A Crumbling Bear

d80cd0372b8f868a99a873891116aec9In a secluded stretch of forest, there’s a crumbling bear statue. Local kids make up stories about where it came from.  Once upon a time, a man was frozen into a bear’s form after angering the bears of the forest. Another rumor says an old man sculpted magical forest creatures and died alone in his nearby cabin. What’s the real story?

Who’s your character in this story? The sculptor? The bears of the forest? A man or women casually wandering through? Start with 100 words and see where they take you. Don’t forget to share or let us know where we can see your take on it!

Haunting the Big City

fused-768774_640Every year, thousands of young people move to the big city in hopes of making a better life – more exciting, more money, big achievements – but for every one who succeeds, there are those who fail. Some move back home with their tails between their legs, others get married and head for an easier life in the suburbs, and some don’t live to tell their tales.

Imagine, for a moment a young woman who came to the city and never made it out.  What happened? Why did she go to the city? What was she hoping to achieve? How did it all go wrong?  Start with 100 words and see where it takes you. As always, be sure to share!

A Single Rose

creepy-720583_640Your character is in an opulent mansion filled with people. He or she is moving through the mansion (why?) and comes to a room at the end of a long hallway. Upon entering, there’s nothing in the room but a throne-like chair and a beautiful woman holding a single rose in her mouth.  What’s going on? Why is this woman in the room? Why is your character in the room? What happens next?

Start with a short 100 words on the scene, then decide if you want to take it bigger and make it part of a longer story. Feel free to share your story in the comments or leave a link to where you blogged it.

Well That’s…Awkward

the packageYou’ve recently begun seeing a person in your building.  This is convenient, but not without difficulties. One day, you receive a package and tear into it, thinking it’s something you’ve been eagerly awaiting. Instead, it’s something more embarrassing and personal – and as you open it and pull it out of the box, your new romantic interest walks by. What’s in the package? How does he or she respond?  Does it change the way you feel?

For extra fun, try not to envision this as part of a romantic story. Insert this scene into a murder mystery, or a thriller, or science fiction…that should shake things up a little.

As always, please share your stories!  We love to see what our writing prompts have inspired.


The Hawthorne Room

private dining room writing promptYou are waiting to enter your favorite restaurant when you overhear a man asking to be seated in the “Hawthorne Room”. Though you’ve been there many times, you’re not familiar with that room. You can’t even imagine where it might be, given that the entire restaurant is housed in one large dining room. As you approach the hostess, you ask if the Hawthorne Room has seating. What happens?

Start out with 100 words and see if you like where this writing prompt is taking you. Feel free to share your contribution (or a link to your story) in the comments.

Mystery in the Jungle

JungleAn anthropologist is working in the jungles of Africa, staying with a group of locals. All is going well, but one night she (or he) gets a phone call on her satellite phone. The next morning, she (or he) has disappeared without a trace.

What has happened? Where did she/he go? Do the locals notice or care? Does someone from “regular” life come looking for her/him? Are they surprised by the disappearance?  What kind of sinister business could an anthropologist have gotten involved with? Or is it completely innocent?

Give us 100 words on the topic, and keep going if it’s working for you. Feel free to share your pieces in the comments, or leave us a link to your blog where we can go read more!

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The Power of Food

A fruit torte I made for a cook-outFood creates memories unlike anything else. The smell, the taste, the person who made it – these things are all powerfully embedded in our minds. Holidays, special occasions, and even mundane everyday dishes will stick with us for a lifetime. You never know when you’ll be out to dinner or visiting someone and a food will trigger some dormant memory from childhood.

Think about a time this has happened for you. Imagine something like this happening to your character. What provokes the memory? What effect does that memory have on your character? Is it good? Bad? Sad?

Start with 100 words, and please feel free to share your response to the writing prompt in the comments.

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The Amnesiac Opens a Business

White House Hotel  (LOC)The year is 1900, and your character has amnesia. The only thing he knows is that he wants to start over in a new town and open a business. What difficulties does your character face? What kind of business does he open? A daycare? A hair salon franchise? A brewery? Without a strong memory of the past, does he open a business his time period can barely imagine? Or does he stick with something more traditional?

Tell the story of your character’s attempts to rebuild his life, and the interesting obstacles he faces. Give us the first 100 words in the comments, or blog your story and let us know where we can go to read it.

Through a New Lens…

Crystal CastlesOne day you wake up to find that your eyes are different. Instead of the vision you’re accustomed to, you find that the entire world appears as it would if you were looking through a crystal or clear marble.

How did it happen? Do you know? Is it a mystery to be discovered?  How does this new vision change your life? Are there any outward physical signs of the change? It’s less of an impediment than blindness, but still very much a nuisance – or is there any upside to the change? Explore the topic in a short piece.

Feel free to share your writing here in the comments – or share a link to your site where you’ve posted a piece in response.

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Accident at the Carnival

The Cyclone (History)There were dozens of witnesses. Everyone had seen the body fall from the roller coaster that night, but no one could actually find the body.

What possible explanation would make sense of this unusual occurrence? Is it supernatural? Does the park have a procedure in place for handling those unfortunate accidents? Was it all just a prank?

Start off with 100 words and see where this writing prompt takes you. You can write the story from any perspective – that of an onlooker, an investigator, or even the victim…or something different entirely. Just see where your mind goes…