You may be aware that I continue to update my list of Competitions for Young Writers, as old competitions inch past their closing date and new ones come to my attention. The following creative prompts draw on some of the themes identifiied in the competitions open at the time of publishing this post.
Regardless of that, I hope you’ll find something to spark your creativity – and you don’t have to be a ‘young’ writer to benefit from them either.
1. Random Words
Choosing five random words is one of my go-tos if I’m stuck and need to trick my creativity into getting with the program. So, here’s five words to get you started.
Select one or more of the following images as the starting point for a piece of creative work.
The Dickinson Memorial Literary Competition (which has closed for this year) had freedom as its theme. Here’s a couple of questions to get you started.
As a teenager, I loved a good mystery novel (and still do). There’s currently a couple of competitions encouraging entries about crime and/or mysteries, and even if you miss the deadline on them, I’m sure there will be other opportunities for these sorts of stories.
5. Local History
I’m a big fan of local history because it often uncovers stories and events not yet found in the major history books. It can offer up wonderfully specific details that can be ‘borrowed’ for fiction projects, too.
For example, I recently heard a woman reminiscing about the Second World War in Perth, and showed me a photo of her father’s car with the headlights blacked out. I would never have known that detail about the headlights if she hadn’t pointed it out to me, and it will become a small but important detail in the historical novel I’m writing.
Red Room Poetry currently have a competition involving writing about a special object. If the following prompt appeals to you, you may also want to check out Red Room Poetry’s additional learning resources to develop your ideas further.
Provenance is defined as ‘the place of origin or earliest known history of something’.
My grandfather recently shared with me the story behind a painting hanging on his wall. He knew who the artist was, and where he bought the painting. He also shared with me how and why he came to own it. Not only was the artwork of significance to my grandfather because of its associated memories, but it now means much more to me because it’s story – or provenance – has been passed on to me.
Over to You
Which of these creative prompts appeal to you?
I’d love to hear how you go!