BEST HISTORICAL FICTION WRITING PROMPTS

Whether you’re a debut author, a seasoned novelist, or simply looking to flex your creative muscles, writing prompts are an great way to maintain a writing routine.

Showing 41 prompts reset

This week's contest:
Win $50

Spring in Your Step

396 stories
Closes at 23:59 - Apr 03 EST

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Win $50 in our short story competition 🏆

We'll send you 5 prompts each week. Respond with your short story and you could win $50!

Contest #35 LIVE

Enter our weekly contest!

This week's theme: Spring in Your Step


$50

Prize money

396

Submissions

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Closes at 23:59 - Apr 03, 2020 EST
View details

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Recent winners 🏆

Phoebe Barrread

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Leaderboard 🥇

#1 Zilla Babbitt

2443 points

#2 Deborah Mercer

1460 points

#3 Abigail Airuedomwinya

982 points

#4 Joshua Insole

807 points

#5 Marte Van der linden

718 points

#6 Arthur Tiberio

603 points

#7 Andrew Grell

507 points

#8 Cara Mccarthy

489 points

#9 Cam Croz

477 points

#10 Mariyam Ghafar

474 points

One of the joys of writing historical fiction is the opportunity to look to the past and ask: what if? What if an English woman suddenly found herself transported through time from mid 20th-century Scotland to mid 18th-century Scotland? What if you could meet the woman behind Johannes Vermeer’s famous oil painting? What if you could talk to one of Henry VIII’s most trusted advisors? All of these stories already exist, of course — Outlander, Girl with a Pearl Earring, Wolf Hall — but there are many more to tell. And hopefully these historical writing prompts will help you do just that!

Here are some additional resources to help you write historical fiction:


Want more help learning how to write a historical short story? Check out How to Write a Short Story That Gets Published — a free, ten day course by Laura Mae Isaacman, a full-time editor who runs a book editing company in Brooklyn.

Have a story you’re ready to start submitting? Check out our list of writing contests or our directory of literary magazines.