Looking for fuel to get your ideas flowing? Try one of these proven prompts from our earlier Narrative High School Writing Contests—plus, you can check out the winning works that these prompts inspired.
1. Where I’m Going: Write a piece that conjures a singular and distinct journey.
2. Dear America: Write about your perspective of America today, capturing your unique relationship with the country or the words you feel the nation needs to hear.
3. When Everything Changed: Write about a pivotal moment in your life or the fictional life of a developing character.
4. The Mistake: Write about a mistake that can’t be smoothed over, reconciled, or unmade.
5. The Choice: Write about a decision that altered the course of a life in some way, big or small.
6. Escape: Write about your version of escape—perhaps a physical act, an adventure, or a dream.
We love brainstorming with you! And in that spirit, here are a few other ideas to kick-start your writing.
1. Eye contact: Write about two people seeing each other for the first time.
2. Love: Write a story or poem that ends with “I love you.”
3. Doors: Write about opening or closing a door.
4. Strangers: Go people watching, and write about someone you see.
5. Form: Write a piece in which the same line opens and closes the work.
6. Truth: Write about a fundamental and/or unchangeable truth that’s been turned upside down.
7. Talking: Write a piece that exclusively uses dialogue.
8. Leaders and followers: Write a piece from the perspective of a leader. Write the same piece from the perspective of that person’s follower(s).
9. Objects: Select three objects that provide a window into your life or the life of someone else.
10. Sorry: Write a piece that starts or ends with “I’m sorry.”