Journal Buddies Jill | September 20, 2022 April 19, 2018 | Prompts by Grade

30 Creative Writing Prompts High School

A wonderful list of Creative Writing Prompts High School students will love — Oh yeah! we think it’s important for students to play with language. That is why you’ll notice some of the writing prompts outlined below are more whimsical and playful, whereas others are more serious . Whichever prompts your writers choose to use, I hope they inspire great creativity in them.

Creative Writing Topics for High School Students

A Few Quick Words & Instructions

By the time high school students walk into ELA classrooms, they aren’t exactly new to the world of writing assignments. They’ve trudged through the narrative essays, and they’ve most likely practiced the art of persuasion, short story creation, poetry, and non-fiction writing.


They have probably journaled, summarized, analyzed, and reflected in their educational journaling endeavors as well.

So how can you ignite the spark so that students are enthusiastic about writing? What can secondary teachers offer that is new and exciting? We suggest inspiring your students with fresh, fun, and creative writing prompts.

Below, you will find 30 writing prompts that are relevant to students’ lives and that will spur critical and creative thinking. Each prompt can be used solely for journaling or expanded into a unit of study for use in your classroom.

Ok, without further ado, here are those 30 creative writing prompts for high school students.

Creative Writing Prompts High School Students Will Love

Lists One and Two

2. Many students love TED Talks and there are a lot of great ones to choose from. Launch the “ Inside the Mind of a Master Procrastinator ” Talk. Consider what makes it powerful. Choose a tidbit of wisdom or insight from your own life and create your own TED Talk.

3. Select a color and personify it. What does it taste like and sound like? How does it move? What does it want and fear? What special powers does it have?

4. Imagine you are graduating in several months. Write a graduation speech to your fellow students. What would you say to inspire them? How would you make them laugh? What would you like them to remember?

5. Envision a future in which you have a personalized robot who does all of your work. What features would your robot possess? How would you interact with it? What would it be capable of doing?

6. Create a brand new holiday. How would people celebrate the holiday? What traditions, foods, and decorations would accompany it?

7. There are a lot of different types of blogs. Choose a topic that you’re interested in and create a list blog about that topic. It may be a “Top 10 Things You Should Know About X” or “What I Wish I Didn’t Know About X” or any other list-form blog that you can imagine.

8. Reflect on your own worst family vacation. Write about it as though you are a fly on the wall and describe what happened.

9. List as many words as you can think of that begin with your favorite letter of the alphabet. You can include words from another language as well.

10. This prompt is inspired by NPR’s old radio series “This I Believe.” In the show, people from all over the world send in messages expressing a core idea that can be serious or silly, such as “I believe in mechanics.” They then expand on that thought with specific, brief examples of why they hold that belief and how they came to believe it. Use powerful and descriptive sentences to capture your own “This I Believe” statement. For examples and an expanded lesson plan, take a look at  NPR’s Lesson Plan Description .

11. Describe a dream that you’ve had while asleep. Make it come alive with vivid imagery and sensory descriptions.

12. Choose a social justice issue that matters to you. Write as though you are directly impacted by that issue and describe what people should do to support people like you.

13. What do you think about when you’re trying to go to sleep? Turn it into a piece of writing.

14. Write from the perspective of an inanimate object that you see every day. What desires does that object have? What does it wish humans would do?

15. Write to someone in a country you know very little about. What would you want to know about them and their country? What would you tell them about yourself?

16. If you were invited to contribute five items to a city time capsule to be opened in 50 years, what would you include and why?

17. Who hasn’t been represented on the United States postal stamp, yet deserves recognition? Whether your example is serious or ridiculous, provide at least three arguments in support of this person’s inclusion.

18. What is your favorite word and why?

19. If you had to choose a different first and middle name for yourself, what would you choose? How would having a different name impact your life?

Writing Prompts for High School Kids

20. Choose a subject that is not currently taught in school. Why should it be taught? What type of person should teach it? Why would or wouldn’t you want to take the class?

21. What song gets stuck in your head? How does it make you feel the first time you hear that song? The hundredth time you hear it?

22. What life lessons has adversity taught you?

23. If everyone would just go away for a day, what would you choose to do with your time? Why?

24. If someone wanted to really irritate you, what paid job would they make you do?

25. How do you relieve stress?

26. Do you perform better when you are competing or collaborating?

27. When is your most productive time of day? Season of the year?

28. In what ways do you submit to peer pressure?

29. What are some ‘words of wisdom’ that guide your life?

30. How much does your neighborhood influence you?

With journal prompts for elementary school kids to middle schoolers to story starters for teenagers, Journal Buddies is your go-to resource for writing inspiration.

Writers of all ages can use journal writing prompts to help them improve their creative writing skills and feel more confident about sharing their writing.

The Favorites Prompt List

For those more reluctant writers or non-writers, we suggest you use the time-tested favorite writing prompts. They are simple ideas that nearly every writer can answer without much effort. Plus, they are an excellent way to get those creative writing juices flowing for writers of all skill levels. Have your high schoolers write about their:

More High School Creative Writing Ideas Links & Resources

Until next time, write on…

If you enjoyed these Creative Writing Prompts for High School students, please share them on social media via Facebook, Twitter, and/or Pinterest. I appreciate it!

Sincerely, Jill creator and curator

Journal Writing Prompts for High School Writers

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Spring Writing Prompts

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Creative Writing Activities for High School

Are you looking for creative writing activities for high school students?

The secondary ladies of Teach Writing have you covered! This blog roundup of six creative activities can be modified and personalized to fit your needs. I’m Lauralee from Language Arts Classroom, and I love teaching creative writing. These are the best of the best activities, ready for you to personalize for your classes.


Graduation Speech

Betsy from Spark Creativity suggests an alternative to the final exam: the graduation speech exam .

Part of developing life-long learners is teaching students to reflect on what they have learned.

In this speech, Betsy isn’t even looking for flash; she wants students to reflect on the books they have read. Can students draw conclusions and inspiration from literature? If this alternative to the final exam will work for you, check out Betsy’s post.

Creative Responses to Reading

Reading and writing naturally fit together, and Melissa from Reading and Writing Haven provides Five Creative Responses to Reading . She details more than simple reading responses.

For both fiction and nonfiction, Melissa explains how booksnaps, poetry, one-pagers, journal prompts, and music analysis can bring meaning to what students read. These writing activities will not only encourage student choice, but also stretch students’ creativity.

As a reading specialist, Melissa always shares ways differentiated reading and writing strategies will support students.

Embedding Quotations

Embedding quotations might seem dry, but students will need to cite material in creative writing endeavors! Liz from Teach Writing created activities and games to liven the experience of blending quotes.

Her idea of personifying punctuation is a great example of the engagement she brings. For instance, she has her students create a Twitter chat between the period, parenthetical citation, and the quotation marks. (I want to play!)

Comma: Hold on period, not time for you yet! #CommasAreImportant.

Liz has turned a mundane task into a creative writing task all its own. Check out LIz’s idea for bringing freshness to an important skill in her post Creative Activities and Games for Citing and Embedding Quotations .

Prompt Sticks

Meredith from Bespoke ELA uses prompt sticks to review the school year. But! She outlines the process so thoroughly that these creative writing activities can be expanded for various reflections:

peer editing

improving figurative language

correcting punctuation

incorporating quotes

Furthermore, Meredith suggests asking students to create the questions, which make it the perfect opportunity to get students thinking what they learned as writers.

Collaboration Activities

For years, I taught a creative writing course. To make such a class work, students must collaborate. Getting that classroom environment takes intentional practice which is why I love (Amanda Write Now) Amanda’s post about supporting effective writing partnerships.

Amanda includes a sample anchor chart and a conferencing checklist. Students really benefit from that modeling and from simply having a starting point. I also like how Amanda stresses that you must make time for this in class.

Building collaborative space must be intentional!

Creative Writing Overall

As for myself? Aside from writing at Language Arts Classroom , I teach full-time. The first activities I complete in a creative writing course are to set the tone and build a collaborative community. I want students to see creativity in all areas of life, from wardrobe choices on television to the containers at restaurants.

Once we have a strong foundation, we discuss who tells stories. I use “The Danger of a Single Story” to get students talking. My largest message is that I want every single student to write because their thoughts are important.

I cover creative writing activities for high school and build off the idea that we all are creative in our own ways.

There you have it! Six creative writing activities that for you to inspire students.

Related Posts

Reduce Your Grading Time

Literary Analysis Writing

9 Ways to Get Secondary Students to Enjoy Writing

About the Author

Lauralee Moss is creator Language Arts Classroom and author of The English Grammar Workbook .

20190319_Moss_044_sb (3).jpg

When she is not teaching or writing, she is probably reading, drinking coffee, chasing her three kids and two dogs, or binge-watching documentaries with her husband.

She teaches high school English full-time in Central Illinois. She has worked in a variety of schools for the previous decade. Visit her on Instagram or Facebook .

You may be interested in more of her posts:

Writing graphic organizers

My attitude for a creative writing class

How to grade writing as an English teacher

In order to continue enjoying our site, we ask that you confirm your identity as a human. Thank you very much for your cooperation.


Teach Creative Writing In High School With 10 Fun Activities

Creative writing is a meaningful aspect of literature that mandates you to utilize your expertise, ingenuity, and story to depict a critical message, emotion, or plot. It defies the traditional bounds of other forms of writing and is completely subjective to our preferences and experiences. In creative writing, it’s all about imaginativeness!

Using creative imagination and originality to convey feelings and concepts in a unique way is at the heart of creative writing. Simply stated, it’s about infusing your own ‘flair’ into your writing, moving beyond academic or other technical kinds of literature. 

In this post, we will explore the various activities which would be advantageous for a high schooler who wishes to indulge in creative writing!

creative writing assignments for high school

What Happens When Creative Writing Is Put To Use?

Creative writing is any form of writing that deviates from traditional professional, investigative journalism, educational, or technological forms of literature. It is typically distinguished by emphasizing narrative craft, character development, literary tropes, or various poetic traditions.

Here are the few ways how high schoolers can benefit from creative writing –

1. Imagination

When you write creatively, you expand your imagination by creating new environments, scenarios, and characters. This way, you are also boosting and stretching your imagination, as well as “thinking out of the box.” This allows you to concentrate your energy on many other things and improve your ability to find fresh ideas and alternatives to problems you’re having. Whether you’re a researcher or a businessman, creative writing will increase your imagination and help you think more creatively, and push the boundaries.

2. Empathy and Communications skills

When you create characters, you’ll be constructing emotions, personalities, behaviors, and world views that are distinct from your own. Writers must conceive personalities, emotions, places, and walks of life outside of their own lives while creating universes with fictional characters and settings.

This can give children a good dose of empathy and understanding for those who aren’t like them, who don’t live where they do or go through the same things they do daily. Writers are better equipped to communicate when they have a greater understanding of other points of view. They can come up with creative ways to explain and debate subjects from multiple perspectives. This ability is crucial in both professional and personal situations. 

3. Clarification of Thoughts 

Creating structures in creative writing allows you to organize your impressions and emotions into a logical procedure. You may express both your thoughts and your sentiments through creative writing. For example, if you’re a marketing executive, you could create a short tale in which your clientele reads your promotional emails. You can guess what they’re up to, where they’re seated, what’s around them, and so on.

This enables you to focus on the language and strategies you employ. Alternatively, if you’re a technical writer writing on a new desktop platform, you could create a creative scenario in which a user encounters a problem. 

4. Broadens Vocabulary and gets a better understanding of reading and writing

You’ll learn a larger vocabulary and a better understanding of the mechanics of reading and writing as you begin to practice writing exercises regularly. Even if you’re writing a budget report, you’ll know when rigid grammar standards work and when they don’t, and you’ll know what will make your writing flow better for your readers. Exploring different ways of expressing yourself when writing creatively allows you to extend your vocabulary.

You’ll notice a change in your use and range of language as you improve your writing over time, which will be useful in any professional route and social scenario. You’ll be able to bend and break the rules when you need to, to utilize your voice and make what you’re writing engaging without coming off as an amateur, dull, or inauthentic once you’ve grasped the fundamentals of writing professionally and creatively.

5. Building Self-Belief 

When you write creatively, you’re actively involved in an activity that allows you to fully develop your voice and point of view without being constrained. You have a better chance to investigate and express your feelings about various issues, opinions, ideas, and characters. And you’ll feel more at ease and secure stating your thoughts and perspectives in other things you write as a result of this.

Writers who don’t write creatively may be concerned about appearing authoritative or trustworthy. They accidentally lose their voice and sound like drones spouting statistics by omitting to include their perspective on the topics they’re writing about. As a result, they miss out on using their distinct voice and presenting themselves as an expert with real-world expertise.

Creative Writing Activities That Will Strengthen Your Writing Skills  

Short spurts of spontaneous writing make up creative writing activities. These writing exercises push a writer to tackle a familiar topic in a new way, ranging from one line to a lengthy tale. Short, spontaneous projects are common in creative writing programs, but any writer should make them a regular practice to extend their abilities and learn new tactics to approach a series of stories.

These activities must be performed for ten minutes at a time, several times a week – by creative writers. They’re designed to help you improve your writing abilities, generate fresh story ideas, and become a better writer.

1. Free Writing

Writing is the first and foremost activity that is going to give your creative writing a boost. Start with a blank page and let your stream of thoughts and emotions flow. Then simply begin writing. Don’t pause to think or alter what you’re expressing. This is known as “free writing.” This writing activity is referred to as “morning pages” by Julia Cameron, the author of ‘The Artist’s Way.’ She recommends that authors do this every day when they first wake up. Stream of consciousness writing can provide some intriguing concepts.

Allow your intellect to take the lead as your fingers type. Or write a letter to your younger self.  Consider a topic you’d like to discuss, such as a noteworthy event, and write it down. Give guidance or convey a message that you wish you had heard as a youngster or a young adult.

2. Modify a Storyline – Read

Most of us like to read. However, just reading won’t really help augment your creative writing skills. While reading bestows insight into the deeper meanings of numerous things, you need a more concrete approach to better your aptitude. To do this, you can modify any storyline. Take an episode from a chapter, if you’re feeling brave—from one of your favorite books and recreate it. Write it from the perspective of a different character. Swap out the main character in this exercise to examine how the story may be conveyed differently.

Take Percy Jackson’s thrilling conclusion, for instance, and rework it with Annabeth as the primary character. Another way to approach this creative activity is to keep the primary character but switch viewpoints. Rewrite a scene in the third person if the writer has told a story in the first person. 

3. Add Creative Writing Prompts or Create Flash Fiction

Use writing prompts, often known as narrative starters, to produce writing ideas. A writing prompt is a sentence or short excerpt that a writer uses to start composing a story on the spot. You can look up writing prompts online, pick a sentence out of a magazine at random, or use a brilliant line from a well-known work as the start of your short scene.

creative writing assignments for high school

Another thing you can do to accentuate your writing is to create flash fiction. Sit down at your desktop or pick up a pen and paper and write a 500-word story on the spur of the moment. This isn’t the same as just writing whatever comes to mind. With no fixed guidelines, free writing generates a stream of consciousness. All of the basic components of a story arc, such as plot, conflict, and character development, are required in flash fiction, albeit in a shortened form.

4. Create a Fictitious Advertisement

Pick a random word from a nearby book or newspaper and create a fictitious commercial for it. Write one ad in a formal, abbreviated newspaper classified format to require you to pay special attention to your word choice to sell the item. Then write one for an online marketplace that allows for longer, more casual text, such as Craigslist. Describe the item and persuade the reader to purchase it in each one.

5. Engage in Conversations 

Engaging in conversations with your friends/family – or simply communicating can help brush up your writing skills. Talk to your loved ones about their hobbies, career, views on societal issues – any suitable topic for that matter. This helps implement others’ points of view and expands your mental ability. Another useful thing that you can do is – make another person’s tale and create it by implementing your own thoughts. Then talk about it in an impeccable manner. Also, talk in complete sentences. This goes to show your Linguistic intelligence proficiency – and helps augment your creative writing skills.

6. Create Your Own Website/Blog

Start your search for blogging. There are a million writing suggestions out there, but they all boil down to the same thing: write. Blogging is excellent writing practice because it gives you a place to write regularly.

creative writing assignments for high school

To keep your fingers and mind nimble, write a post every day. Like most bloggers, you’ll want to restrict your subject—perhaps you’ll focus on parenting or start a how-to site where you can tell stories from your point of view.

7. Participate in Debates/Extempores  

Participating in debates, extempores – anchoring for your school function, giving a speech, all of these activities help boost your creative spirit. These group events make you understand what other people are envisioning, which in turn helps you generate new ideas, approaches, and methods. Not only do they improve your articulation and research skills, but they also develop critical thinking and emotional control abilities. All of these promote a better creative writing aptitude.

8. Start a YouTube Channel or Podcast 

Starting a YouTube channel or podcast will definitely level up your creative game. YouTube is a never-ending platform, covering myriads of topics. Choose a particular niche for your channel.

creative writing assignments for high school

Then do your topic research, create content, manage SEO, approach brands, talk to clients and influencers – do all the good stuff. Communicating with other influencers and creating content will take your creative writing skills to another level. Starting a podcast will have a similar impact. 

9. Love them? Say it with your words!

We have many festivals, occasions, birthdays, parties, anniversaries and whatnot! You can employ these special days and boost your creative writing skills. You can make a token of love for them – writing about your feelings. You can also make gift cards, birthday cards, dinner menus, and so on. So let’s say, it’s your mother’s birthday, you can write her a token of love, elucidating your feelings and letting her know what all she’s done for you and that you’re grateful. Do this for all your near and dear ones. This not only spreads positivity and love but helps you develop your creative aptitude.

10. The What-if Game

The What-If game is an incredible way to upgrade your creative abilities. You can play this game with your friends, cousins, relatives, or solo. Here, you need to find links to many interesting hypothetical questions. For instance, what if the sun doesn’t rise for a week? What if there’s no oxygen for one minute? Play it with your peeps, or ask these questions to yourself. It can be anything random but concrete. If you don’t know the answers to the questions, look them up on Google. This way, you’re training your mind to learn new concepts all the while enhancing your visualization process. 

We can conclude that creative writing encourages students to think creatively, use their imaginations, imply alternatives, expand their thinking processes, and improve their problem-solving skills. It also allows the child to express themselves and grow their voice. Besides, it enhances reasoning abilities. The principle behind the creative writing concept is that everyone can gain the qualities that are needed to become a successful writer or, rather become good at writing. Creative writing is all about using language in new and innovative ways.

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  1. 30 Creative Writing Prompts High School •

    Creative Writing Prompts High School Students Will Love Choose one from each list to make a creature – animal combination. Craft a scene in which this creature appears as the main character. Lists One and Two 2. Many students love TED Talks and there are a lot of great ones to choose from.

  2. Creative Writing Activities for High School

    I cover creative writing activities for high school and build off the idea that we all are creative in our own ways. There you have it! Six creative writing activities that for you to inspire students. Related Posts. Reduce Your Grading Time. Literary Analysis Writing. 9 Ways to Get Secondary Students to Enjoy Writing. About the Author

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