20 Ways to Choose a Creative Writing Topic

We’ve all been there. We are given an assignment: write about ____________. Of course, the topic is either something we know nothing about (and probably are not at all interested in) or the topic is irrelevant (“What I Did Over the Summer Vacation” qualifies here).

Creative writing usually requires an input — some knowledge or interest that has been taken in and pondered. In other words, we’ll have better success in teaching our students creative writing if we let them choose the topic.

Here are 20 ways to choose a creative writing topic:

  1. Pull a topic from a current interest. This is usually the easiest.
  2. What do you feel strongly about? What subject are you passionate about? You’ll probably have quite a bit to say about it!
  3. What have you been studying or experimenting with lately? What questions do you want answered?
  4. Have you found something interesting in a recent nature study?
  5. What have you recorded in one of your notebooks that has special meaning to you?
  6. Try free writing. Set a timer for five or ten minutes. Start writing and don’t stop until the timer goes off. Write anything and everything that comes to mind. Did you find a new topic?
  7. What interesting conversations have you been engaged in lately?
  8. Are you following anything in the current news?
  9. Is there a period of history that you find fascinating?
  10. Where would be the first place you would travel if you had a chance? Why?
  11. What is one thing you would like to invent? What would it do?
  12. What event has made you laugh lately? Tell the story.
  13. Pull out a photo album. See anything that you would enjoy relating?
  14. Look out the window. What do you see?
  15. Choose a favorite holiday to describe.
  16. What is your favorite meal?
  17. Explore your favorite childhood memory.
  18. Describe your favorite season.
  19. Research a new-for-you topic.
  20. Find a favorite work of art. Tell the story behind the picture.

Creative writing is personal. It reflects our own feelings and emotions. It provides our own thoughts and opinions on a subject. Choosing a topic we are interested in makes it easier!

Additional Resources
Activity: Creative Writing with the Random Word Generator

Activity: Creative Writing with the Random Word Generator
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