Writing Prompts

Read & Submit to our List of Short, Shareable Story Ideas



All writers need a bit of inspiration every once in a while, and writing prompts can be a great way to give yourself a creative jolt if you’re having a little bout of writer’s block.

So we’ve collected a huge list of the best creative writing prompts submitted by you, our readers! Sorted by genre, we hope these fantastic story ideas will give you the jump-start you’ve been looking for.


'Start writing no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.' - Louis L'AmourClick To Tweet


If you’re looking for a specific genre, you can use the links below to jump to different categories of prompts:



Title graphic reading 'Writing Prompts: Use, Share & Submit Your Own


Share Your Prompt Competition


We want this list to keep growing so you can always come back for fresh inspiration – so we need your prompts!

To add your own, just comment at the foot of this page with a prompt of no more than 115 characters, and name your genre (e.g. ‘Write about a murder in a bouncy castle.’ – Mystery prompt):


Share Your Prompt


Every month we take the best new entries and add them to the list of exceptional prompts we’ve gathered below!


Fantasy Writing Prompts icon

Fantasy Writing Prompts



Horror Writing Prompts icon

Horror Writing Prompts


Mystery Writing Prompts icon

Mystery Writing Prompts


Romance Writing Prompts icon

Romance Writing Prompts


Sci-Fi Writing Prompts icon

Sci-Fi Writing Prompts



Get Better at Writing

Okay, so now you’ve got some inspiration – but what if you’re having problems writing characters, dialogue or setting?

Well don’t worry, because we’ve put together a hub of all the writing resources and practical tips you need to work towards becoming a better writer.

And remember, you can submit your own prompt below if you think it’s good enough to share! Just comment with a writing prompt of no more than 115 characters, and name your genre. Good luck!


Share these prompts and story ideas:

26 thoughts on “Writing Prompts: Story Ideas You Can Use, Share & Add To

  1. You notice a man in a tree who places a folded piece of paper in a nook between branches. After he climbs down you go and stand beneath it, looking up at the white of the paper. (Mystery)

  2. [Romance]

    He stood on the platform. Waiting. Her Wonder Woman leggings and asymmetrical haircut had caught his eye when he walked up and took his place, a few paces to her right.

    ‘Is this the platform to get to Aberdeen?’ he asked, though the board was in plain view.

    She removed her headphones and looked over.

    ‘Yes, it is,’ she said with a laugh. ‘I hope so, anyway. That’s where I’m headed too.’

  3. “Doctor, don’t you understand? I am dead, my brain has disintegrated and my heart has shrinked. Why would I want to eat anything?” [Cotard Delusion]- Mystery Prompt

  4. Standing in front of the mirror he saw a person staring back at him. Who are you and where have you come from?
    (Genre: #Mystery)

  5. You stare out your window and spot your new neighbours carrying their children inside their house. Seeing nothing interesting you return to your work. If only you had kept an eye on them a little longer you would have noticed how limp and pale the bodies of the poor children looked. You failed to notice they were dead with their eyes wide open and empty; all five of them.

  6. Sometimes, just sometimes, he imagined he could hear her laughter; or smell her scent; or feel the softness of her skin after a warm shower. At those times that dull ache which was ever present, would suddenly become acute, and the pain of missing her would grip him again. (Romance)

  7. The Japanese word “shoganai” means “it cannot be helped.” It’s an invitation to let go and move on. No guilt, no resentment, no defeat involved. Write about a situation that cannot be helped. What new beginning might be possible? (NONFICTION)

  8. This homeless old women has given you the power to bring back one person to life for 24 hours but in return she takes your life for one day. If you fail to bring back a person to life, she takes the life of one of your loved one. (FANTASY)

  9. It seems like people aren’t clear about what a prompt is. From what I see, only the professional editors provided prompts—everything else is a mini-synopsis, aka “elevator pitch.”

    1. Hi Shannara, you’re completely right! Many of the ‘prompts’ included here are highly specific plot suggestions rather than true writing prompts (hence us also using the term ‘story ideas’ which is a more accurate reflection).

      We’ve allowed both here in an effort to be less prescriptive, leaving the door for submissions open to essentially ‘anything that might provide inspiration for a story’. If people find that confusing or misleading, we’re certainly open to suggestions about how to better organise the page 🙂 We’ll take comments like yours on board when updating the list, and see how helpful people are finding the page over the next few weeks. Hopefully you can get some use out of the page regardless! – Best wishes, The Writers Academy team

  10. After the Fall, a lone survivalist finds a well-stocked bunker housing the frozen remains of an elderly woman. The diary our hero finds in the corpse’s bony hand tells a story that may not be over yet–she died only weeks earlier, while waiting for someone to return.

  11. My funeral was lousy. Phoney speech n stale tray bakes afterwards..I won’t get it soon! My prompt is: On 17th January a megaton sweat, a sledgehammer headache and the stiffest of necks announced, the rest of my life. Oh boy!

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