While You Wait: A Writing Prompt Contest!

While you wait for AW’s forums to return after their spiffy upgrade, here’s a contest you can participate in right here.

Come up with a writing prompt that your fellow AWers can work on while they wait for the Forums/AW Water Cooler to be back after the upgrade.

Keep in mind that we have all kinds of writers at AW, our members write fiction of every conceivable sort, screen plays, poetry, and non fiction, ranging from how-tos, to biography, history, memoir . . . you name it, we have writers who write it, so keep that in mind when you’re creating your prompts.

We will select the best writing prompt entered as a comment to this post, and judged by the Absolute Write mods.

The winner of the best prompt will receive a hardcover or ebook (winner’s choice) The Library at Mount Char, a novel from Penguin Random’s Crown coming out June 15, 2015 by our very own AW Technical Guru and all around amazing guy, Scott Hawkins.

The Library at Mount Char is Scott Hawkins’ first novel. Kirkus Reviews called it “A spellbinding story of world-altering power and revenge from debut novelist Hawkins.”

You can read more about The Library At Mount Char here.

Start entering your best writing prompts (no more than 3 entries per person please) in a Comment below. We’ll be moderating comments, but will do that as quickly as possible, so those of you following along can actually start writing in response to any prompt that appeals.

We will close entries on Monday, May 11, 2015 at 9 AM Seattle time.

We’ll have a special thread on AW for prompt-inspired writing.

19 thoughts on “While You Wait: A Writing Prompt Contest!”

  1. And here’s my writing prompt submission: “It was a nightmare I actually wanted.”

  2. The thorns were rosey, plump and sweet that year, the best they’d been since …

  3. Three potential prompts – different genres:

    It really didn’t do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations.

    The vampire’s smile was far too smug. She needed to learn what happened to bloodsuckers around here.

    I really missed the days when all I had to deal with was the possibility of World War III.

  4. It wasn’t just about monetary gain. The contents of the tomb could change the world, and the keys to the tomb’s location were hidden in the ancient documents on the desk.

  5. Writing prompts: 1) A person where you/your MC works has been given notice. They didn’t do anything wrong. They just weren’t good enough, never quite fit in with the team, didn’t impress the right people, accidentally embarrassed the wrong person, etc. This is their last day and you/your MC just happen to walk into the break room when they are there having a last cup of coffee/soda. They look up and your eyes meet. It’s just the two of you. What happens? 500 words or less.

    2) You come home to discover your child has “adopted” a seemingly docile juvenile skunk found crossing the back yard. It’s in your child’s lap, deep inside your house, enjoying a cookie. What happens next. 500 words or less.

    3) The small asteroid will hit earth, latest trajectory suggests impact will be somewhere in the Western U.S. within the next 24 hours, probably somewhere near Yellowstone National Park. Tomorrow the world we knew will be changed. What are you going to do today?

  6. 1. If it weren’t for the lazy eye, the sagging wattle under his chin, the mole shaped like France if you squinted, and the gun pointed at my head, he might have been attractive.
    2. “Feel free to explore the city at night,” he said. “But when the sirens go off in the morning, you don’t want to be caught outside.”
    3. Apparently, drugging Medusa’s tea did nothing to the snakes that made up her hair.

  7. 1. If it weren’t for the lazy eye, the sagging wattle under his chin, the mole shaped like France if you squinted, and the gun pointed at my head, he might have been attractive.
    2. “Feel free to explore the city at night,” he said. “But when the sirens go off in the morning, you don’t want to be caught outside.”
    3. Apparently, drugging Medusa’s tea did nothing to the snakes that made up her hair.

  8. It was past midnight when she woke up, realizing the buzzing sound from her dream was in fact coming from her purse. She rummaged inside to find the source of the noise: a cell phone that did not belong to her.

  9. Louise Jenkins had only just popped into the local Wal-Mart for a tarp, a roll of duct tape, and a shovel. If only she’d worn something less ridiculous then her ample bottom wouldn’t have graced the “People of Wal-Mart” website, and she wouldn’t have felt the need to make her husband breakfast before murdering him when he commented that it was a “great picture.”

  10. Peering cautiously through my cracked door I can see their restless shadows painted on the hallway wall. Hers begins to wilt as her body falls into sight, noticing me and struggling to say, “close the door.”

  11. We’ve been having a lot of fun in the Fantasy/sciFi genre in our “How well do you know your MC” thread. I love the prompts where we put our MC’s in odd situations, so I’m going to continue that form here.

    1.) Your MC receives a mysterious letter that says, “I know what you did. Meet me tonight at midnight.” How would your MC respond?

    And these prompts are just regular:

    2.) The priest tried to touch the dead woman’s hand, but like all the other times, his hand faded as it passed through her ghostly fingers. “Callie, I can’t keep visiting you like this. The church thinks I have a lover.”

    3.) Today was the first day my shadow acknowledged my existence. I stood there, back to the sun, and heard a voice – my voice – coming from the pavement below. My shadow put its hands on its hips, independently of me, and asked, “Would you like to be rid of me?”

  12. I have one rule: You can only kill someone once, so make it memorable. Duncan Talbot was the most memorable of all. It started as a side project, something to distract me from the President. I can’t remember when I decided to make it special. To make it my last. To end with something no one would forget. But it made me famous. Along with Duncan Talbot, of course. He became the most famous person on the planet. The most famous person in all of history.

  13. The night That Famous Person drove my taxi cab before they were That Famous Person.

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