37 Creative Writing Prompts for High School

Updated December 10, 2019
Girl studying at home

Creative writing prompts for high school students can be a good way to coax reluctant writers into getting their thoughts down on paper. Writing prompts can be silly or serious and work for fiction, nonfiction, and any other type of writing project. A writing prompt is simply meant to spark an idea and get you brainstorming ideas for writing.

Creative High School Poetry Writing Prompts

One type of creative writing is poetry. You can use poetry prompts for high school for language arts class assignments or to create your own personal poems at home.

  • Choose a song lyric that best describes your personality and expand it into a poem.
  • Use the name of your favorite band or music group to start an acrostic poem.
  • Write a haiku about the first class you have at school each day.
  • Use your school name, mascot, and colors to write a rhyming school spirit chant.
  • Write an ode to your favorite outfit or piece of clothing.
  • Write down the first 10 words you think of and then use each word in one line of your poem.
  • Write one verse about each year of high school.
  • Turn your favorite meme or any viral meme into a poem using the line on the meme as the opening line of your poem.
  • Use the name of a video game as your title and write a poem about whatever the opposite of that title would be.

Fun Writing Prompts for Creative Fiction in High School

Creative fiction writing prompts can help you get started on any piece of creative writing. You can use real life to inspire the fantasy world you'll create in your work of fiction.

Writing Prompts for Short Works of Creative Fiction

Whether you need to write a short story, flash fiction, or a letter, these prompts will help you get a short work of fiction going.

  • What magical thing might happen to you when you turn 16 or 18?
  • Your parents have decided to move you to the first human colony in space. What's it like?
  • You're all trapped in your high school and may be the last teens who can save the world.
  • Write a letter to yourself at 60 years old.
  • Choose a book or movie that eerily parallels your life. How did they get your story?
  • Social media is now the only way people can communicate, so what does this world look like?
  • A monster you've imagined is now terrorizing the world. What does it look like? What motivates it to grow? How can you stop it?

Writing Prompts for Long Works of Creative Fiction

If you want to pen your first novel, screenplay, or skit, these prompts can give your storyline a heavy dose of originality.

  • Two weather phenomena combine to create a super storm.
  • The entire world reaches an epic peace agreement where there are no longer separate countries, but instead one country.
  • Each of your closest friends exists in a parallel universe that only you can access.
  • People create a world where kids are never allowed to grow up.
  • Your high school is taken over by scientists.
  • Whenever you hear a song, it opens up a door to another place.

Creative Nonfiction Writing Prompts for Teenagers

From persuasive essays to high school journal topics, nonfiction writing prompts can be just as creative as fiction writing prompts. Take inspiration from journal writing prompts for high school or current news headlines.

  • Global warming has hit its worst point; now what does the world look like?
  • No one cares about actors, singers, and athletes anymore, so who becomes the new celebrities?
  • You are 45 years old and the parent of a teenage daughter who has just told you that she is pregnant. Describe how you would handle this difficult situation.
  • You find a time machine that allows you to travel back into the past. What things would you tell your younger self based on the knowledge you have now?
  • A Hollywood executive sees your Instagram and wants to make a movie of your life.
  • What would happen if you swapped places with the person you most admire for one day?
  • What would happen if you swapped places with your worst enemy for the same amount of time?
  • Teenagers in your town stage a protest at your school.
  • Your town hires a teenager as the new mayor.

Visual Writing Prompts for High School Creative Writing

Using photographs as writing prompts or other forms of visual writing prompts is a great alternative to wordy writing prompts, especially for visual learners. Everything from memes to movie stills can help inspire your creative writing.

Colorful light trail
What made this appear in the woods?
Woman walking into opening wall
Where is she going to or coming from?
modern designed corridor in office building
What happened to the school hall?
Light flowers on beach
What caused the phenomenon?
Cropped Hand Touching Robot
Make this image the start or end of a story.
Cat dressed as a doctor
Write a story for kids using this image.

High School Creative Writing Games Using Prompts

Using creative writing games in high school doesn't have to feel immature and can help teens get their creative juices flowing.

  • Play a drawing board game like Pictionary, only have players write poems or flash fiction about the prompts instead of drawing pictures.
  • Host a story starter bee where each student is shown an image, instead of being given a word, and they have 30 seconds to shout out a writing prompt based on the image. The last answer given by the last student standing is the prompt everyone has to use.
  • Have each student write a prompt on a piece of paper and crumple it up. Let the teens have a mini paper war, but when you say "Stop!" they each have to pick up the closest crumpled prompt to use for their assignment.

Spark an Idea With Writing Prompts

When you need good writing topics for creative writing assignments or journaling, writing prompts for kids and teens can help spark an idea. If you're teaching writing skills to high school students, creative writing prompts, and even high school journal prompts, geared toward this age group will get them excited about your lesson.

37 Creative Writing Prompts for High School