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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 sad writing prompts

One great thing about creative writing prompts is that they are always there for you, especially when you want sad writing prompts. Writing is a beautiful outlet to engage with life and the world around us — and sometimes, it's the only way to deal with something painful or raw.

If you’re a writer who’s looking for some sad writing prompts to help get you in touch with your feelings or deal with such themes as love and death, this page is for you. We hope that it provides you with the inspiration that you need. 

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

  • Someone in the story has a lot of hard lessons to learn.
  • Write a story about someone tired of their day-to-day routines.
  • Write a story about someone who loses their cat.
  • Write a story based on the metaphor: "Beauty is a fading flower."
  • Write a story inspired by this quote from Ally Condie: "Growing apart doesn't change the fact that for a long time we grew side by side; our roots will always be tangled. I'm glad for that."
  • Write a story that feels lonely, despite being set in a packed city.
  • Write a story that starts with two people saying goodbye.
  • Write about one character’s fundamental misunderstanding of another character’s job.

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

  • Character profile template (free resource) — All stories are character-driven, and it might be argued that this is especially true for sad stories. If you want to figure out what’s driving your character’s emotions, this free character profile template is here to help. 
  • How to Write Believable Dialogue that Develops Plot and Character (free course) — If your story requires your characters to navigate some difficult conversations about sadness, you may find this helpful. Dialogue is one of the most important writing tools that can drive character and plot. Let this free ten-day course show you how.  

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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