I used to teach creative writing to middle schoolers while I was living overseas. I had compiled a booklet of creative writing prompts for my students to use over the summer. Now that the schools are closed due to Covid-19, I am having my sons do 20 minutes of writing each day. They are using this booklet to provide a prompt for the day. I am sharing the 72 writing prompts with you.
Writing Prompts – 72 prompts for journaling
by Beth M. Symanzik – 2015 revised 2020
dedicated to my Creative Writing Students at Faith International Academy of Davao, School year 2014-15
copyright May 2015
A few words about creativity and journaling
Creativity is a God-given talent we should all be developing. God, our Father, is a creative God. Look around – notice the colours of the world – of nature, the various shapes, plants, animals. Notice people. Each person you meet is created in the image of God by God Himself. Amazing thought.
Creativity is a way in which you translate what you hear, feel, observe, experience, and/or think from something that’s inside you to writing creatively about the idea.
Keys to Creativity –
- Develop a creative life style – take lessons or teach yourself art, calligraphy, music, dancing. Make crafts, woodwork, sew, garden, go to classical concerts, go to operas, ballet recitals, etc. Sing, work with clay, bake, do puzzles, do logic puzzles, doodle.
- Exercise 20 minutes daily walking, running, swimming, biking, lifting weights, etc.
- Spend time outdoors enjoying God’s great nature – hiking, sketching, playing, biking, skating, etc.
- Write – write in short assignments. Spend a minimum of 10 – 20 minutes daily writing.
- Try to get the words and memories down as they occur to you. There is no right or wrong. There is no grade. Just write. The more you write the more creative you become.
If you make a point to write daily for 10 – 20 minutes, you’ll have a lot of words written within a year that could be turned into a book or collection of stories.
- Write about a scary dream you had.
2.What food do you miss the most from your passport country?
3. What stories have you heard from or about your grandparents?
4. If you won one million US dollars, what would you do with it?
5. What are some fun memories you have of one of the middle school Outdoor Education trips?
6. Write about a time you were lost.
7. Write about a time you moved.
8. Write about your favorite food and why you enjoy it so much.
9. If you lived underwater, what sea creature would you want to be and why.
10. If there was an underwater world where humans lived what would it be like?
11. Write about a time you were really sad.
12. Write about a time you were really proud of an accomplishment you’d achieved.
13. Finish the story:
A looming hulk rose before them in the murky darkness.
“What is that?” he gasped? “Is it a……..?”
14. Write about a favourite song.
15. Write about a favourite dessert.
16. Write some alliterations.(remember, an alliteration is using the same beginning sound in many of the words of a sentence. Ex: Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.)
17. You are walking to school and find a large gold nugget. What will you do?
18. An asteroid is hurtling straight for the Earth…..
19. Write about your favourite childhood toy.
20. If I could change one thing about myself…..
21. If and when I raise kids I will never…..
22. Invent a new tool. Describe it’s use.
23. Describe an event that changed your life.
24. Write about when and how you accepted Christ as your Saviour.
25. Write about your favourite Bible verse and why it’s meaningful to you.
26. You’ve been locked in the top turret of a castle….
27. Five goals I have for myself are…..
28. 450 mice have invaded your bedroom. What will you do.
29. You fall in a hole and end up in middle earth. What happens next?
30. You wake up one morning to discover you’ve traveled back in time and are now a
31. A pirate ship captures you…….
32. If you could travel to the past where would you go? and why.
33. Write a list of 45 things that make you feel good.
34. What cultural differences do you notice between here and your passport country.
35. Write a list of prayer requests and praises you’ve been praying about, received answers for, are still waiting for an answer on.
36. Who is the person from history you’d love to meet and talk to?
37. Tell about what triggers anger in you or someone else.
38. Describe your ideal friend.
39. Describe your ideal teacher.
40. Describe your ideal vacation.
41. What is your favourite weather? Why?
42. What is the best book you’ve ever read? Why?
43. Make a tall tale out of an event that happened to you.
44. Be an animal and write a short story about what your life is like as that animal.
45. When I feel lonely I…….
46. Write about a computer game you’d love to create.
47. Were you ever in a fire, flood, hurricane, typhoon, or tornado?
48. “The trip to Bagabag was disasterous. The bus veered and……”
49. What is your favourite way to eat pizza?
50. Seven things I’d change about school are….
51. My favourite colour is…. It makes me feel……
52. Personify your shoes. What tale do they have to tell about the travels
you’ve done in them?
53. Write about a funny event that happened to you.
54. Write about a favourite memory you have of time spent with your dad.
55. Write about a favourite memory you have of time spent with your mom.
56. Write about what scares you most about transition to a new culture.
57. Be a mango that gets dried. Describe how it feels to shrink, shrivel, dry up, be packaged.
58. Write about a time your parents embarrassed you.
59. Write about a time a teacher embarrassed you.
60. What is something you’d like to thank your parents for?
61. When I feel happy I…..
62. How forgiving are you when a friend or your parents let you down? How do you deal with your disappointment?
63. Write a short biography of your mom.
64. Write a short biography of your dad.
65. Write a short biography of your favourite relative.
66. Write about four things your family has taught you.
67. Write about something special and/or unique about you? Why do you think it is special and/or unique?
68. You are in a strange situation and unsure how to behave. What will you do?
69. Write about a person who has greatly influenced you.
70. Write a list of items you are thankful to God for.
71. What is your earliest memory of moving to a new place?
72. “When I think about the corona virus….”
Stay creative! Keep writing!
“Writeriffic” by Eva Shaw – Writeriffic Publishing Group, 1995
Writeriffic II” by Eva Shaw – Waterfront Press, 2014.
“On Writing Well” by Steven King – Scribner; 2010
“Bird by Bird” by Anne Lamott – Anchor; 1995
“Writing The Wave” by Elizabeth Ayres – Veriditas Books, 2014