When you start a writing blog, there’s only a couple ways to start interacting with other writers and readers:
- Depend on people you already know to follow links to your blog
- Start using your blog to interact with other bloggers
If you’ve got #1 set because you’re a Twitter star, congrats! That’s awesome!
Most of us, however, have to (or want to) deal with #2, and a great way to do that is through the use of prompts.
“Aren’t prompts just limiting my creativity?” you may say.
To you, my fine friend, I must admit that it’s possible! Sometimes I answer a prompt and feel like the sliver of garbage I spewed out would have been better left with my other thoughts that go completely forgotten. You may, as well, be a person who isn’t blogging for interaction and, instead, want to just have a place to send your mom when you come up with something.
But prompts can give you an in on something it’s hard to find otherwise – other great blogs. Just reading some of the responses to the prompt – usually in the comments – can lead you to other blogs to follow. You can comment on these blogs and start talking with people. Most of the blogs I follow were found by sifting through prompts and finding some of the authors I enjoyed reading most.
As well, you can respond to the prompt. If you leave a comment along with all the others, a permanent link to your blog will show up on another page – a page that probably has more viewers than a fresh, new blog does! Other people may take a liking to your work if they click on it, and they may leave comments for you.
A lot of the prompt-followers are some of the most die-hard bloggers, and that’s something you’ll want in your back pocket to encourage you during the hard times when the blog isn’t growing and giving your brain those sweet, sweet dopamine hits.
Unfortunately, I cannot cover all the bases – if I could, I would probably be a computer!* Anyway, here are some blogs that post prompts and a brief description of how those work.
Coming Soon – I’m going to split these up by type! Better organization will be better for you!
An weekly image prompt with a real (real!?) prize for the best speculative fiction story at the end of the year. These stories should be short enough to fit on the image prompt – I suggest looking at past entries and winners!
99 words – no more no less – for this amazing Thursday flash fiction prompt based off a word or small group of words. This blog gives you everything: a large community with a tight-knit feel, a round-up based on a submission form, and even a yearly competition.
A smaller writing challenge blog that’s just starting out (as of January 2019), join this if you want to grow with the site. It’ll probably do great, since it’s attracting several microinfluencers.
If you were to look at these prompts as a Wheel-of-Fortune category, you’d get something like ‘common phrases’ or ‘weird things.’ These prompts can be any form of writing – it just asks for a blog post, not necessarily a story or a poem.
A word-theme every Monday inspires photographers to take a photo and, it seems, write about what they captured. Unlike most of these posts, you must provide your own photography along with your blog post. Thanks to Marsha Writes for pointing out this challenge.
A set of poetry prompts that comes out on a well-defined schedule. Tons of people join in, so it’s a great place for poets to go for extra challenges.
#FOWC, well established, is a moderately popular challenge. This one gives you a word that must be used in the post. No word limits on this one! Curation is done through tags.
Similarly, the Flash Fiction Challenge (#FFFC) has no word limits, but there is a photo to spur your creativity. Thanks to MyForeverBlog for pointing this one out!
Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers (Legacy)
Ending in January 2019, this epic, long-lived photo challenge series still exists in the form of a flash-fiction archive. Even though it’s over, you can still comb it for inspiration.
Limit your tales to 100 words as you respond to a photo prompt. Uses an In-Linkz linkup to quickly show you who else has posted that week.
A picture drawn by Kira for your inspiration! Give a story or poem based off the art given.
Linda G. Hill has the weekly Stream of Consciousness Saturday and One-Liner Wednesday. There is the monthly Coloring challenge, and Just-Jot-It Januaries happen throughout the month of January each year.
A different kind of prompt with different rules appear nearly every day on this site! If you don’t know what kind of prompt you want to do, this is a good place to play around.
Putting My Feet in the Dirt gives a new prompt for every day by posting a monthly plan on the first of the month. At the end of the month, Michelle Cook organizes your posts for a round-up.
A phrase or word prompt that has no word count or format rules. Currently a smaller set of regular respondents – join this if you want to get into a tight community, and follow Reena regardless because of her raw talent!
A Monday prompt for Haikus! A rather popular prompt to follow, this one will get you started well on poetry prompting.
A Thursday prompt word sparks a story measured in sentences – not words or characters – which gives this prompt a rather interesting feel.
A monthly challenge, this photo is intended to make you give a bit more effort than the usual flash-fiction prompts. It’s really new, so I don’t know how well it’s going to be kept up, but I like the idea of a longer prompt with monthly regularity.
A 200-word-or-less story based on a provided photo. Popular around the town!
A form poetry prompt every Tuesday, this prompt is great for beginning poets. The community is friendly, and it’s big enough that someone is sure to stumble upon your stuff too! Excellent instructions are provided, especially since the prompt has gotten popular enough to require a submission form.
A seasonal contest wherein authors write something aimed at children. There tends to be prizes! Thanks to Chelsea Owens for pointing this one out.
No, it’s not just about writing poetry poorly – it’s also about writing a poem with a terrible subject, like crappy bosses or other poopy things. A weekly contest on Saturdays, the participants and winners are announced on Fridays.
A 100-word flash challenge that must be completed in three lines – no more no less! This is a photo challenge that posts on Thursdays.
A daily prompt that I see come on my feed quite often. The Haunted Wordsmith provides three words that may not seem related for you to weave into a quick tale.
Rachel Poli’s popular, and you’ll get prompts with a lot of variety from her site. It’s a little more difficult to see comments and get involved, but they’re great prompts nonetheless.
A VERY popular prompt set, this would be a great place to jump in to generate hoopla quickly. Run by a photographer, you’re sure to get great prompts.
A picture prompt that requires a response so short that it’s Tweetable! A really popular prompt, and one you can use to expand your presence on Twitter as well as WordPress.
Wacky Weekend Challenge (On Hiatus)
Sometimes not quite on schedule, this challenge is run by the popular and awesome Dark Netizen. When the bugs are worked out, it’s going to be a good prompt to follow along with!
Sammi Cox’s Saturday prompt is great because the word length always changes. The community is still growing, but the prompts are solid.
A weekly challenge posted on Thursdays by Trent on Trent’s World. Response posts must be dedicated to things that make you smile. Well curated, and VERY positive. Thanks to Marsha Writes for pointing out this challenge.
A weekly photo prompt where you can write anything you want (within reason, of course!) in response. Curation is done through pingbacks/comments.
Unlike any other prompt I’ve come across! This one chooses a location on Google Maps and encourages you to take tours and write about the place.
A daily prompt that gives a single word as a thought provoker. Also posts the Kira’s Sunday Scribbles (mentioned above).
Though not yet very well followed (at least not on WP), the posters are regular and happen to sport a very nice-looking site. The prompts come in the form of phrases.
A popular Thursday photo prompt with excellent curation. A ton of people participate, so you’ll be seen out and about on this fantastic blog.
Challenge responses must contain all FIVE words given in the prompt, but you aren’t limited to poetry, prose, or (unless self-imposed) word count. Prompts are posted on Mondays.
Marsha from Marsha Writes has a blog post detailing a lot of photo contests. In these contests, themes or ideas can inspire photographers to show off their skills with a camera. While most of my post was about writing challenges, a couple photography/writing challenges popped in.
See you around!
So come along, choose a prompt – or two! – and join in. If you join one of the prompts I participate in, you’ll probably see my little icon slithering around the comments on your site!
*HRR is, sadly, not a computer as of January 2019. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that this fateful transformation has occurred prior to your current reading.