Daily, genre-inspired writing prompts for authors, teachers, and journaling
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Literary – September 21

“The most important things are the hardest things to say. They are the things you get ashamed of because words diminish your feelings — words shrink things that seem timeless when they are in your head to no more than living size when they are brought out.” -Stephen King, born this date in 1947. Writing prompt: Write a scene in which your protagonist’s words are too...

Journaling + Fiction – September 21

“I’m interested in two things. I’m interested in truth and I’m interested in fairness.”John F. Kennedy Journal prompt: Spend at least 20 minutes writing about a truth you know is not fair. Fiction writing prompt: Write a scene in which your protagonist must choose between the truth and fairness.

Big Questions – September 21

Is the world today naturally complex or have we made it more complex than it otherwise would be? Journaling prompt: Spend 15-20 minutes writing your answer in the spirit of exploring yourself and the world around you. If you can answer with a simple “yes” or “no,” explain the sources or implications of your response. Fiction writing prompt: Write a scene that forces a character in your story to answer the question,...

Romance – September 21

“I wonder how many people don’t get the one they want, but end up with the one they’re supposed to be with.” -Fannie Flagg, born this date in 1941, in Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café. Writing prompt: Write a scene in which your protagonist trades the one in which s/he’s supposed to be with for the one s/he wants.

Mystery – September 21

Television premieres on this date included Perry Mason (1957), Adam-12 (1968), and NYPD Blue (1993) featuring Det. Andy Sipowicz, who once told a suspect, “You got a lot of morons in your family? ‘Cause that could be genetic.” Writing prompt: Write a scene in which your protagonist tries to get information from a person who has an IQ that reminds your protag that half the people in the country are...

SciFi/Fantasy – September 21

“Heresies are experiments in man’s unsatisfied search for truth.” -HG Wells, born this date in 1866. Writing prompt: Write a scene in which your protagonist is persuaded to alter his/her path towards his/her goal by a heretic.

Secondary – September 21

On this day in 1970, The New York Times premiered a new section called the Op-Ed Page, a section opposite the editorial page given over to columnists and illustrators to opine on the issues of the day. What’s your opinion about whether newspapers should express opinions or report only facts?

Primary – September 21

JRR Tolkien published The Hobbit, or There and Back Again, on this day in 1937. Describe the scariest place you want to visit.

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