Amazing Kids! Magazine

Games and Prompts!

By Sophie Nadel, Writer’s Tips Editor
In association with Writopia Writing Labs


Even with the unlimited possibilities available to you in writing, sometimes it can be a little bit difficult to find the right inspiration to begin a new piece. Times like these, when you want to write but just can’t figure out where to start, are the perfect times to get together with your friends and play some writing games! I have a couple of new prompts for you to try out to really help your writing soar! They will allow you to explore writing in new genres and with fun and interesting methods of inspiration. Enjoy!

A Time, a Place, and a Genre

To play this game, gather a group of four or five friends. Give everyone three index cards. On one index card, tell everyone to write a time of day (4:00 a.m., twilight, lunchtime, etc.). On the second one, name a specific place (a fast food restaurant, a horse stable, an ice skating rink, etc.). Finally, the third card should contain a genre for the writing (mystery, drama, comedy, sci-fi, etc.). This card is the most fun and the most unique aspect of the game, as it determines how the story will be written.

Next, sort the different index cards into piles based on what they are—time, place, or genre—and randomly distribute one of each to all of the players. The players must now construct writing pieces in the genre they received, taking place in the time and setting that was assigned. This leads to some wacky stories, like a murder mystery in the grocery store at 9 a.m. or a sci-fi alien invasion in the rainforest at dusk. When everyone is finished writing, share your stories!

Word Association Writing

This game is designed to prompt a new piece. Gather a group of friends into a circle and appoint one to the task of record-keeper. Then begin a word association around the circle. Start with any word, and allow the next person in the group to respond with the first word that comes to his or her mind. Continue around the circle, each person responding to the word of the person before. For example, if the first person begins the word association with “cactus,” the second person could say “thorn” in response to “cactus,” and the third person might say “claw” as a response to “thorn.”

During the association, the record-keeper should compile a list of every word said. When you have collected a suitable number of words (around 20 or so), share the record-keeper’s list and challenge everyone to use as many of those words as possible. This leads to new challenges and interesting plot twists or rhymes as players attempt to incorporate the words. Whoever can use the most words in a comprehensive story, poem, or essay wins the game.

Hopefully, these new games will spur your writing and keep you on track as spring begins. A constant supply of inspiration will aid in developing your style and help your writing reach the sky!