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The Great Unknown

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Contest #247 LIVE

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This week's theme: The Great Unknown


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Closes at 23:59 - Apr 26, 2024 EST
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The best writing prompts for adults

Are you struggling to find an outlet for your imagination as an adult? There's an easy solution for that: creative writing prompts for adults. Though writing prompts might look like simple questions and topics on the surface, they are powerful tools that can help you put pen to paper and explore such topics as food, technology, family, people, life, and the universe around us through a story. 

Best of all, they work for authors of all stages, whether you're a beginner looking to overcome writer's block or an established writer thinking about exploring different genres. So what are you waiting for? You, too, might find that a writing prompt will inspire and give you ideas for everything from a short story to a full-blown book. 

If you're looking to cut to the chase, here's a top ten list of writing prompts for adults:

  • Write a story about a 40th birthday party.
  • Set your story at a retirement party.
  • It's your wedding day, and as you're saying your vows, a voice from the crowd yells, "I object!"
  • Start your story with the line 'Back in my day…'
  • Start your story with the line, "That's the thing about this city…"
  • Write a cautionary fable about someone who always lies.
  • Write a day-in-the-life story about a first-time parent and their newborn child.
  • Write a short story about someone doing laundry.
  • Write a story about a character obsessed with one of the long-dead "greats" in their profession.
  • Write a story about a parent putting their child to bed.

If you'd like to go beyond the world of writing prompts and dip a toe into becoming an author, check out our free resources on the topic:

  • Develop a Writing Routine (free course) —You might hear a lot of advice on how to write a book, but at the end of the day, what it takes is simply the commitment to regularly sit down in front of a computer and put words down on paper. A writing routine is key to that sort of dedication — and our free 10-day course will show you how to develop one that works for you. 
  • How to Write a Novel 101 (free course) — Once you’ve got a writing routine now, all that’s left is the hard part: actually writing the book! That’s where this free course comes in. In the process of ten days, we take you through how to write a novel, including structuring your plot and developing your characters. 
  • Character Development 101 (blog post) — As an author, you become the psychologist of your characters. Learn how to build a great character in this comprehensive blog post and build one up, from their motivations to their goals. Don’t forget to download the free character profile template while you’re in the blog post! 

Ready to start writing? Check out Reedsy’s weekly short story contest for the chance of winning $250! You can also check out our list of writing contests or our directory of literary magazines for more opportunities to submit your story.


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