Writing & Journal Prompts 2015-2016

To keep your writing alive, check below for newest word and journal prompts, story lines, writing techniques and visual and sensory images and tools for tapping memory and imagination. Prompts also come in from the wild. Send me ideas that work for you and I’ll pass them along.  

The format for prompts varies. Scroll down past whatever prompts you’ve seen so far to the more recent ones.  

If you’re not receiving announcements of the writing prompts directly and would like to, please contact me: kendall@kendalldudley.com.

 (See the website page for the heading: Free Writing and its Wild Basics)



#1: turbulent / taxi / flip / sauce / sip

#2: jack in the box / cottage / book / wink / pimple

#3: remembering / buried / bread / rug / sit

#4: glue / gem / whisp / William /steaming

#5: drink / nimble / grey / ship / dire

Story Blasts: Take several phrases and  make a paragraph or short story with them.  See if they open you to new writing ideas and energy.

#1: feather / Spanish cheese / father’s boat / something Richard said /cigarette in his jacket pocket / beer can / high pressure / zinnias wrapped in paper / sound of the train

#2: coming back / arts & crafts / wrapped present / sleepless / waking up to / 1982 / strong smell of cumin / her face or someone’s / little evidence

#3. then it arrived / thinking about a new / expired passport / Cheryl’s latest husband / money involved / grey green / nightly news / carton of Chinese / reddish luck / hot

#4: moonlight cancelled  / jelly beans on fire / vivid oysters / midnight at Nasir’s bar / neon clients / she doesn’t look like a countess / over easy / sound of the engine / popcorn / behind the scenes

#5: back to her room upstairs / no TV / broccoli / Twilight / out of control / 60mph / low sudsing sense of humor / torrent of mischief / inside her mouth / I mean really

Turkish tourist in the Blue Mosque

Turkish tourist in the Blue Mosque

Prompts for August 2015:

Free write for 5 minutes using these words to help get you started. Don’t stick to them unless they are helpful–keep moving:

secret / harvest / tire / curling iron / coupons

Story elements: mother’s little helper / clandestine / short skirt / his missing sock / Rte 14

Journal prompt: name 2 things your parents longed for and never found or achieved: What impact did it have on their lives?

Prompts for September 2015:

Words: tomato / letter / forgot / absent / 2a.m.

Phrases: left before it was time / hit her head / in the corner / it was 1988 I think / opening the drawer

Story elements: TV left on / shoes in place except for her running shoes / computer gone / and debit card / he noticed 3 books missing from the table…what were they?

Journal prompt: When was the last time you thought of (name a few places)? What places did you consider given the prompt?  What significance does your list have for you, if any? Write a paragraph about one of the places and see if you can tease out its significance for you.  Doodle an image of that place to go along with your writing.


Prompts for October 2015:

what are you hoodlums doing / brushing her teeth with coffee / stranded / in the light of history / October nights / playing at the Regent / caught off guard / waves look cold IMG_7002/ how long can you live like that / worried well / the light that bursts out from the clouds / November 1944 / her favorite shoes / peacocks on the lam / he sat there staring / broken pages and burning water

Prompts for November 2015:

Morton Goodman and the jelly rolls / I didn’t make the FBI list this year / turkeys at dawn / checking out the action down the street / when they released Albert, there was still no good in him / Irish war songs sound like love songs and Irish love songs sound like war songs / I’m feeling kind of B≠ / in the space between feelings / his letter made her change her mind / all she wanted was corned beef / looking past him to his father and beginning to notice more than she wanted

Prompts for December 2015:

where they put him after it was over / in the table of forgetting / living the same movie twice / the moment before falling in love / the first sign of pain / haunting lyrics / the last in the line / food riots happen in Sudan not in my house / smithereens / last tango on Martha’s Vineyard / she didn’t know what she was doing until the gendarme called her over / Miss Pinkie’s fur all over the place /Adam’s apple on the rise / for the hell of it / hotcakes for Saturday night!



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