writing prompts

Sep 01

mzk1000 said: Hello. My students and I love your prompts. Are you still updating and adding new ones them as you used to?

I’ve been asked this question or some variation of it more than a few times in the last few weeks.

I’ll make you a deal and tell you a quick story.

Here’s the quick story …

I’d love to keep updating this site, but I’m really, really busy. Some of that busyness can be attributed to being so-close-I-can-taste-it to the end of a doctorate. I have a draft of the dissertation finished and one last class to take. The other night I estimated that I’ve written close to 2000 pages over the last three years, so you can probably imagine this tingly sense of elation I’m feeling at being so close to finishing. Maybe I’ll get back to this once I’m totally done with that endeavor. Maybe.

Some of it can also be attributed to starting a new job. For the first time in over a decade, I didn’t get a summer break, since I now work for my school district in an educational technology role. The job is a blast, but it also means that I have a massive To Do list that just won’t quit.

Meanwhile, I’ve been keeping track of prompts I’d like to make. I have a text file with over a thousand ideas in it. So, it’s not that I’ve run out of ideas. I’ve just run out of time to make them, at least for the time being.

So, here’s the deal. Even though I’m not in the classroom, I’d like to do my part to support students learning to love reading (this is actually what my dissertation is about). With that in mind, I’ve officially adopted three classrooms in my school district, and put a wish list of books together for them. This is the deal: for every book that gets donated to one of these classrooms, I’ll put a new prompt on the site. And if you have a specific request for a prompt that isn’t too crazy, let me know and I’ll make it happen (luke [dot] neff at gmail or @lukeneff on twitter).

As long as I’m here and writing things, I’ll add a few more thoughts.

I recently hired a company to go back through all the prompts and type them up in plain text. If you’d like to check out that spreadsheet, you can see it here. It’s probably not as fun as the site itself, since there are no pictures, but it might be worth your time. My next big project is to go through that list and tag each prompt as elementary, middle, or high, and with the Common Core standards it covers. Anyone want to help?

I’ve been getting some questions about how to get around the whole issue of Tumblr being blocked at different schools. I don’t have a great solution (and I understand why Tumblr is blocked… let’s be honest, there’s quite the range of available content on Tumblr). Maybe that spreadsheet will help. I also have a set of 300 of my favorite prompts in a PDF for sale, if that helps.

I’d also like to point out that John Spencer has really taken up the gauntlet on the fun writing prompts front. His Visual Writing Ideas are pretty great.

Also, apparently this link isn’t prominent anymore, so I should mention that writingprompts.tumblr.com/archive is a quick way to look at what’s on this site.

Jul 11

#806
"empathy is first of all an act of imagination"

#806

"empathy is first of all an act of imagination"

Jun 17

#805
Inner Scorecard
quote via Farnam Street

#805

Inner Scorecard

quote via Farnam Street

Jun 15

#804
micromort tracker?
[original idea in this tweet]
*if anyone makes a micromort app and becomes insanely rich off of it, please reward me for the idea by paying me a livable wage to sit around and make writing prompts all day… or for just over $10,000 you could buy my entire Amazon wish list for me.*

#804

micromort tracker?

[original idea in this tweet]

*if anyone makes a micromort app and becomes insanely rich off of it, please reward me for the idea by paying me a livable wage to sit around and make writing prompts all day… or for just over $10,000 you could buy my entire Amazon wish list for me.*

May 06

writingprompts:


449


This was today’s prompt in class. Students definitely got into it.

writingprompts:

449

This was today’s prompt in class. Students definitely got into it.

Apr 25

from the archives:

#746
Modern Pangea?

from the archives:

#746

Modern Pangea?

(Source: writingprompts, via lukescommonplacebook)

Apr 17

writingprompts:

567
disappearances

update on 4.17.2014: Tom Woodward spent some time looking into these numbers … 

writingprompts:

567

disappearances

update on 4.17.2014: Tom Woodward spent some time looking into these numbers … 

Apr 15

#803
"I knew terrible things."

#803

"I knew terrible things."

Mar 08

#802
"manipulation is at the core of our social interaction"

#802

"manipulation is at the core of our social interaction"

Mar 05

[video]

Mar 01

[video]

Feb 28

#801
back in time from a future dystopia

#801

back in time from a future dystopia

Feb 23

The Periodic Table of Storytelling

I think an excellent and challenging exercise for narrative writing would be to select at random a handful of elements from The Periodic Table of Storytelling* by James Harris. It’s wonderful:

[make sure to click through for the full version]

*fair warning to teachers: unfortunately, some of this is probably not quite safe for the classroom.

Feb 18

[video]

[video]