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Category Archives: Short Stories

12 Short Story Writing Prompts That Will Get You Writing Fast | Writer’s Relief

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Need ideas for your next short story? Sometimes, clever ideas and inspiration for short stories flow abundantly—other times, not so much. If you’re ready to write but find yourself staring at a blank page or empty computer screen, Writer’s Relief can help you give your muse a quick kick in the seat of the pants. Here are free short story writing prompts and exercises that will get you back to writing—fast!

And if you want to boost your odds of getting your short stories published in reputable literary journals, the submission experts at Writer’s Relief are ready to help!

Quick, Creative Writing Prompts For Short Stories

  1. The dual perspectives of royalty and servants from any period of history in any part of the world.
  2. A mash-up of steampunk and psychedelia—groovy flower power and giant iron warships, perhaps?
  3. The simple life of a person living in the mountains made chaotic by the arrival of family from the city.
  4. Use these three words in your first paragraph: melancholia, iceberg, and junkyard.
  5. You’ve found a hidden record of every conversation you’ve had in your life. How? Why?
  6. Your most embarrassing moment—written in the third person.
  7. A night that features a 150-year-old comet, blueberry tea, and a tidbit of local history.
  8. A conversation between two ghosts as they observe the living.
  9. A deep-sea diving experience in which the main character has an existential crisis.
  10. Two city dwellers spot each other while looking out the windows in the high-rise buildings they work in. One day, one of them holds up a sign in the window for the other to read.
  11. An unexpected showdown in an unassuming place.
  12. Every morning another abandoned car is found outside your front door. The police are baffled.

Bonus Writing Prompts

Here are a few writing prompts created using WriterIgniter.com. Click “shuffle” and get a three-word writing prompt! Here are a few examples:

A taxi driver with a lucky penny gets a cryptic letter.

A dog walker loses everything in an underground passageway.

Someone unlucky in love loses a bet.

A lab assistant with a dark secret accidentally steals something priceless.

The best man has a novelty alarm clock—and a secret crush.

Other Ways To Jump-Start Your Creativity

In addition to writing prompts, you can try freewriting. You might also set a timer, since sometimes a self-imposed deadline helps shake loose your writer’s block logjam of ideas. The important thing is to write something—anything! Don’t worry about punctuation or grammar right now: You can edit later. Before you know it, you’ll have 3,500 or so words in place, and your short story will be written!

 

Question: What’s your most effective way to beat writer’s block and start writing?

8 Things Literary Magazine Editors Love To See In Short Stories Right Now | Writer’s Relief

Wondering what kinds of short stories literary magazine editors are publishing right now? We have the answer! At Writer’s Relief, we track thousands of literary journals and hundreds of short story submissions every year, and we’re always keeping an eye on short story trends. We know the elements literary editors love to see in short… Continue Reading

5 New Ways To Publish A Short Story Collection (And Why You Might Want To Wait) |Writer’s Relief

If you’ve written (and published in literary journals) enough short stories that you now feel ready to publish a collection, Writer’s Relief can lead you in the right direction on the path to success. We know some great new routes that will make the bumpy road to publishing your collection a lot smoother! Check out… Continue Reading

8 Signs Your Short Story Would Also Make A Great Novel | Writer’s Relief

You may have typed “The End” on your completed short story—but at Writer’s Relief, we know that sometimes the story is actually just beginning. After spinning your tale in 3,500 words or fewer, it’s time to proofread and edit. And as you reread your short story, you may find yourself thinking: Hmmmm…this might make a… Continue Reading

How To Submit Short Stories And Poems To Literary Journals | Writer’s Relief

Updated 8/26/19 You’ve written, rewritten, proofed, and polished your short story or poetry. Now comes the part that leaves many writers quaking in their boots—getting your work published. It’s time to submit your writing to literary journals! Initially, literary magazines favored the print format; so did writers. But these days, Writer’s Relief knows that savvy… Continue Reading



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