Are you just starting your writing journey, or stuck on what to write next? Intersections aims to create a collaborative and comprehensive literary platform, so here are some writing prompts from our staff members to guide you the next time you sit down to write.
Write a poem about something that makes you angry. You could detail why, or leave that up to interpretation.
Read a poem written by one of your favorite poets, and draw inspiration from it to write a poem in response (please give proper credit, of course).
Research a new poem form and try it out. Our recommendations are haibuns and sestinas!
Sit down and, for three minutes, write down as much as what you're aware of through your five senses in that space. Once you're done, experiment with revising your word vomit.
We all have names, but have we ever stopped to think about the meanings behind names? Write about names, maybe yours, or the name of someone you love, or the name of a fictional character in your heart. Spend some time picking out a meaningful name for a character you come up with.
What is one social justice issue you care deeply about? Maybe you are a group targeted by discrimination, or value a universal cause deeply. How does that influence your writing? How can you use your writing to create change?
Have you ever written about disability and disabled characters? What comes to your mind when you think about “disability”? Write a story with a disabled main character. Research about disabilities you are unfamiliar with and read the work of disabled writers.
Write a story with the same first and last sentence, but have it mean something completely different at the end of the story.
Experiment with the idea of "growing pains." You could write about the literal/physical growing pains, or mental and emotional growth and the pains, fears, and thrill that may come with it. How do growing pains numb over time? Or in your experience, are they never over?
Write a story with a main character that experiences imposter syndrome, whether it's at work, at school, on social media, etc.
What or where is home to you? Write about your home and how it currently plays a role in your life.
Write about an outsider. It could be a character who doesn't fit in at school, an LGBTQ+ character in a socially conservative environment, a character just moving to a new place, for example. What does their life look like? Are they trying to fit in or conform, or are they comfortable with their outsider status?
Follow a character who has run away from home. Why did they do so? Are they young, rebelling against their parents? Are they older and having a mid-life crisis, trying to create a new life for themselves? Are they looking for a new home?
Write a peek into someone's diary. What absorbs most of their thoughts for the day?
Detail a character's near death experience. If at all, how does it change the affected person's perspective?
Write a poem about the biggest secret you failed to keep without mentioning what the secret really is. Try to provide as many details as possible without giving too much away.
Explore a pillow talk conversation. It doesn't have to be between two love interests-- it could also be between friends, or between family members. How do these conversations change as we get older?
Have you ever thought, "I wish I was a fly on the wall for that conversation"? Write about a character (could be the speaker/narrator but not necessary) overhearing a juicy or otherwise important conversation.
Find an example of a chain reaction in your life or in our world, past or ongoing. Explore one part, multiple, or all parts of it in your writing. How has it affected you and/or the speaker/narrator of the piece?
Write a story about someone receiving a disappointing gift. How do they react to it?
Describe a bad car ride during which the reader is in the car. You can explore tension between the speaker/narrator and the reader, or simply detail what has caused the car ride to proceed so badly.
Write about a night where there were fireworks. These can be real fireworks (i.e. 4th of July) or metaphorical (a connection between two people).
Write about a situation where a character cheats. It could be on a person, on a test, or a looser interpretation of cheating. Try to explore what led them to do this-- are they a morally grey character or a goody-two-shoes that made an out-of-character impulse decision?
Write about waiting for something. If you want an extra challenge, do this without explicitly mentioning what the specific thing is-- you can still drop clues so the piece isn't too vague or abstract.
What was the largest crowd you've ever been part of? Describe it and how you got there.
Begin in the middle of a piece. Start with an action or conversation that will need previous explanation, keep writing, and then go back to write the beginning.
Explore the concept of hitchhiking. Have you ever done it? Have you ever seen others doing it? What do you imagine the experience is like? Picture a hitchhiker in your brain: where are they trying to go, and why?
Try out blending genres! For example, write a prose poem or write a long-form narrative in verse.
Write about a debt that needs to be paid, whether a basic financial debt or a moral debt. How does it affect its debtor?
Write an ode to something or someone you desire right now.
Murphy's law is an observation that states anything that can go wrong will go wrong. Apply this idea to a situation in your life or a character's life. What went wrong and why? Do you believe it's as simple as stating Murphy's law, or is there a discernible reason?
Write about deadlines. You can describe your feelings regarding deadlines, write a poem about an experience with a specific deadline, or write a story about a character trying to meet a deadline, for example.
Write about your earliest childhood memory. Why do you think this is the first thing you remember?
Explore the idea of being clueless. Do you think some people are truly clueless, or just focused on other things? If so, then is everybody clueless in some way?
Write about an extinction. It can be real or fictional. Who or what are the living casualties?