BEST NONFICTION WRITING PROMPTS

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Showing 47 prompts reset

This week's contest:
Win $250

Magic in the Air

18 contest entries /
14 stories

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Closes at 23:59 - Dec 16 EST

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Win $250 in our short story competition 🏆

We'll send you 5 prompts each week. Respond with your short story and you could win $250!

Contest #176 LIVE

Enter our weekly contest!

This week's theme: Magic in the Air


$250

Prize money

18

Contest entries

14

Stories

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Days

--

Hours

--

Mins

--

Secs

Closes at 23:59 - Dec 16, 2022 EST
View details

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The best nonfiction writing prompts

Are you an author looking for nonfiction writing prompts to spark your creative muse? You're in the right place: we created this directory to house all the story ideas about life, people, and history you might need to succeed as a nonfiction writer. 

The great thing about nonfiction writing is that ideas can come from anywhere: in-house family drama with the parents, an argument over the Internet with a stranger about money, or a heart-to-heart talk with friends about your beliefs. So whether you're writing an essay or creative nonfiction, feel free to scour this page for inspiration. Who knows? Maybe one of the stories you write in response to a prompt will turn into your next book. 

If you're looking to cut to the chase, here’s a top ten list of our favorite nonfiction writing prompts:

  • Write a story about inaction.
  • Write a story about activism.
  • Write about a date that was so terrible you’ll never forget it.
  • Write a story inspired by a memory of yours.
  • Write about a secret you’ve never told the person you love.
  • Write about a date that was so terrible you’ll never forget it.
  • Write about someone (or something) you loved that you shouldn’t have.
  • Write about a time when you felt like an outsider at an event.
  • Pick one of the five senses. Write a descriptive piece about your surroundings based on that sense. 
  • Write about a time when you helped someone. 

If you’re interested in becoming a nonfiction author, check out our free resources on the topic:

  • The Non-Sexy Business of Writing Non-Fiction (free course) — None of the sexy nonfiction books you see on the bestseller lists started that way. We can guarantee you that all those books were written the non-sexy way: through simple hard work that requires you to show up at the computer daily to get your words onto paper. This free ten-day course aims to help you through that process and emerge with a nonfiction book at the end of the tunnel. 
  • How to Write a Memoir (blog post) — Memoirs are among the most popular types of nonfiction markets in the publishing industry today. Suppose you're also interested in turning your life and experiences into a story with a beginning, middle, and end. In that case, this guide will walk you through the entire process: from outlining your memoir to writing and marketing it. 

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.