20 Writing Prompts to Jumpstart Your Summer Writing
by Melissa Ragsdale
Young woman sitting in coffee shop at wooden table, drinking coffee. On table is laptop. Girl browsi...
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Summer is prime time for creative writing. With school on break and the sun shining, it's the perfect opportunity to get outside and put pen to paper. Maybe this summer you can finally buckle down on a big project, or perhaps you want to take it easy with some fun experiments.

When I was in school, I would always kick off every summer vacation by heading to my favorite coffee shop for a blissful night of writing for me. Summer means you can really have some freedom with your writing. This summer, challenge yourself not to hold anything back.

But even as exciting as summer writing is, I know that sometimes writing can seem impossible. We all have those days when nothing can come out. With hope, these writing prompts will get your pen moving and spark some ideas for your summer projects. And remember, just getting something (anything!) down on the page is already a huge accomplishment.

Poetry? Short stories? Maybe even a novel? No matter what kind of writing you prefer to do, these writing prompts are sure to get your creative juices flowing. Of course, feel free to adapt them in whatever way best springboards your creativity. Happy writing!


Send your characters on the ultimate summer trip. No budget, no limits. Where would they go and what kind of trouble can get they get into?


Randomly pick two of your Facebook friends to rob a bank together. Can they pull it off?


Head over to Wikipedia's main page. Incorporate something you learn from the featured article in a piece.

Click here for the Wikipedia main page.


Write out your favorite memory from elementary school.


Write a story set in the year 2050.


Write a story that takes place in a single room.


Write about your favorite place in your hometown.


Write a sestina.

A sestina is a 39-line poetic form. This guide from the Academy of American Poets explains the structure.


Write a piece from the point-of-view of a marine biologist.


Describe the smell of your favorite food.


You develop the technology to go all the way to the center of the Earth. What do you find there?


Write a piece inspired by National Geographic's photo of the day.

Click here to see National Geographic's Photo of the Day.


Write a love story between two people who live on opposite sides of the world. How do they find each other?


Scientists discover a universe just like ours, but with one key difference. What are the consequences?


Write a piece that uses cartoon physics.


Describe the perfect bath.


Write the kind of piece your mom would love to read.

For example, if your mom loves mysteries with lots of twists, write one just for her.


What object in your home do you use every day? Write about your life from its point-of-view.


Pick a genre and brainstorm all of its tropes. Now write a story that puts a twist on as many of them as possible.


Write a serious piece that starts with the word "banana."