Get Unstuck: Prompts

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

Prompts! Most writers have a strong opinion about prompts. Here at the minnesota review, we like a variety of prompts to choose from. From now until December, we’ll be dishing out short prompts to get the creative ideas flowing. Let us know in the comments which kinds of prompts you prefer, and we’ll add more next time.


Generating ideas

-Free write image ideas for 5-10 minutes. When finished, choose five from your list to incorporate into a short story or a poem.

-Finish this sentence 20 times: “If I could change one thing…”

-Pick up a book and flip to a random page. Choose two words from that page to use in a first sentence.

-Think about a terrible job you would never want to do, then write about what it’s like to work that job.


Word prompts–use as a launching pad for ideas or try to incorporate into the story





Bolo tie






Technique prompts

-Write a scene with two characters talking over each other, speaking but not communicating.

-Write a scene populated with objects. Introduce a character and have them interact with one object.

-Make a list of verbs. Write a scene that uses five verbs from the list.

-Set a scene in a familiar location. Engage the fire alarm and generate action.


Generate something excellent? Submit to the minnesota review until November 1st.


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