Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Short Story Prompt Challenge

If you'd like to write more short stories but are coming up short on ideas, here's a list I saw over on Tumblr that offers a weekly prompt you can use:

"52 short stories in 52 weeks
1. A story entitled “A New Beginning”.
2. A story about rising to a challenge.
3. A retelling of a fairytale.
4. A story about three siblings.
5. A story set in London.
6. A story about finding something that has been lost.
7. A story about a journey.
8. A story set during a war.
9. A creepy story.
10. A story featuring a countdown.
11. A story set at a full moon.
12. A story about a contest or competition.
13. A story that takes place entirely inside a vehicle.
14. A story from a villain’s perspective.
15. A story set at a concert or festival.
16. A story that begins with a gunshot.
17. A story set in a country you’ve never been to.
18. A story about a historical figure.
19. A story set in a theatre.
20. A story written in 2nd person narrative.
21. A story set on another planet.
22. A story written from the perspective of someone dead/undead
23. A story about a birthday.
24. A story that ends on a cliffhanger.
25. A story set at the summer solstice.
26. A story about nostalgia.
27. A story that features a song or poem.
28. A story that ends at sunrise.
29. A story opening with the words “F*** you!”
30. A story about a magical object.
31. A story set at sea.
32. A story about a curse.
33. A story set 100 years in the future.
34. A story about loneliness.
35. A story that features a real recent newspaper article.
36. A story written from an animal’s perspective.
37. A story about a scientific discovery.
38. A story set on another planet.
39. A story with only one character.
40. A story about a secret.
41. A romance that ends in tragedy.
42. A tragedy that ends in romance.
43. A retelling of a recent Hollywood movie.
44. A story that takes place the year you were born.
45. A story about a near-death experience.
46. A story about anger.
47. A story about a magic spell.
48. A story set in a strange small town.
49. A story about justice being done.
50. A creation myth.
51. A story set at Christmas.
52. A story entitled “The End”."

I usually write short stories to test-drive my world-building, but I've also used them to help build characters, tell a story from a different POV, or explore a particular theme or myth. Give one of these a shot, see what you come up with on the page, and you might surprise yourself.

Source: Writing Therapy


  1. :sobs: Short stories are HARD. Why are they so difficult to write??? I can do super short: poetry, or super long: novels, but that sweet spot to have a complete, satisfying story in under 10K words? Gah. I struggle.

  2. bluebamboo11:48 AM

    This is a great list, thanks for sharing. :)

    Anyone else notice 21 and 38 are the same?