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Vibrant Teaching

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20 Prompts for Narrative Writing That Spark Creativity


Using prompts for narrative writing motivates kids and gets them excited to write. Read on to learn more about narrative writing, mentor texts, ideas, and assessments. Plus you will find 20 fun prompts for narrative and personal narrative writing. These will be sure to spark student’s creativity and imagination!

What’s Narrative Writing?

Narrative writing tells a story using a beginning, middle, and end.  It includes elements such as characters, setting, problem, and solution.  The author’s purpose is usually to entertain or teach a lesson.  Narrative writing can be fact or fiction but the process is the same.  When it’s a real story from the author’s life, it is considered a personal narrative.  

Examples for Narrative Writing

There are so many wonderful examples of narrative writing.  Some are even written as personal narratives.  Below you will find a list of mentor texts for elementary school.  It’s helpful to immerse students in the genre before and during a narrative writing unit.  These books model different strategies that kids can try in their writing.

Narrative Writing Mentor Texts:

  • Owl Moon by Jane Yolen
  • Come on, Rain! by Karen Hesse
  • Those Shoes by Maribeth Boelts
  • Fireflies! by Julie Brinckloe
  • Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems
  • Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall
  • Enemy Pie by Derek Munson
  • Blackout by John Rocco


Narrative Writing Teaching

There are many features to include in narrative writing, but it depends on the grade level being taught.  For the lower grades, it’s important to start with the concept of beginning, middle, and end written in sequential order.  Then you can expand to the introduction, body, and conclusion using details.  Other important elements are character, setting, problem, and solution.  As the student’s abilities increase the number of sentences will grow and expand to paragraphs.

For the older grades, you can introduce plot structure.  It follows the beginning, middle, and end format but on a higher level.  This story arc includes exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution.  Use the diagram below to see how these features overlap.

Plot Structure


Topics for Narrative Writing

The possibilities are endless when it comes to narrative writing ideas.  Kids can create a fiction piece or write about an experience in their life.  Check out some writing prompt ideas below for narrative and personal narrative writing. You might also like this blog post about opinion writing prompts: 20 Prompts for Opinion Writing That Motivate Kids

Writing Prompts for Narratives

  • I was taking my friend’s picture in front of the volcano when all of a sudden . . .  
  • What if you were given 3 wishes but couldn’t use them on yourself.  Tell a story about what you would wish for and why.
  • Write a story called, “The Luckiest Day of My Life.”
  • Imagine you went to the zoo and could take home any animal for the day.  Tell a story about your time together.
  • Write a silly story that uses these words: airplane, grapes, elephant, and book.
  • You have just been shrunk down to the size of an ant.  Write a story including the good and bad things about being so small.
  • Think about your favorite character from a book.  Tell a story about getting to meet them for the first time.
  • What would happen if you lived during a time when there was no electricity?  Write a story about your school day.
  • Finish this story: The pirates set sail on their ship in search of . . .
  • Suppose you were teacher for a day.  Write a story about the changes you would make.


Writing Prompts for Personal Narratives

  • Have you ever been so proud of yourself for learning something new?  Write a story about a time this happened.
  • Write a story about a time you felt your heart race.  What happened and how were you feeling at the end?
  • What was your most memorable vacation?  Tell a story from part of that trip and why it stands out in your mind.
  • Have you ever done something you knew would get you in big trouble?  Write a story about a time this happened and how you felt about it.
  • Write a story about the strangest thing that has ever happened to you.  Why was it so unusual?
  • What was your most memorable moment from this year?  Write a story telling why it’s so special.
  • Tell a story about a time when you were so excited and couldn’t wait for an event to happen.
  • Write a small moment story about a time you had with your favorite person.
  • Write about a time that you lost something important.  Tell whether or not you found it.
  • Think about the worst day you ever had.  What made it so terrible and did it get better by the end?


Rubrics for Narrative Writing

I often hear from teachers that one of the most difficult parts of teaching writing is how to assess it.  Assessments should be accurate and helpful for both the student and teacher.  When it comes to narrative writing, there are many different approaches.  Some teachers prefer to do a more informal assessment for daily writing pieces and then a formal assessment for the final copy.  Informal assessments can be completed with written comments or student-teacher conferences.

It would be very difficult to use a rubric for every narrative writing a student completes in their notebook.  Instead, most teachers prefer to choose one to three writing pieces to assess with a rubric.  These assessments are ideal for benchmarks, progress reports, and report cards.  Below you will find three types of narrative writing rubrics.  Check out this blog post to learn more about student-friendly, teacher-friendly, and time-saving rubrics: 3 Types of Writing Rubrics for Effective Assessments


Narrative writing enables kids to be creative and use their imagination. They can write a fiction story or about a real event from their life. Writing prompts are a helpful tool to get kids engaged and ready to get started. Did you grab your Free Writing Prompt Guide yet? I love using prompts for morning work, writing time, centers, or as a homework assignment. The possibilities are endless! Be sure to try these prompts for narrative writing with your students!

Genre Based Prompts


Related Articles:

  • 20 Prompts for Opinion Writing That Motivate Kids
  • What is Narrative Writing
  • A Complete Guide to Narrative Writing
  • Personal Narrative Writing for Elementary School
  • Narrative Writing: How to Teach a Story Arc That’s as Exciting as a Roller Coaster

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Angela Sutton

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20+ quick writing prompts for students

Boost student writing with these quick-start writing prompts.

Quick writing prompts examples:

  • Imagine that we lost all electricity, water, and gas for a month without any time to prepare. Write about how your life would change and how you would survive.
  • Can honesty honestly be bad?  Write about someone, fact or fiction, who gets in trouble for being too truthful.
  • What animal lives beneath your human skin?  A mouse? A cougar? Or what? Explain with writing.
  • Ernest Hemingway said to “write hard and clear about what hurts.” Write about something that hurts, whether it’s an emotional, physical, or phantom pain.
  • William Shakespeare wrote that: “Conversation should be pleasant without scurrility, witty without affectation, free without indecency, learned without conceitedness, novel without falsehood.” Write your thoughts about conversation, or make up dialogue between two characters who are meeting each other for the first time in an unexpected place.
  • Maya Angelou said “I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way s/he handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.” Tell a story in which a character has to deal with one, two, or all three of these scenarios. How does your character respond?
  • Pick two characters from different books you’ve read this year and have them get in an argument about something (e.g., who has suffered more, who has had a happier life, etc.).
  • Write a scene that happens in a parking lot between a teenager and a man in a convertible.
  • What if your pet could only talk to you at midnight for an hour?
  • Imagine that you are an astronaut who has been doing research on the moon for three years. You are going to go back to earth in a week when nuclear war breaks out on earth. You watch the earth explode. Then what?
  • Imagine a moral dilemma (for example, you see someone shoplift or a friend tells a blatant lie to her parents about where she was last night) and explain what you would do and why you would do it.
  • Review an obituary, birth, or a section from the police record or classified ads section of a local newspaper. Choose one and tell the story behind it.
  • Rewrite “The Tale of the Three Little Pigs” by using people that you know as the pigs and the wolf.
  • A blue trash can, a red picture frame, a teddy bear with the stuffing falling out, and a padlock. Put these four items somewhere in a story, scene, or poem.
  • Pick a family member or two and write about his or her reputation in your family, or tell a family legend.
  • Write about your own worst family vacation memory.
  • Write about your best family vacation memory.
  • Think of a person from your past who really deserved a good scolding but never got one.  Write a fictional piece where you tell that person off intelligently.
  • You have a chance to go back and completely re-do an event in your life. What is it, and how do you change it? What is the outcome? This can be a real or fictional event.
  • Write about the biggest mistake you made this week. Now write about the best thing you did this week.
  • Sometimes we find ourselves in situations that force us to face our deepest fears. Tell about a time when you had to face one of your greatest fears—or make up the story.
  • There is a saying that you should be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it. Describe a time when you wished for something and got it—and then wished you hadn’t—or make up a story in which this happens to the character.
  • As the saying goes, “rules are meant to be broken.” Tell about a time when you broke the rules and what happened as a result.

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Home / Book Writing / Narrative Writing Prompts: 50+ Ideas for Your Literary Masterpiece

Narrative Writing Prompts: 50+ Ideas for Your Literary Masterpiece

Narrative writing is the style of writing used in fiction and creative nonfiction, such as memoirs. It's the telling of a story, with a beginning, middle, and end. As such, becoming proficient at narrative writing is essential if you want to make a living writing.

Even if you want to write only as a hobby, you'll need to be more than passingly familiar with this kind of writing. Luckily, this article will help you do just that. First, we'll discuss a bit more about narrative writing, then dive into some narrative writing prompts to get the ideas flowing.

  • Kinds of narrative writing.
  • Who narrative writing prompts are for.
  • List of narrative writing prompts.

Table of contents

  • Different Types of Narrative Writing
  • Who Should Use Narrative Writing Prompts?
  • Linear Narrative Prompts
  • Non-Linear Narrative Prompts
  • Viewpoint Narrative
  • Descriptive Narrative
  • Finding Your Market Niche

There are several types of narrative writing that are used in fiction and some nonfiction books. The most common type is the linear narrative, in which the story progresses in a logical manner. Most fiction is of the linear narrative type .

There's also the non-linear narrative, in which the story jumps around through time. A couple of well-known non-linear story examples include movies such as Pulp Fiction , Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind , and Memento .

Then you have the viewpoint narrative, in which the story is written from the narrator's point of view. Memoirs are examples of viewpoint narrative works, but there are also many first-person point-of-view works of fiction.

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Finally, you have the descriptive narrative, in which a scene, person, place, or thing is described with detailed description using the five senses. A good story will contain enough description to immerse the reader in the story.

We've grouped the creative writing prompts below according to these narrative types. You can pick a prompt from each and get writing, or you can choose only ones that are interesting/pertinent to whatever work-in-progress you're currently involved with.

But before we get to the prompts, do you really need to practice narrative writing?

Whether you're a middle school or high school student, a young writer or an old hand, practicing your craft can only help your writing. While it's true you may remember narrative writing exercises from your elementary school days (no matter how long ago they were), that doesn't mean these exercises can't help you today.

The best writers work on their craft constantly. Like anything else, writing skills need to be sharpened and honed. And one of the best ways to do that is through the various types of narrative writing.

Narrative writing prompts can also help you overcome writer's block so you can get back to writing, whether it's a horror story or a narrative essay. Getting the creative gears turning is great for overcoming creative blocks.

So it doesn't matter where you are in your writing career, narrative writing prompts can help!

Narrative Writing Prompts

These prompts provide a fun way to sharpen your writing skills. You can choose one narrative prompt at a time, or work on multiple to really make things interesting.

Make sure to include a beginning, middle, and end for these linear prompts. They should tell a story in which the main character has to solve a problem or overcome some obstacle , whether physically, emotionally, or both.

1. Write a short story about a fantasy character who gets stuck in our world and has to find their way back home.

2. Write a scene in which a kid has to get home for dinner across a treacherous landscape and through a gauntlet of imaginary monsters and evil sorcerers.

3. Pick three tropes from your favorite writing genre and use them to inform your story. (Example: Horror story (genre), vampires, mad scientist, and a questionable ally.)

4. Write about a character who goes on a blind date that either goes really well or really poorly.

5. Write about a character who wants nothing more than to ride a Ferris wheel, but has a phobia of balloons.

6. Write about an art thief going to great lengths to steal a piece of art.

7. Write about a police officer who must talk someone out of doing something drastic and terrible.

8. Write a scene about a woman meeting a date at a coffee shop and running into her ex.

9. Write about a woman who must brave a violent storm to get home to her children.

10. Write a story detailing a harrowing visit to another country.

Get creative with these prompt ideas. Non-linear narrative prompts are often told from multiple perspectives and/or through the use of epistolary means (i.e. letters, journal entries, news reports, etc.).

11. Write about a fictional character through ripped-out pages from a journal that another character finds.

12. Write a story about a group of friends who go camping and end up getting assaulted by strange creatures. But piece the story together from the point of view of two or more characters.

13. Recount the end of a relationship from the POV of the two participants. Is there a misunderstanding at work, or do both people have the exact same story about why the relationship ended?

14. Write about a family who experiences an earthquake in different parts of the city.

15. Write a scene in which a cop and a criminal are matching wits in an interview room.

16. Start with the end of a story you know well, and then write it backward.

17. Write a story about a character with amnesia who remembers events out of order.

18. Explore a major historical event through the eyes of fictional characters who were “there.”

19. Start in the middle of a story about a long journey, then use flashbacks to fill in essential plot elements.

20. Using an unreliable narrator , tell the story of a disastrous music festival.

Viewpoint narrative can be completely made up or a product of your own personal experience. You can always combine fiction and personal narrative for a great writing exercise . If you're having trouble with writer's block , then the following prompts may be the easiest way to get your writing back on track.

21. What's your favorite memory from childhood? Write it down in as much detail as possible.

22. What's the proudest moment of your life so far? Use it as a starting point to craft a scene in which the moment gets even better.

23. What drew you to creative writing? Describe what inspired you to become a writer.

24. Think back to a day in 7th grade when you had a great day. Describe the day and what made it so great.

25. Write a comedic scene about your family on vacation.

26. Have you ever broken the law? Don't answer that. Instead, write a fictional story in which you do break the law.

27. Think of a famous person who gives you inspiration. Write about what you would do if you ever met them.

28. Write about what you would do on your dream vacation.

29. Write a short story about becoming a superhero.

30. Write a story from the viewpoint of a fictional character planning something nefarious.

31. Write a romantic story about meeting the love of your life.

32. Write a journal entry from the viewpoint of a character who has just accomplished their biggest goal.

33. Write a story about a day in the life of someone from a different cultural background.

34. Write a personal narrative in which you become a professional athlete in your favorite sport.

35. Write a story in which you're a rock star or a movie star.

36. Write a story from the POV of a character struggling to change the world for the better.

37. Write a first-person story about a police officer cracking the big case.

38. Write about a time you tried and failed at something. Explore your feelings and the aftermath.

39. Write about the weirdest thing that's ever happened to you.

40. Write about a near-death experience you've had.

In descriptive narrative, plot is secondary. It's more about getting the details down using all five senses . This can really help strengthen your fiction writing by helping readers feel immersed in the world of your story.

41. Describe a haunted house in detail.

42. Describe a fantasy creature you've made up or one from existing lore.

43. Write about the neighborhood park, including people who frequent it.

44. Write about a breathtaking building you've always liked.

45. Write about a landfill.

46. Write about a fantasy world in which dragons, demons, and elves exist.

47. Write about a building you're intimately familiar with.

48. Write about a spooky forest.

49. Write about a person (either real or fictional) without leaving any details out.

50. Describe the most beautiful sunset or vista you've ever seen.

While most of these writing prompts are mere exercises to strengthen your writing, you may find that they result in a story idea or two. So whether you use them as journal prompts for creative, stream-of-consciousness writing or as a way to come up with stories doesn't really matter. What matters is the writing activity you get out of them. Each hour you spend writing (and not just staring at the screen or surfing social media) adds to the 10,000 hours it takes to become an expert at something.

But what do you do when you want to put your writing out into the world? Well, if you want to make some money from your craft, you'll need to find the right market for your work.

Just as getting to know your characters is important for writing a good story, getting to know your market niche is essential for getting your story in front of readers . There are a couple of ways to do this, but only one that leaves you more time for actual writing. And that means using Publisher Rocket , made by the team here at Kindlepreneur.

With Publisher Rocket, you can get data in seconds that would otherwise take you hours if you were to comb through Amazon yourself. The main PR tools allow you to:

  • Learn what keywords Amazon customers use to search for books like yours — and how many searches a given keyword (or phrase) receives per month.
  • See what's working for other authors in your genre with data on book price, monthly sales, ranking, and book cover styles.
  • Find niche categories with the right amount of demand and competition for your books.
  • Gather keywords to use in your Amazon Ad campaigns.

Check out Publisher Rocket here to learn more.

Dave Chesson

When I’m not sipping tea with princesses or lightsaber dueling with little Jedi, I’m a book marketing nut. Having consulted multiple publishing companies and NYT best-selling authors, I created Kindlepreneur to help authors sell more books. I’ve even been called “The Kindlepreneur” by Amazon publicly, and I’m here to help you with your author journey.

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The best narrative writing prompts

Writing about yourself can be tricky. Where do you start in your personal narrative? How do you express yourself? What should you write about when it's that personal? Enter narrative writing prompts. These prompts can give you some starting ideas for a story, fuel your memory, and bring your experience to life.

The best part is that you can start narrative writing from any angle: in the mood to write about food today? Go for it. What if you have a lot of thoughts about a particular movie or book you just experienced? Please write it down, starting now! Whether you're a teacher in school guiding students through the art of the personal narrative or a writer simply trying to piece together an essay, these narrative writing prompts are for you.

If you're looking to cut to the chase, here's a top ten list of our favorite narrative writing prompts:

  • "The apple doesn't fall far from the tree!" You've heard this all your life, and you're starting to hate it.
  • Write a story about a mistake that results in wonderful consequences.
  • Write a story about someone forced out of their home.
  • Write a story about someone returning to their craft after a long hiatus.
  • Write a story about someone who defies social conventions.
  • Write about somebody who knows they’re probably going to fail at something, but does it anyway.
  • Write about someone grappling with a specific insecurity.
  • Write about someone making a seemingly inconsequential decision that turns out to have enormous consequences.
  • Your house is on fire and you're able to save one photograph. What would it be?
  • Tell a story through a shopping list.

If you’re interested in becoming a personal narrative author, check out our free resources on the topic:

How to Write a Memoir (blog post) — Wondering how to turn your narrative short story into a full-blown memoir that you can publish? This comprehensive guide has you covered with a step-by-step article on how outline, research, market, and write a memoir. Take a deep dive into the booming market for memoirs and learn what goes into such a book proposal today!

The Non-Sexy Business of Writing Non-Fiction (free course) — Many people have an idea for a nonfiction book they want to write. But very few of them actually become published authors — simply because it’s much harder to write a book than it sounds. In this ten-day course, publishing coach Azul Terronez will help you become one of those select few writers who finish their nonfiction books by walking you through the common writing mistakes to avoid, what to ask yourself before getting started, and how to get through the writing process.

Ready to start writing? Check out Reedsy’s weekly short story contest for the chance of winning $250! You can also check out our list of writing contests or our directory of literary magazines for more opportunities to submit your story.


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narrative writing prompt examples

Narrative Writing Prompts to Assign Your Students

Narrative Writing Prompts to Assign Your Students

While I am a huge advocate of assigning writing to students at the beginning of the school year , middle school ELA and high school English teachers can assign narrative writing at any point in the year.

Teaching students about narrative writing and assigning a narrative writing project helps students work on their creativity, while also focusing on important literary elements. I explain to my students that just like the short stories that we read and analyze in class, they also need to create a setting that enhances the lot. Just like the short stories we read and analyze in class, they also need to fully develop the protagonist and antagonist. Once students see this connection, they become stronger readers and writers. To help with this concept, my narrative writing teaching unit helps walk students step-by-step throughout the process.

Here are 10 narrative writing prompts to consider using in your classroom.

Personal Narrative Writing Prompts for the Secondary ELA Classroom

Personal Narrative Prompts

When I choose one of these personal narrative writing prompts, since I teach high school, I also explain to my students that they most likely will be able to use some of what they’ve written for a college admissions essay or scholarship essay.

  • Write about a time when you worked hard toward accomplishing a goal. Tell the story about the goal, why you set the goal, the steps you took to accomplish the goal, and how you felt once it was accomplished.
  • Write about the accomplishment you are most proud of. In your narrative, explain your accomplishment, describe why you are most proud of it, and tell the story surrounding it.
  • Write about a time when you experienced hardship or failure. In your narrative, elaborate on the hardship. Explain the events and your feelings surrounding the hardship or failure, and how you have grown from the experience.
  • Write about your best childhood memory. In your narrative, tell the story of that memory.
  • Write about an event from your past that has shaped the person who you are today. In your narrative, tell the story surrounding that event and explain its significance on who you are today.

Fictional Narrative Writing Prompts for the Secondary ELA Classroom

Fictional Narrative Prompts

For these fictional narrative writing prompts, I like to provide my students with a start of the story and then see where they go with it. To ensure that students write a complete story, they will have a checklist of items they need to include. Also, in order to help students write better narratives, it is important to make sure you write better prompts for your students .

  • The day started out like any other. However, as soon as I woke up, I quickly realized…
  • Two characters explore an area in a field. During their explorations, they find a secret passage, a sort of tunnel to a new dimension. The characters step into the tunnel and are immediately transported to…
  • Choose your favorite fictional character from any fairy tale or superhero story and write an alternate story for that character.
  • The clock was tickly so slowly. It seemed as if time was moving backward and now forwards…
  • Cautiously, she/he/they opened the door and stepped inside. There was no going back now…

Hopefully, with these writing prompts, your next narrative teaching unit will be a huge hit!

Narrative Writing Prompts for the Secondary ELA Classroom

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Student Opinion

525 Prompts for Narrative and Personal Writing

Questions that invite students to write about themselves, their lives and their beliefs.

narrative writing prompt examples

By The Learning Network

Updated with 80 new prompts from the 2022-23 school year!

We’ve been posting fresh writing prompts every school day for over a decade now, and every so often we create a themed collection like this one to help you find what you need all in one place.

Below, we’ve rounded up 525 evergreen questions to encourage you to write about your life. They cover everything from family, friendships and growing up to gender, spirituality, money, school and more. (They’re also all available here as a clickable PDF .)

We hope they’ll inspire you, whether you’re entering our related 100-Word Personal Narrative Contest this fall, or just want to improve your writing skills. Like all our Student Opinion questions , each links to a related Times article, which is free to read if you access it from our site.

So dive in and pick the questions that motivate you to tell an interesting story, describe a memorable event, observe the details in your world, imagine a possibility, or reflect on who you are and what you believe.

Overcoming Adversity

1. How Mentally Tough Are You? 2. What Is the Bravest Thing You’ve Ever Done? 3. When Have You Made the Best of a Difficult Situation? 4. How Have You Gotten Over Disappointment? 5. How Do You Get Over Rejection? 6. How Do You Deal With Self-Doubt? 7. How Resilient Are You? 8. What Do You Gain From Pursuing Something You Do Really, Really Badly? 9. How Do You Handle Fear? 10. Are You Too Hard on Yourself? 11. How Do You Silence Your Inner Critic? 12. Have You Ever Experienced ‘Impostor Syndrome’? 13. Have You Ever Benefited From Rejection? 14. Do You Give Yourself Enough Credit for Your Own Successes? 15. How Do You Overcome Your Fears? 16. Stress, Worry and Anxiety Are All Different. How Do You Cope With Each? 17. How Do You Cope With Grief? 18. How Do You Make Hard Decisions? 19. Have You Ever Quit Something? 20. Have You Ever Felt as if You Didn’t Belong? 21. When Has Starting Over Worked for You? 22. When Have You Reinvented Yourself? 23. Do You Find It Hard to Let Other People Help You? 24. Have You Ever Felt Like an Outsider? 25. Do You Appreciate When Celebrities Share Their Struggles? 26. Have You Ever Worried About Making a Good First Impression? 27. Have You Ever Felt Pressure to ‘Sell Your Pain’?

Your Personality

28. Are You an Optimist or a Pessimist? 29. How Competitive Are You? 30. Do You Like Spending Time Alone? 31. Are You a Good Person? 32. Are You a Perfectionist? 33. Do You Hold Grudges? 34. Do You Seek Out New Experiences? Or Stick With the Things You Know and Love? 35. How Do You Express Yourself Creatively? 36. What Animal Are You Most Like? 37. Are You a Patient Person? 38. Are You a Worrier? 39. Are You a Risk-Taker? 40. How Do You Handle Boredom? 41. How Well Do Rewards and Incentives Work to Motivate You? 42. How Good Are You at Judging Your Own Talents? 43. Are You a Procrastinator? 44. Do You Suffer From ‘Task Paralysis’? 45. Do You Feel Joy at Others’ Success? 46. What Role Does Envy Play in Your Life? 47. How Do You Like to Be Comforted When You Are Sad? 48. How Easy — or Hard — Is It for You to Say No When You Want To? 49. Are You More of a Leader or a Follower? 50. How Well Do You Read Other People? 51. Are You Good at Giving Gifts? 52. Do You Complain Too Much, Too Little or Just the Right Amount? 53. How Would You Rate Your Listening Skills and Those of the People Around You? 54. Do You Prefer to Dwell in the Past, Live in the Present or Dream of the Future? 55. What Makes You Cringe? 56. What Disgusts You? 57. Are You Easily Distracted? 58. How Punctual Are You? 59. Are You a Good Conversationalist? 60. How Emotionally Intelligent Are You? 61. Are You an Orchid, a Tulip or a Dandelion?

Hobbies & Interests

62. What Are Your Hobbies? 63. What Is Your Passion? 64. How Do You Spend Your Downtime? 65. How Do You Have Fun? 66. What Would You Choose to Do If You Had Unlimited Free Time and No Restrictions? 67. What Activities Make You Feel Most Alive? 68. What Big Project Do You Hope to Accomplish Someday? 69. What Work, Sport or Pastime Do You Like to Do at Night? 70. What Seemingly Mundane Feats Have You Accomplished? 71. What Have You Made This Year? 72. What Do You Collect? 73. Which Fandoms Are You In? 74. What Competition Do You Think You Could Win? 75. What Is Something You Want to Try, Even Though Others Might Think It’s Weird? 76. Are There Activities You Used to Love That Are Now So Competitive They’re Not Fun Anymore? 77. What Would You Recommend That Is ‘Overlooked and Underappreciated’? 78. What New Innovations and Discoveries in STEM Intrigue You?

79. What Are the Little Rituals That Keep You Going? 80. What Are Your Best Life Hacks? 81. What Ordinary Moments Would You Include in a Video About Your Life? 82. What Habits Do You Have, and Have You Ever Tried to Change Them? 83. Do You Wish You Had a Different Morning Routine? 84. Does Your Life Ever Feel Too Busy? 85. How Can You Tell a Story About Your Life Right Now Through a Few Simple Numbers? 86. What Is Your Secret to a Happy Life? 87. What’s Your Sunday Routine? 88. What Slang Words Do You Use? 89. How Often Do You Treat Yourself to Something Special? 90. How Often Do You Just ‘Hang Out’ With Others? 91. What Are You Grateful For? 92. Where Do You Find Peace and Quiet? 93. Do You Spend Enough Time With Other People? 94. Do You Talk to Yourself? 95. Is Clutter a Problem in Your Life? 96. How Do You Remember What You Need to Remember? 97. When and For What Reasons Do You Seek Silence? 98. How Do You Greet Your Friends and Family? 99. What Is the Most Wholesome Thing You’ve Seen Lately?

Home & Community

100. Who Are the ‘Characters’ That Make Your Town Interesting? 101. If You Made a Mixtape for Your Hometown, What Sounds and Songs Would You Include? 102. What Do the Types of Dogs in Your Neighborhood Say About Where You Live? 103. What Are Your Hometown’s Shortcomings? 104. Do You Have a Favorite Local Hangout? 105. After Home and School, Where Do You Find the Strongest Feeling of Community? 106. What Grievances Do You Have With Your Local Community? 107. Who in Your Community Might Be Interesting to Interview? 108. What Role Do Parks Play in Your Life? 109. What Role Do Trees Play in Your Neighborhood? 110. How Diverse Is Your Community? 111. How Do You Come Together With Your Community? 112. What Is Unique About Your Hometown? 113. What’s Your Favorite Local Business? 114. Do You Wish You Had the Go-to House? 115. Do You Think You Might Like Communal Living When You’re an Adult? 116. Do You Have Enough Access to Places Where You Can Play and Exercise? 117. What Do the Objects in Your Home Say About You?

118. How Do You Define ‘Family’? 119. Who Is in Your Chosen Family? 120. How Well Do You Get Along With Your Siblings? 121. How Well Do Your Parents Deal With Sibling Conflicts? 122. Do You Have a Family Motto or Creed? 123. How Much Do You Know About Your Family’s History? 124. Where Would You Visit To Find Out More About Your Family’s Past? 125. What Is a Meaningful Family Relationship That You Have? 126. What Is Your Relationship Like With Your Grandparents and Elders? 127. Do You Have Any Family Heirlooms?

Parents & Parenting

128. How Involved Are Your Parents in Your Life? 129. How Similar Are You to the Adults Who Raised You? 130. Do You Push Your Parents’ Buttons? 131. How Do You Get What You Want From Your Parents? 132. Do Your Parents Yell at You? 133. What Advice Do You Have for Teenagers and Their Parents? 134. Are You Conforming to or Rebelling Against Your Parents’ Wishes for You? 135. Do Your Parents Spy on You? 136. Do You Turn to Your Parents for Advice? 137. How Do You Connect With Your Parents? 138. Do Your Parents Overpraise You? 139. Have You Ever Felt Embarrassed by Your Parents? 140. Who Cooks, Cleans and Takes Care of the Kids in Your Family? 141. What Kind of Time Management Skills Are You Learning from the Adults in Your Life? 142. Are Your Parents Addicted to Their Phones?

Role Models

143. What Role Have Mentors Played in Your Life? 144. Whom Do You Turn to for Good Advice? 145. What Can We Learn From Older Adults? 146. What Does the World Need to Know About an Important Person in Your Life? 147. Who’s Your ‘Outsider Role Model’? 148. What Does Dr. King’s Legacy Mean to You? 149. Who Do You Turn To in a Crisis? 150. Who Is Someone You Would Like to Thank? 151. Have You Ever Written Fan Mail? If Not, Would You? 152. How Have You Coped With the Death of an Idol?

Childhood Memories

153. What Is Your Earliest Memory? 154. What Things Remind You of Your Childhood? 155. What Childhood Rules Did You Break? 156. What’s the Craziest Thing You Did as a Kid? 157. What Magic Did You Believe In as a Child? 158. What Is the Most Memorable Thing You Have Ever Lost or Found? 159. Have You Ever Given, or Received, a Perfect Gift? 160. What’s the Best Party You’ve Ever Been To? 161. What Smells Trigger Powerful Memories for You? 162. What Is Your ‘Good Luck Charm’? 163. What Objects Bring You Comfort?

164. What Is It Like to Be a Teenager Now? 165. What Is the Best Thing About Being Your Age? 166. What Do Older Generations Misunderstand About Teenagers Today? 167. What Rites of Passage Mark the Transition to Adulthood in Your Community? 168. How Important to You Is Being Able to Drive? 169. Do Other People Care Too Much About Your Post-High School Plans? 170. Do You Hate When Adults Ask You What You Want to Be When You Grow Up? 171. Have You Ever Felt Pressured by Family or Others in Making an Important Decision About Your Future? 172. Do You Have ‘Emerging Adult’ Skills? 173. How Long Do You Hope to Live at Home? 174. What Letter of Inspiration Would You Write to Your Younger Self? 175. What Have You Learned From a Younger Person — and What Have You Taught An Older Person? 176. Have You Ever Helped an Adult? 177. When — if Ever — Do You Call Adults by Their First Names? 178. What Advice Do You Have for Younger Students? 179. Are You Optimistic About the Future? 180. Do You Want to Have Children Someday? 181. Do You Look Forward to Old Age? 182. What Legacy Do You Want to Leave Behind? 183. What Do You Want to Be Known for After Your Death?

Morality & Ethics

184. Have You Ever Taken a Stand That Isolated You From Your Peers? 185. What Acts of Kindness Have You Witnessed or Participated In? 186. How Good Are You at Apologizing? 187. Do You Ever Laugh at the Misfortune of Others? 188. When Have You Either Forgiven Someone or Been Forgiven Yourself? 189. Has Forgiving Someone Ever Made You Feel Better? 190. What Is the Code You Live By? 191. Have You Ever Been Surprised by an Act of Generosity?

Race, Ethnicity, Gender & Sexuality

192. What Cultural Traditions Are Important to You? 193. How Do You Connect to Your Heritage? 194. What Role Does Your Family’s Native Tongue Play in Your Life? 195. How Does Your Identity Inform Your Political Beliefs and Values? 196. How Much Racism Do You Face in Your Daily Life? 197. What Is Your Gender Identity? 198. Do You Feel Constricted by Gender Norms? 199. Have You Ever Been Told You Couldn’t Do Something Because of Your Gender? 200. What Messages About Gender Have You Gotten From Music? 201. How Do You Feel About Being Told to Smile? 202. What Has Your Sex Education Been Like? 203. How Do You Respond When People Ask, ‘Where Are You From?’ 204. What Does Your Accent Say About Who You Are?

Money & Social Class

205. What Are Your Expectations About Earning, Saving and Spending Money? 206. What Choices Do You Make About Money Every Day? 207. How Do You Get and Spend Money? 208. Have You Ever Tried to Make Money Online? 209. How Much Financial Help Do You Expect From Your Parents in the Future? 210. Do You Get an Allowance? 211. How Much Has Your ZIP Code Determined Your Opportunities? 212. What Has Television Taught You About Social Class?

Religion, Spirituality & Beliefs

213. What Role Does Religion Play in Your Life? 214. How Often Do You Start Conversations about Faith or Spirituality? 215. What Do You Think Are the Secrets to Happiness? 216. What Legends and Myths Do You Believe In? 217. Do You Believe in Astrology? 218. Do You Believe in Manifesting? 219. What Are Your Experiences With Meditation? 220. How Important Is Mindfulness to Your Daily Life? 221. How Do You View Death? 222. We Document Life’s Milestones. How Should We Document Death? 223. Do You Believe in Ghosts?

Technology & the Internet

narrative writing prompt examples

224. How Are You Using A.I.? 225. What Old Technology Do You Think Is Cool? 226. What Don’t Adults Understand About Teenage Life Online? 227. What Online Communities Do You Participate In? 228. Could You Go a Year Without a Smartphone? 229. Is Your Phone Love Hurting Your Relationships? 230. How Much of Your Day is Voluntarily Spent Screen-Free? 231. How Would Your Life Be Different if You Didn’t Have Wi-Fi and Cellular Service? 232. Where Do You Go to Find Cool, Strange or Fascinating Information on the Internet? 233. Does the Future of Robots Get You Excited, or Fill You With Dread? 234. Do You Worry About Your Digital Privacy? 235. Do You Feel Safer When You Know You’re Being Watched? 236. Do You Leave Funny Comments Online? 237. Have You Experienced Any Embarrassing Zoom Mishaps? 238. Have You Ever Encountered Racist or Extremist Content Online? 239. How Do You Know if What You Read Online Is True? 240. How Much Do You Trust Online Reviews?

Social Media

241. How Much of Your Life Do You Share Online? 242. Do Social Media and Smartphones Make Your Friendships Stronger? 243. Are You the Same Person on Social Media as You Are in Real Life? 244. What Does TikTok Mean to You? 245. Who Is Your Favorite Social Media Star? 246. Would You Want to Be a Social Media Star? 247. Do the Adults in Your Life Follow You on Social Media? 248. Have You Ever Gone to a Place for the Primary Purpose of Taking Selfies? 249. Would You Want to Live and Breathe Creating Content for Social Media? 250. Do You Feel You’re Friends With Celebrities or Influencers You Follow Online? 251. What Role Does Instagram Play in Your Life? 252. How Does Social Media Affect Your Mental Health? 253. Does Social Media Affect Your Body Image? 254. Which Emoji Do You Use the Most? 255. Do You Ever Ignore Text Messages?

Music & Podcasts

256. What Music Are You Listening to Right Now? 257. Who Was Your Favorite Musical Artist This Year? 258. What Songs Explain You? 259. What Is Your Favorite Musical Instrument? 260. What Songs Matter to You Now? 261. What Was Your First Concert? 262. Which Celebrity Performer Would You Like to Challenge to a Friendly Battle? 263. What Would You Name Your Band? 264. Do You Listen to Podcasts? 265. If You Could Make Your Own Podcast, What Would It Be About?

Movies, TV & Video Games

266. What Have You Learned About Life From Watching Movies? 267. What Is Your Favorite Sports Movie? 268. What Are Your Favorite TV Shows? 269. Who Is Your Favorite Actor? 270. What’s in Your Queue? 271. What Is Your Favorite Memory of PBS? 272. How Do You Feel About Spoilers? 273. What Stereotypical Characters Make You Cringe? 274. Are You a Fan of Rom-Coms? 275. Do You Like Horror? 276. What’s Your Favorite Video Game Ever? 277. What Classic Video Games Do You Still Enjoy Playing? 278. What Video Games Would You Like to See Adapted for Film or TV? 279. Are You a Fortnite Addict? 280. Do You Gamify Your Life?

Books & Reading

281. What Role Have Books Played in Your Life? 282. What Books Do You Think Every Teenager Should Read? 283. Do You See Yourself in the Books You Read? 284. Has a Novel Ever Helped You Understand Yourself or Your World Better? 285. What’s the Best Book You Ever Read for School? 286. What Book Would You Add to the High School Curriculum? 287. How Do You Find New Books, Music, Movies or Television Shows? 288. What Have You Learned from Comics? 289. What Role Does Poetry Play in Your Life? 290. Do You Like Romance Stories? 291. What Is the Scariest Story You Have Ever Heard? 292. Have You Ever Read a Book You Weren’t Supposed to Read? 293. What Children’s Books Have Had the Biggest Impact on You? 294. Where Is Your Favorite Place to Read? 295. What Role Do Libraries Play in Your Life?

296. What Purpose Does Writing Serve in Your Life? 297. Do You Keep a Journal? 298. What’s Your Favorite Word? 299. What’s Your Favorite Punctuation Mark? 300. Do You Read or Write Poetry? 301. Do You Love Writing or Receiving Letters? 302. What Do You Want to Investigate? 303. What Would You Write a Book About? 304. What Would You Write in a Letter to the Editor? 305. If You Had a Column in The New York Times, What Would You Write About?

306. What Movies, Shows, Books, Music, Games or Other Works Have Made a Strong Impression on You? 307. What Work of Art Has Changed Your Life? 308. Who Is Your Favorite Visual Artist? What Is Your Favorite Work of Art? 309. Which Photograph Stays In Your Memory? 310. What Would You Like to Learn to Make by Hand? 311. Are You Intimidated by Classical Music and Art? 312. Do You Love to Dance? 313. Have You Ever Performed for an Audience or Shared Creative Work With Others? 314. What Show Do You Wish Your School Would Stage? 315. How Would You Design Your Ideal Museum? 316. What Broadway Show Would You Most Like to See? 317. What Are the Most Memorable Works of Visual Art You’ve Ever Seen? 318. What Could You Read, Listen to or Watch to Stretch Your Cultural Imagination? 319. How Often Do You Read, Watch or Listen to Things Outside of Your Comfort Zone?

320. How Did You Grow and Change This School Year? 321. Do You Like School? 322. What Motivates You to Learn? 323. Would You Want to Go to a School Like This One? 324. What ‘Pop-Up’ Classes Do You Wish Your School Offered? 325. How Is What You Are Studying in School Relevant to Your Life and the Larger World? 326. Do You See the Point in Learning Math? 327. How Much Do You Speak Up in School? 328. How Diverse Is Your School? 329. Is Your School a Safe Learning Space? 330. How Comfortably Can You Speak Your Mind at School? 331. Are You Able to Be Your Whole Self at School? 332. Do You Feel Your School and Teachers Welcome Both Conservative and Liberal Points of View? 333. How Have You Learned About Slavery? 334. How Much Have You Learned About Black History? 335. Has a School Assignment or Activity Ever Made You Uncomfortable? 336. Are You Stressed About School? 337. How Good Are You at Handling Challenging School Work? 338. Do You Need a Homework Therapist? 339. What Are You Doing to Change Your School? 340. What Are Your Thoughts on Riding the School Bus? 341. Is the Diversity of Your School Accurately Reflected in Its Promotional Materials? 342. How Have Your Teachers Shaped Who You Are? 343. Does Your Teacher’s Identity Affect Your Learning? 344. Has a Teacher Ever Changed Your Mind-Set? 345. Would You Want to Be a Teacher Someday? 346. What Have Been Your Experiences With Substitute Teachers?

347. How Prepared Are You For College? How Well Do You Think You’ll Do? 348. What Worries You Most About the College Admissions Process? 349. How Much of Your Real Self Have You Revealed on Applications? 350. What Worries Do You Have About College? 351. Do You Intend to Study Abroad While You Are in College? 352. Are You Worried About the Rising Cost of Attending College? 353. Do You Talk to Your Family About the Cost of College? 354. Do You Want Your Parents to Live Nearby When You Go to College? 355. What Specialty College Would You Create?

Work & Careers

356. What Jobs Are You Most Curious About? 357. How Much Does Having a ‘Dream Job’ Matter to You? 358. Would You Pursue a Career If You Knew You Likely Would Not Make Much Money? 359. Will You Follow in Your Parents’ Footsteps? 360. Would You Consider Moving Overseas for a Job? 361. Do Your Summer Plans Include Employment? 362. Would You Consider Serving in the U.S. Armed Forces? 363. What Volunteer Work Would You Most Like to Do? 364. Have You Had a Job Recently? What Has the Experience Been Like?

365. Do You Have Satisfying Friendships? 366. How Alike Are You and Your Friends? 367. Do You Have Any Unlikely Friendships? 368. How Have Your Friends Helped You? 369. Do You Like Your Friends? 370. How Often Do You Text Your Friends Just to Say ‘Hi’? 371. Have You Ever Been Left Out? 372. Do You Ever Feel Lonely? 373. Have You Ever Had a Significant Friendship End? 374. Do You Have Any Close Friends? 375. How Many Close Friends Do You Need? 376. How Do You React When Your Friendships Change? 377. What Have Your Friends Taught You About Life? 378. What Have You Learned About Friendship This Year? 379. Do You Have Any Intergenerational Friendships? 380. What Makes a Great Conversation?

Dating, Love & Relationships

381. How Much of a Romantic Are You? 382. What Does Love Feel Like to You? 383. How Do You Think Technology Affects Dating? 384. Have You Ever Been Ghosted? 385. Do You Want to Get Married Someday? 386. Would You Want to Be Proposed to on a Jumbotron? 387. If You Got Married, Would You Want to Keep Your Last Name or Take Your Partner’s?

388. What Are You Doing to Take Care of Your Health? 389. What Rules Do You Have for Staying Healthy? 390. Do You Have Any Bad Health Habits? 391. Do You Have More Good Habits Than Bad? 392. What Do You Think Are the Secrets to a Long Life? 393. How Well Do You Sleep at Night? 394. Do You Enjoy Taking Long Walks? 395. Do You Learn Better After Moving Around? 396. Do You Have a Healthy Diet? 397. What Is Your Relationship With the Weight-Loss Industry? 398. How Strong Is Your Sense of Smell? 399. Have You Ever Jumped Into Ice-Cold Water? 400. How Is Your Mental Health These Days? 401. Do You Ever Get the ‘Bad News Blues’? 402. How Do You Hold It Together When You’re Feeling Stressed? 403. How Does Your Body React to Stress? 404. How Do You Practice Self-Care? 405. What’s Your Favorite Mood Booster?

Sports & Games

406. What Kinds of Games and Puzzles Do You Like? 407. What Are Your Favorite Games? 408. How Would You Change Your Favorite Sport? 409. Have You Ever Learned Something From a Professional Athlete? 410. Have You Ever Felt Too Much Pressure to Win? 411. What Is Your Favorite Rivalry? 412. What Role Have Coaches Played in Your Life? 413. Have You Witnessed Bad Behavior in Youth Sports? 414. Do You Like a Comeback Story? 415. Would You Ever Want to Run a Marathon? 416. Would You Make a Good Ump?

417. What Is Your Dream Travel Destination? 418. What Is Your Most Memorable Family Vacation? 419. How Would You Spend Your Ideal Family Vacation? 420. Would You Ever Go on a Solo Vacation? 421. What Do You Think You Would Learn From Traveling to All 50 States? 422. What Are the Places in the World That You Love Most? 423. What City or Town Most Captures Your Imagination? 424. How Good Is Your Sense of Direction? 425. How Much Do You Know About the Rest of the World?

Shopping, Looks & Fashion

426. What’s Your Favorite Item of Clothing? 427. What Does Your Unique Style Say About You? 428. What Does Your Hairstyle Say About You? 429. Are You a Sneakerhead? 430. Do You Like Getting Dressed Up? 431. Could You Stop Shopping for an Entire Year? 432. Are You an Ethical Consumer? 433. What Would You Wait All Night in the Rain to Buy? 434. Do Politics Ever Influence How or Where You Shop? 435. Do You Wear Clothes for the Logo? 436. Would You Like to Be a Fashion Model? 437. How Do You Feel About Your Body? 438. How Do You Feel About Your Height? 439. How Do You Feel About Tattoos?

Meals & Food

440. What Foods Bring Up Special Memories for You? 441. What Foods Are Closely Linked to Someone You Love? 442. Who Is the Best Cook You Know? 443. How Do You Celebrate Your Culture Through Food? 444. What Do You Eat for Dinner on a Typical Weeknight? 445. What Are the Most Popular Dishes in Your House? 446. Are You Now, or Have You Ever Been, a Picky Eater? 447. What Are the Best Places to Eat in Your Town? 448. What Foods Best Represent Your Hometown? 449. What Are the Essential Foods to Eat Where You Live? 450. What New Flavor Ideas Do You Have for Your Favorite Foods? 451. What Convenience Foods Make You Happy? 452. How Do You Like Your Pizza? 453. Would You Ever Consider Becoming Vegetarian? 454. Would You Eat Food Grown in a Lab? 455. Have You Ever Experienced Food Insecurity? 456. What Do You Think Your Favorite Book or Movie Character Eats For Dinner?

Holidays & Seasons

457. Do You Make New Year’s Resolutions? 458. What Healthy Habits Do You Hope to Build in the New Year? 459. How Do You Celebrate Spring? 460. What Are Your Favorite Memories of Spring? 461. What Are Your Plans This Summer? 462. What’s the Most Memorable Thing That Happened to You This Summer? 463. What Were Your ‘Mundane Joys’ of Summer? 464. What Are Your Memories of Halloween? 465. What’s Your Favorite Halloween Costume, Past or Present? 466. How Much Scare Can You Handle in Your Halloween Entertainment? 467. What Does Thanksgiving Mean to You? 468. What Has Been Your Most Memorable Thanksgiving? 469. What Will You Talk About on Thanksgiving? 470. Did You Take Part in Any Thanksgiving or Post-Holiday Traditions?

Animals & Nature

471. How Do Animals Provide Comfort in Your Life? 472. What Have You Learned From Animals? 473. What Are Your Experiences With Animal Adoption or Fostering? 474. How Do You Feel About the Spiders, Insects and Other Tiny Creatures in Your Home? 475. How Do You Get Your Nature Fix? 476. What Are the Most Memorable Things You’ve Seen or Experienced in Nature? 477. What Is the Coolest Thing You Have Seen in Nature? 478. Have You Ever Tried to Grow Something?


479. How Are You Doing Your Part for the Environment? 480. How Concerned Are You About Climate Change? 481. Do You Experience Climate Anxiety? 482. Do You Think You Make Good Climate Choices? 483. Would You Change Your Eating Habits to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint? 484. Could You Live an Entire Day Without Plastic? 485. How Good Are You at Recycling? 486. How Have You Experienced Extreme Weather?

487. How Similar Are Your Political Views to Those of Your Parents? 488. How Important Is It to You to Have Similar Political Beliefs to Your Family and Friends? 489. Is Your Online World Just a ‘Filter Bubble’ of People With the Same Opinions? 490. Do You Think You Live in a Political Bubble? 491. How Do You Talk With People Who Don’t Share Your Views? 492. What Do American Values Mean to You? 493. What Does Your Country’s National Anthem Mean to You? 494. Are You Optimistic About the State of the World? 495. Have You Ever Changed Your Mind About a Hot-Button Issue? 496. How Have School Shootings Shaped Your Experience as a Student? 497. How Has the Threat of Gun Violence Affected You? 498. How Do You Feel About Active-Shooter Drills in Schools?

The Pandemic

499. What Does the End of the Pandemic Emergency Mean to You? 500. How Have the Last Two and a Half Years Made You Who You Are Today? 501. How Would You Describe Your Pandemic Experience in Six Words? 502. How Have You Commemorated Milestones During the Pandemic? 503. Do You Think You Have Experienced ‘Learning Loss’ During the Pandemic? 504. How Has the Pandemic Changed Your Relationship to Your Body? 505. What Have You Learned About Yourself During This Lockdown? 506. How Will We Remember the Coronavirus Pandemic?

507. Would You Want to Live to 200? 508. Would You Want to Live Forever? 509. Would You Like to Be Cryogenically Preserved (Frozen!) Upon Your Death? 510. Would You Want to Live a Life Without Ever Feeling Pain? 511. Would You Like to Be Famous? 512. Would You Want to Be a Child Star? 513. Would You Like to Be a Farmer? 514. If You Had an Extra Billion Dollars, What Cause Would You Support With Your Philanthropy? 515. Do You Think You Will Ever Travel to Space? 516. What Fantasy Invention Would You Want to Exist in Reality? 517. If You Could Have Any Animal Feature, What Would It Be? 518. What Fictional House Would You Want to Stay In? 519. What Scientific Mysteries Do You Want Solved? 520. What Idea Do You Have That Is Ahead of Its Time? 521. What Era Do You Wish You Had Grown Up In? 522. Do You Like Your First Name? Would You Change It If You Could? 523. What Would You Like to Ask Your 40-Year-Old Self? 524. What Items Would You Place in a Time Capsule for Future Generations? 525. If the World Was Ending, What Would You Want to Say?

Students 13 and older in the United States and Britain, and 16 and older elsewhere, are invited to comment. All comments are moderated by the Learning Network staff, but please keep in mind that once your comment is accepted, it will be made public.

Find more Student Opinion questions here. Teachers, check out this guide to learn how you can incorporate them into your classroom.

narrative writing prompt examples

Teaching narrative writing and need some fun writing prompts to get your students thinking? I have found that the more fun you make the narrative writing prompts, the more students will write. Here is a list of 55 narrative writing prompts you will want to use in your classroom. Some are serious and others are hilarious. Take a look at what the list has to offer and feel free to change them up any way you would like.

In this blog post I share 5 different categories of narrative writing prompts, each with 11 prompts. That means when you download it you will have FIFTY-FIVE writing prompts to use all year long. Fill out the form below to have all 55 sent to you in an easy, printable list that will help simplify your lesson planning!

Family Narrative Writing Prompts

All students have had experiences with their families and it’s fun to write about them. Invite students to share their family stories with the class using these thought-invoking narrative writing prompts.

  • Tell a story about the most recent trip you took with your family.
  • What is something your family likes to do in the fall (spring, summer, winter)?
  • Write about your family’s favorite movie to watch. What is the experience like (popcorn, songs, blankets, etc)
  • Think about 5 things in your life that are special and write about them. Tell us about your dog, your mom, your uncle, or anything else you can think of.
  • Suppose there is an extra space at the table for dinner one night. Who would you invite to join your family for dinner and what would the evening look like?
  • Think back on a gift you gave to a family member. Why was it so special to give to them and what was their reaction?
  • Pretend you have to describe your family to someone who has never met them before. Write about your family members and their personalities.
  • Consider a challenge or tough time your family had to go through. How did your family deal with this challenge and overcome it?
  • If you are able, interview one of the oldest members of your family. Ask them what their life was like as a child and about their memories.
  • Does your family have an unusual tradition? Tell us about it!
  • You can only keep one memory about your family, which memory do you choose. Write about that memory.

Narrative Writing Prompts for Upper Elementary

Personal Experiences Narrative Writing Prompts

Narratives are the perfect time to write about personal experiences we go through in life. Use these 11 narrative writing prompts about our personal life to get students thinking.

  • Explain a moment when you felt embarrassed.
  • Talk about a time you were overjoyed.
  • What is something that makes you feel sad and how do you make yourself feel better?
  • Have you ever helped a friend when they couldn’t do something? Tell us about it.
  • Write about a time you were bored and found something to entertain yourself.
  • Tell us about a day when you were in a bad mood. What happened?
  • Write about a time you were proud of yourself. What did you do?
  • Have you ever felt your heart racing? What made your heart race and what did you do?
  • Were you ever in a situation where you knew you could get in trouble? What did you do?
  • Tell a story about something unusual that happened to you.
  • Write about a time you lost something important. What was it and how did you react?

Narrative Writing Prompts for Upper Elementary

Silly Narrative Writing Prompts

Kids love writing about silly things. These narrative writing prompts are a great way to let them have fun as they get creative with their writing.

  • Take a look at your shoe, and tell a story of where it’s been.
  • Write a story about what it would be like if you work up one morning with scales on your body.
  • You woke up this morning in your pet’s body! What does your day look like?
  • There’s a knock on the door. When you open the door, you see a giraffe! What do you do?
  • Write a silly story about yourself that uses the words: elephant, watermelon, jet, and computer.
  • Finish this story: The explorers set out on their quest to find…
  • A friend on the bus gave you a bottle of magical glitter. You and your friend sprinkle it on yourselves. What happens next?
  • Imagine you have an amazing sense of smell. What would you use it for? What will you smell?
  • You’re inventing a new sandwich. What do you put on the sandwich and how does it taste?
  • This morning you woke up and you are 20 feet tall! What will you do all day?
  • A spaceship lands on your school’s playground. Write about what happens next.

Narrative Writing Prompts for Upper Elementary

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Fictional Narrative Writing Prompts

Sometimes, personal narratives that come from a place of fiction are easier to write about because they aren’t so personal. These narrative writing prompts let students step out of their reality for a moment.

  • You are a superhero. What are your powers and how did you get them?
  • Imagine a world without televisions, music, digital games, or computers. What would you do for fun?
  • Tell a story about a day where everything that could possibly go wrong, does.
  • Time travel is real! Would you visit the past or future and why? What would you do?
  • Imagine you are a new character in your favorite book. Who are you and what adventures do you go on?
  • You’re playing in the driveway when a bus drives by. A neatly wrapped package drops out, what do you do? If you open the package, what is inside?
  • One day in class, a skunk climbs through the window. Write about what happens next.
  • You wake up one day and realize you can talk to animals. Write a story about the animals you would have discussions with and what might be said.
  • Imagine you are the teacher for the day. Write about the changes you would make and what a day in the classroom would look like.
  • You and your friends wander into an abandoned house covered in cobwebs. What do you find?
  • Your classroom plant has grown a really strange fruit. What is it and what can it do?

Narrative Writing Prompts for Upper Elementary

Dreams and Wishes Narrative Writing Prompts

It’s always encouraging to write about our dreams and wishes in life. These narrative writing prompts let kids reflect as they write.

  • Tell a story about your ideal place to live. Where would it be and what would it look like?
  • If you could do anything you wanted as a job, what would you choose?
  • Every day of the year is the same holiday, which day do you choose and why?
  • You are gifted $1000, what are you going to use it for?
  • Pretend you have a personal genie who can grant you wishes. What three wishes would you make and why?
  • When you get older, what do you hope to accomplish?
  • Write about a dream you remember having recently. Do you wish what happened in the dream would come true?
  • If you could make one wish come true for a friend, what would it be?
  • You have always wanted to go on a game show. Which game show would you go on and did you win?
  • Describe something you are good at or hope to be good at one day.
  • Write about your dreams for the world in the future? What do you hope changes?

Narrative Writing Prompts for Upper Elementary

Narrative writing comes easily to some students, but takes time for others. Hopefully using these fun narrative writing prompts will encourage your students to write about their life experiences as well as some fictional topics. Use these 55 topics to really get them thinking.

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Try my  Weekly Writing Prompts  as well! They are perfect for the classroom and come in print and digital downloads. You can purchase them directly on this site .

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13 Thought-Provoking Personal Narrative Prompts

by Suzanne Davis | Sep 12, 2019 | Writing Essays and Papers | 2 comments

To be a person is to have a story to tell. –Isak Dinesen

What stories are within you?  A personal narrative is a story from your life. So, it is simple to write.  Maybe.  If you come up with an experience you’re dying to share–it is easy to get started. But, it isn’t always easy to think of an idea for a personal narrative.  So, I put together a list of 13 personal narrative prompts to help you find a compelling story you long to write about.

The idea of longing to write it is important because personal narratives need to show readers what your experience was like.  Desire to write inspires you to put more effort into your narrative’s description, character development, and plot.  Sounds a lot like writing a fictional story doesn’t it? Both are narratives, they need to engage your readers and show them something unique.

Personal narrative writing shows settings, people, actions, and feelings. When you write a personal narrative, you describe a story so that your reader sees, feels, and understands what you experienced.    When you write a personal narrative, you describe a story so that your reader sees, feels and understands what you experienced. Click To Tweet

You show (don’t tell) readers a personal story .  Check out the post “How to Master Writing a Compelling Personal Narrative Essay”   to see how to use the show don’t tell approach in writing personal narratives.

Finding an engaging personal narrative prompt will help you discover a memorable essay.  Let’s find the right topic for you.

13 Personal Narrative Prompts

One of the best ways to show a personal story is to select a small episode or anecdote from your life and dig deep into it.  These 13 personal narrative prompts help you find a great essay topic.

#1 Favorite School Memory

Write a story about your favorite school memory.  Who was there? Where was it?  How did it happen?  How does it end?  Focus on one single event.  For example, if you played the violin in school you could tell a story about playing the violin in a concert.  Or if you played on a soccer team, you could tell the story of your tryout.

# 2 Worst School Memory

This is the opposite of #1.  Select a memory that is focused on a terrible situation.  What triggered that situation and what happened?  What was the result?  For example, this could be a situation where you were bullied.  Describe what happened, and how it ended for you.  Did anyone defend you, or help you?  Or did the bullying continue?

#3 Frightening Story

Write a story about a scary or frightening moment in your life.  What happened?  How was it scary?  Are you still frightened?  Fear is a strong emotion and it motivates people to keep reading and find out what followed.  Some examples of frightening moments are being trapped in a cave, lost in the woods or inside an old house with strange noises, or a traumatic event.  A frightening experience could also be any personal event where you didn’t feel safe and were afraid something terrible was going to happen.

# 4 “Just Between Friends” 

Write a story about something that happened between you and a friend.  Is it something important you experienced together?  Did your friend do something to help you?  Did that person hurt you?  Or did you do something to help your friend?  Did you hurt a friend?  Some ideas for this topic are an activity or event you both participated in, something you both started, a great act of kindness, a sacrifice one of you made to help the other.  It could also be something where you betrayed your friend, or your friend betrayed you.

#5 Family Story

This is similar to the topic of friendship except in this case it’s something that happened within your family.  What occurred, who was there, and what did you do? Is there an important funny, sad, or happy event in your family?  Did you do something important or special with your family?   Some examples of this topic are the birth of someone in your family, the death of a loved one, or something fun you did with your parents, siblings or grandparents, etc.

Personal Narrative Prompt--The Journey

Write a story of the best, strangest, or worst thing that happened to you on a vacation or trip to another place.  Focus on one event or experience. One mistake writers make with this essay idea is they describe an entire travel experience, and that isn’t interesting to your readers.  Some ideas for this writing prompt are getting lost in a city, being pickpocketed on a trip, or visiting a historical site.

#7 First Love

First loves are powerful and vivid stories.  Consider a story about how you met that person or a significant memory between you. This could be something wonderful, funny, or even terrible,  If the relationship is over how did it end?  Were you heartbroken?  These stories, or a story about any important relationship, leave an imprint on us.

#8 Success Story

Write a story about something you accomplished.  Describe what you did to achieve success, and how you reached your goal.  Were there obstacles you had to overcome? This is a tricky essay topic because sometimes people focus on the feelings of success or the final achievement rather than the story of how they succeeded.  Some ideas for this topic are to write about winning an event, earning an honor, confronting a personal challenge, or getting over a phobia.

#9 Personal Failure

Write about how you failed to do or failed to achieve something.  Describe what you tried to do, how you failed, and what you gained/learned from it.  Everyone fails at something.  Your readers understand the feeling of failure.  Some people connect with these personal narratives more than stories of success because they empathize with you. People learn a lot through failure, so when you write this type of story, hint or convey what you learned from failing.

#10 Accident

Write a story about an accident you caused or an accident that happened to you.  This could be negative as in a car accident or maybe it’s an accident of good fortune.  Describe how the accident occurred, who was involved, and how it ended.  Was it a bicycle accident?  How did it happen?  Did someone get hurt?

#11 Unresolved Experience

Personal Narrative Prompt--The Unresolved Experience

Describe something that happened to you, but where there’s no resolution.  What was the experience and how did it occur? What don’t you understand or know about the experience? Then, instead of having a resolution to the story, convey how you feel about not knowing what happened.

#12 An International or National Event or Incident

Write a personal story describing how you acted, witnessed, or responded to a significant national or international event or incident.  Did you play in the Olympics, or join a protest?  Did you survive a natural disaster?  What was your role in this circumstance?  What did you do?  For example, if you were in a hurricane describe what happened, who you were with, and how you survived.

#13 Change the World Experience

One of the best experiences I had in my life was creating and organizing a family literacy program for public schools. There are several stories within that experience I could write. If you were a volunteer for an organization or participated in a service project, think about what happened.  Was there a moment that changed everything? What occurred? Did any of those stories change you, your community, or another person?  These stories can be very moving because they have impacted you, what you believe, and how you see or view others. 

Choose a Personal Narrative Prompt and Write

The most important factor to consider in a personal narrative is yourself.  Choose an idea for a personal narrative that intrigues you.  If your narrative bores you, it’ll bore readers.  You want to write a descriptive personal story with vivid characters, actions, and emotions.

Also, select a story you want to share with others.  You’re revealing not just what happened to you, but also a piece of yourself.  Is your personal story something you want people to know?

It’s your story .  You decide what to write and who reads it.  Then write it well.

What is your favorite personal narrative topic?  Please share it below! 

Great prompts, Suzanne! I especially liked #10 the unresolved experience. Very thought provoking. These prompts would also be great for personal journaling.

Terri, thank you. You’re right. These writing prompts would work well with personal journaling. I’m glad you liked #10. It’s one of my favorites!

[…] So which descriptive essay prompt inspires you?  And if you want more creative writing prompts, check out my blog post, “13 Thought-Provoking Personal Narrative Prompts” . […]

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Narrative Writing Prompts to Jumpstart Your Story

Narrative writing prompts spark ideas for creative and profound writing. Students can use them for short stories or personal narrative essays, and aspiring or reluctant writers can get inspiration to start fiction or nonfiction writing. 

In this article, you’ll discover narrative prompts and how to use them for different writing assignments and goals. 

Try: Narrative Title Essay Title Generator

Table of Contents

What Is a Narrative Prompt?

A narrative writing prompt is a question or topic that can elicit an extended written response. It encourages you to develop your ideas, reflections, and opinions into an extended written response. This prompts you to respond with thoughtfulness and depth that otherwise might not be present in your writing.

Teachers often use writing prompts as a classroom lesson to inspire high school students to write and improve their narrative writing skills. Great writers can also rely on personal narrative prompts for inspiration. 

No matter how you use them, you will find that these prompts stimulate your imagination and bring new, exciting possibilities to your writing.

Writing Prompts for Reflective Writing

Reflective writing is the process of insight, observation, and contemplation about your own experiences. It is often synonymous with journaling. For this type of writing, narrative prompts should describe a particular experience, situation, or topic and ask you to reflect on it. Here are ten examples of reflective writing prompts:

  • What is your biggest disappointment?
  • What has been your biggest accomplishment?
  • How would you describe yourself? What are you like?
  • How did you feel when …
  • What are your thoughts on …
  • Describe a person you admire. Why do you admire them?
  • What is your favorite memory?

Writing Prompts for Personal Narratives

Personal narrative writing prompts encourage you to share a true personal story. The following examples of personal narrative writing prompts can help you get started writing your own stories:

  • What is your favorite childhood memory?
  • Who were your most influential people growing up?
  • What is your proudest accomplishment?
  • How did you meet your best friend? 
  • What was the hardest thing you had to do? 
  • Who was your first love? 
  • Are there any phobias specific to your family or culture?

Writing Prompts for Narrative Writing

Narrative writing is essentially storytelling. It can be nonfiction or fiction writing as long it follows a narrative structure. These examples of narrative writing prompts will encourage you to use your imagination and develop your ideas on the topic:

  • What is the best thing about being home?
  • Who are your favorite characters in books?
  • What would you like to change about yourself?
  • What is your favorite movie and why?
  • Where do you see yourself in ten years?
  • What are some of your fears?
  • What is something that makes you angry?
  • How do you want to be remembered?

Writing Prompts for Creative Writing

Creative writing uses imagination and inspiration to create a new piece of art. It often deals with fiction. On the other hand, narrative writing prompts are usually nonfiction. They describe real experiences. However, writing prompts for creative writing can be used to spark the imagination and develop new ideas and stories. Here are some examples of creative writing prompts you can use when inspiration is lacking:

  • What if you could live forever?
  • What if time travel was possible?
  •  What if the zombie apocalypse was real
  • What would you do after the zombie apocalypse?
  • What would you do if your world was like a video game?

Writing Prompts for Argumentative Writing

Argumentative essays are usually written in a persuasive tone and focus on presenting or defending an argument or viewpoint. Here are some example prompts for argumentative writing:

  • What do you believe to be the most important problem in society?
  • What is the most important problem in our community?
  • What’s the worst thing about being alive today?
  • Where do you think our future lies?
  • What are some of the problems facing the world today?
  •  What is one of the most important rights Americans should have?
  • What do you believe to be the biggest problem facing our society?

Final Thoughts 

No matter what you use these narrative writing prompts for or how you decide to use them, you will find that they are a fantastic resource for developing your writing skills. They will help you create a new perspective on your own life and give ideas and inspiration for future stories. 


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