Creative writing prompts for teens
Invite your students to choose one of these creative writing prompts for teens. Options include describing a personal experience as if it were a movie, developing fun poems or stories, writing about their first name, creating a story using only one-syllable words, or exploring point of view.
1. Lights, Camera, Action!
What kind of year has it been for you? What events and experiences marked your most memorable moments? Write about an event as if it were a synopsis of a movie, choosing one of these famous film titles as the title of your own “movie.”
- For the Love of the Game
- Family Vacation
- Home Alone
- The Money Pit
- The Sound of Music
- Wreck-it Ralph
- Field of Dreams
- Despicable Me
- It Happened One Night
Keep in mind that your synopsis probably won’t follow the original movie’s storyline! For example, if you just went through the coldest winter in memory, you might pick Frozen as your movie title. If you backed your mom’s car into a fire hydrant, Wreck-it Ralph or Despicable Me could make a good choice.
2. Writer’s Choice
Choose List 1, 2, or 3. Write a poem or story that uses as many words from that list as possible.
- List 1: brick, alley, broom, kittens, nervous, window, slam
- List 2: red, swing, squeak, envelope, gust, photo, exhilarating
- List 3: forest, jeep, gate, key, blue, rickety, wild
3. A Rose by Any Other Name
Write about your first name, choosing one, some, or all of the following questions to help direct your writing.
- Do you think your name suits you? Explain why or why not.
- Is there a story behind your name? Have your parents ever explained how or why they chose it for you? Write about it.
- What does your name mean? Do you think the meaning fits your personality, nature, character, or gifts/talents?
- Do you sometimes wish you could choose a new name for yourself? If you had the chance, what would it be? Why would you choose it? What would you want this new name to say about you?
4. A “Short” Story
Using at least 10 words from each list below, describe a scene or situation. Try to capture emotions along with sensory details of sound, smell, and touch. Your challenge: every word you write may contain only one syllable!
- Nouns: boat, swamp, boots, light, hole, splash, eel, night, shore, boy, dock, wire, stick, rope, reeds, noise, dog, pail
- Verbs: fall, drop, steer, slosh, seize, hope, reach, grasp, turn, hide, glide, howl, shake, chase, yell, laugh, lurch, leak
5. Putting Things Into Perspective
Describe a place from an unusual point of view or vantage point, such as:
- Your bedroom or den from your fish’s viewpoint
- A winding mountain road from a car’s point of view
- Your neighborhood from a hawk’s vantage point
- Your backyard from your dog’s perspective
- A grocery store from the point of view of a loaf of bread
- Your refrigerator from the viewpoint of a wrinkled old apple
- Or, come up with your own idea!
Looking for more writing prompts? Check out our extensive collection on Writing Prompt Wednesdays. Most months, we feature a set of prompts just for teens!
Photo: Justien Van Zele, courtesy of Creative Commons