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Blog: This Writing Life


  • Writer's pictureMelissa Stoller


This post was first published on the Children's Book Academy blog.

While it’s still technically the summer season in New York where I live, for me it’s back-to-school time for my children. And that means it’s back to my regular writing routine. Writing and revising beckon, but I’ll also be setting aside time for brainstorming ideas. The following writing prompts will help me get started. Hopefully they will be useful to you as well.

Writing Prompts:

  1. Think about activities typical of the autumn season such as apple and pumpkin picking, hay rides, and corn mazes. Did you experience any as a child, or do you share these activities with your families now? Write about the settings for each activity.

  2. Reflect on any holidays you celebrate during this season. Do any story ideas resonate based on rituals, foods, or family traditions during this time of year?

  3. Take a fall nature walk. Notice any signs of fall such as changing leaf colors. What animals do you see in your neighborhood? What natural attractions in your area could form the basis of a story? Take some photos to remind you of story possibilities.

  4. Back-to-school days mean lots of conversations children have that could be incorporated into a story. Eavesdrop on children at the library, in parks, and at restaurants. Or at home! Write down the adorable dialogues you hear and try to incorporate them into a story.

  5. Enjoy fall foods and include the smells and tastes in your idea generating. What spices remind you of fall? What foods do you enjoy most? Could apples play a role in your next manuscript?

These are just a few ideas to help you brainstorm new stories as we move into autumn. Let me know in the comments if these prompts help you develop a new story idea.

Happy writing and creating!


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