Want creative prompts with the highest change of leading to a publishable story? Try these writing prompts that are drawn from the most popular genres!

Write a story about a character trying to find meaning after an apocalypse has destroyed their world 

One of the most enduring and popular genres is the post apocalyptic genre! Start writing about the things that make life worth living after an apocalypse! 

Write a story about an ordinary person who discovers they have magical powers

From Harry Potter to Star Wars, this prompt has led to some of the most highly praised stories ever written! 

Write a story about a person who is alone in an isolated place

Robinson Crusoe, the story of a man on a desert island, was so popular that it sparked its own genre of literature called the Robinsonade. Think of films like Castaway. Wilson! 

Write a story about a piece of new technology that changes the world forever! 

Sci-Fi is usually about how technology can radically alter the human experience, and yet at the end of the day no matter where human beings find themselves, the core human emotional experience is still the same. Think about how warp drive, or light speed, altered the nature of human reality! 

Write a story about the most important moment in history

Historical fiction is an enduring genre that is very popular, and often wins lots of awards! Find the moment in history that interests you the most, and bring it to life for a whole new generation! 

Write a story about a love so powerful that it alters lives forever

Love and desire can be so fierce that lives are forever changed. Think Romeo and Juliet. What happens if you take this to the extreme? What is the fiercest love? 

Write a story about someone who will never give up until they get revenge 

The revenge genre has been popular since the first stories were told, and these tales will never go out of style. From Hamlet, to Taken, find a character who has every right to seek revenge, and follow them on that journey! 

Write a story that shows what growing up was really like for you!

Many writers start in the coming of age genre, because it’s a great chance to get your own experience of life down on the page! No two people’s experiences are the same, and no two moments in history are the same, so don’t be afraid to tell your story! 

Write a story about an astonishing moment of beauty during a battle

From the earliest times (e.g. Homer) war stories have fascinated humankind. What we often most enjoy are the moments of beauty amongst all the horror, confirming that war portrays humanity at both its best and worst (check out the film Hacksaw Ridge). 

Write a story about the true impact of spying

Spy stories are riveting because of all the action and mystery they contain! But they also allow us to examine the human experience under extreme strain. Show us why a spy does what they do, and how it makes them feel. 

Ol Adams

Letter Review is currently edited by Ol Adams, who is a PhD candidate in Creative Writing, casual academic, and guest lecturer at the University of New South Wales. Ol Adams has had short stories published in leading literary journals such as Overland, Southerly, Seizure, and TEXT. Ol has had novels long listed for major awards such as the KYDUMA, has received government funding to produce plays from Create NSW and screenplays from Screen NSW, and has performed / produced professional work at major theatrical venues such as the Sydney Opera House.