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Where Teens Write is closing its doors as a teen writing community, but the “how to write” blog posts will be up for another few weeks.
 
I’m happy to announce that you can post your stories and get feedback over at Teen Author’s Journal. Like WTW, it’s a smaller community where you can build relationships with others and hone your writing skills.
 
It’s been a great few years with all of you, but it’s time to close the doors to this community. If you did post stories here that you didn’t save anywhere else, and you’d like them, you may contact me using the contact page, and I’ll get you your story. Thank you for participating.
 
All the best,
Amy
 

Writing Prompts

May 2016 – Invite to Write

I’d like to invite you to warm-up your writing muscles with a challenge. Are you up for it? Ready to write? To participate, write a piece that includes this line somewhere in it: “Lying seems to run in the family.” Your story (or poem) can be up to 400 words. Post your story or poem [...]

When I begin working on a new project, I am filled with excitement. Ideas come easily. Words flow. I get in the writing groove, working on my project almost daily. And then . . . a vacation happens . . . school starts or ends . . . friends call  . . . something (anything) [...]

An Invite to Write

Years ago, a dear friend shared some wisdom which is the inspiration for this prompt. I’d been griping about somebody being a flake, somebody who’d flaked on me over…and over…and over. But I had failed to learn and felt perfectly justified in my complaining. My wise friend said, “The first time someone tells you who [...]

Coming up with great “story worthy” ideas can be tough. In fact, it can stop people from writing at all. When I tell people that I write, they often tell me that they’d love to write but they don’t know what to write about. I also have more conferences on “what to write about” than [...]

It’s been awhile since I shared some new writing prompts, so here goes. There are a variety, so choose one you like, or try all of them. Get out your writer’s notebook, and write by hand for at least ten minutes. Believe it or not, research shows that writing by hand accesses areas of your [...]

Writing Prompts Can Boost Your Creativity

Have you ever stared at a blank piece of paper or a blank screen? The cursor flashes, waiting for you to put your fingers to the keyboard and begin writing…something…anything…but NOTHING is coming to you. You feel “idea-less.” It’s a terrible feeling, and if you write, I think I can say, with almost 100% certainty, [...]

An Awesome List of WTW’s 2014 Blog Posts

Throughout 2014, we posted on the blog (almost) every Thursday. The posts included both creative writing instruction and inspiration for all you teen writers out there Reviewing all of the posts was actually kind of fun, and I was surprised at how much content is on the site from 2014. Check some of the posts [...]

I’ve used this creative writing prompt with groups of teen writers several times, and the results are always fun – in fact this is one of their favorite prompts. First, think of your favorite number, preferably one below twenty. You will use this number in every step of this writing prompt. Next go the a [...]

Writing Prompt – A Bee Interruption

This summer I read The Almost Truth, a fabulous mystery by Eileen Cook. At one point, the main character, Sadie, is about to get a highly anticipated kiss when a bee turns her into a screaming mess. The entire scene made me laugh. Then, I saw the comic below and began to think about putting [...]

Character Interaction Writing Prompt

This creative writing prompt involves people watching which is one of the best activities you can do to help develop characters and even interesting plot situations. Go to a public place, perhaps a coffee shop, a line you have to wait in, or even a class you might be taking. Select someone on your right [...]

Character Creation Writing Prompt

For this creative writing prompt, imagine that your birthday is coming, and it’s a big one. You’re turning sixteen or eighteen or maybe even twenty-one, and you’re having a party to celebrate. Create a character with the personality traits of somebody you want at your party but the physical characteristics of somebody that you’re forced [...]

Writing prompt…story prompt…quick write…free write…writing exercises…journal…brainstorm…All these writing terms and strategies can make a person crazy, right? What do they mean and when should you use them? Basically, they’re all strategies to get the “black on the white,” the ink on the paper, or text on the document (if you can’t bear to write without [...]

Break a Social Norm Prompt

Not only do I teach Creative Writing, but I also teach AP Psychology. One of the assignments my students do each spring is to break a social norm. We all adhere to social norms as they are expectations about how people should behave in certain situations. There are norms that keep life running smoothly, and [...]

Blueprint Quickwrite

Write for ten minutes in response to the following prompt. See where it takes you. Write a piece that includes a blueprint. You can define what kind of blueprint – What’s it to? What’s it for? A blueprint for life? A bank robbery? A wormhole?

Hate poetry? Try these

As little kids, we almost universally like poetry. Think about it. What were some of your favorite stories? I’m willing to bet some of them were narrative poems. Kids love the rhyme and rhythm in these stories. Then, we get to school and something terrible happens. Poetry becomes this really confusing stuff that doesn’t make [...]

Quick Write on Setting

For quick writes, write for ten minutes without stopping. For today’s prompt, let’s tackle setting: Write  a scene that takes place in a kitchen. Make sure the setting is integral to the action which means that this scene couldn’t take place anywhere BUT a kitchen. Before you start writing, take no more than thirty seconds [...]

Becoming Creative

They say that every story has been told. As writers, then, we must somehow figure out how to make our stories original and unique. We must push the boundaries of the expected and come up with creative details, characters, phrasing, and plots. This can be scary…but it can also be fun. It’s the part of [...]

Setting Writing Prompt

Describe your favorite place. Be sure to use sensory details – what does it smell like? feel like? look like? sound like? Now, make that place the scene of a crime. Describe it again. How did your two descriptions differ? Post below or just share your thoughts on this process.

Character Creation Prompt

Have you ever known someone that you felt got either more or less physically attractive the better you got to know them? For example, when you first met them, maybe you thought they were average looking. But as you got to know them and became friends, they somehow seemed to get better looking. On the [...]

“Sieze the Day” Writing Prompt

One of my favorite movies to teach is “Dead Poet’s Society.” In the film, the teacher played by Robin Williams exhorts his students to “Seize the Day” and live life to the fullest. Have a character do this. Create a new character or use one from your current work in progress. Write a scene or [...]

Winter Writing Prompt

February is here – the “almost” end of winter. Write a story, poem, or scene in which cold weather plays a predominant role, but don’t use the words snow, cold, freezing, frozen, or bitter. What’s the best line you came up with? Share it in the comments below.

Noun Prompt

I’ll give you a person, place, and thing, you write the story or scene. Person: an escaped convict Place: a bus (you get to choose what kind and where) Thing: a kiss (in honor of this Friday)

First Line Quick Write

Write a scene or a story which starts with the line: “A miracle happened last Monday.” Write for at least ten minutes without stopping.

First Line Prompt

Write a scene or a story which starts with the line: “A miracle happened last Monday.”

Single Syllable Story Writing Prompt

One reason poets often write such beautiful prose is because they spend so much time choosing each individual word. Khalil Gibran said, “Poetry is a deal of joy and pain and wonder, with a dash of the dictionary.” Hopefully you too use a dictionary and the ever useful Thesaurus. You might need them for this [...]

Single Syllable Story Prompt

One reason poets often write such beautiful prose is because they spend so much time choosing each individual word. Khalil Gibran said, “Poetry is a deal of joy and pain and wonder, with a dash of the dictionary.” Hopefully you too use a dictionary and the ever useful Thesaurus. You might need them for this [...]

Noun Prompt

I’ll give you a person, place, or thing, and you write the story which must contain all three elements…somehow. Person: an epic hero Place: in a tree Thing: a diamond earring When you’re done, share your story on the “Submit Stories” page.

Glitter Quickwrite

Short prompt this week: Write a story or scene in which glitter is a predominant feature. Write for ten minutes without stopping.

Glitter Writing Prompt

Short prompt this week: Write a story or scene in which glitter is a predominant feature.

Beginnings Quick Write Prompt

It’s the beginning of a new year, so in the spirit of the new year, get out a pen or your computer and write for ten minutes without stopping about beginnings. Perhaps your main character can be beginning a journey or maybe they’re just beginning to realize something important about themselves or your story. When [...]

Ritual Writing Prompt

Everyday we are surrounded by rituals. There are some big rituals such as funerals that everyone recognizes, and then there are the little rituals we perform each day to make ourselves feel safe and comfortable. Think about the current piece you are working on. Write for ten minutes and describe a ritual your main character [...]

Noun Prompt

I give you a person, place and thing, you write the story. Person: a basketball player Place: a city street corner Thing: jingle bell

Arena Quick Write Weekly Prompt

Quickwrites are a great warm-up strategy to get you going for a longer writing session. Write for at least ten minutes without stopping. You can do this by hand or on the computer, but you might try both. Today, write a scene which takes place in an arena. Think about what type of arena you [...]

Focus on…Character Prompt

This girl is dirty, scared, and young. What happened to her? Is she a victim? Or is she, perhaps, a hero? Something evil? Start writing and see what you come up with. Image credit: jmpaget / 123RF Stock Photo

Wordplay Writing Prompt

Write for ten minutes without stopping, by hand or on your computer, just keep writing. The word “insidious” is one of my favorite words. It rolls of the tongue, and it just sounds cool. This week,  write a scene in which you use the word “insidious.” If you come up with something amazing, polish it [...]

Try Writing from an Animal’s POV

Some of my favorite books and stories are written from an animal’s point of view. Mark Twain published  “A Dog’s Tale” in 1903. It begins in typical, humorous Twain style: “My father was a St. Bernard, my mother was a collie, but I am a Presbyterian.” I’m not sure if Twain was the first to [...]

Try Writing from an Animal's POV

Some of my favorite books and stories are written from an animal’s point of view. Mark Twain published  “A Dog’s Tale” in 1903. It begins in typical, humorous Twain style: “My father was a St. Bernard, my mother was a collie, but I am a Presbyterian.” I’m not sure if Twain was the first to [...]

Paranormal Prompt

In the book, Writing the Paranormal Novel, the authors define such a novel as one in which you have “some element of magic or the supernatural that’s so deeply integral to the story that the entire novel would collapse if you removed it” (3). Can you write a story like this? Halloween is coming, so try [...]

Story Starter Prompt

For this prompt, I’ll give you the first words to the story. You write the rest. Here it goes. Start your story with this: “He crouched behind the door, still and silent, as he heard them come closer . . .” Post your story on the “Submit Stories” page above and share!

Noun Prompt

I’ll give you a person, place, and thing. You write the story. Person: a clown Place: camp Thing: a Stephen King novel Post your story here so we can all read your amazing pieces!

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