cake and ice cream. Everything is going well until the end of the celebration when they ask you to speak. Instead of using this opportunity to thank everyone, you reveal a deep, dark secret about your boss that leads to a massive food fight. Read more
You slide your card into the ATM machine and attempt to withdraw cash, only to find that your account is empty. Something is wrong, as just yesterday, you had $5,000 in it. Only one person you know could be responsible for this—and without hesitation, you are off to confront that person and get your money back. Read more
You receive a Valentine’s Day card in the mail from a secret admirer. According to the love note, the secret admirer will reveal his or her identity on Valentine’s Day at a location mentioned on the card. Oddly enough, this is the same location you are taking your current love interest out on a Valentine’s Day date. Write about how this evening plays out. Read more
The Tooth Fairy visits your house in the middle of the night, only she isn’t just taking your children’s teeth. What is she stealing from your house and how do you attempt to stop her? Read more
After getting into an argument with another patron at a local bar, the person challenges you to a fight out back. Because you’ve never been in a fight before (and don’t want this to be your first time), you come up with a more creative way to settle your dispute. Read more
You’ve been convicted of a crime, but the judge recognizes that this is your first offense. Instead of sending you to jail, he hands down an extremely unusual punishment. What’s even more unusual is, after it’s over, you come back to thank him. Why? Read more
While out at a bar, your old high school sweetheart approaches you and gives you an unexpected kiss right on the lips. This causes you to have one intense reaction that will lead to a very memorable night—but not for good reasons. Read more
The plane lifted off the runway and into the air. The person next to you turns and quietly whispers in your ear, “I know I’m supposed to keep this a secret, but I absolutely must tell someone.” Read more