Writing Prompts from Reedsy

Review: Can Reedsy Writing Prompts Help Kindle Creative Fire?

Last Updated on by Michael Brockbank

Writing prompts can be fun, inspiring, and help get your creative juices flowing in the right direction. In fact, I’ve written many a story that started with a simple sentence. Can Reedsy writing prompts help spur your creativity into action?

Given the sheer volume of the prompts, I’d have to say, yes. In reality, Reedsy has one of the largest lists of writing prompts I’ve seen on a single website. Though, there are plenty of sources out there when you search on Google.

Since I am using Reedsy to write my next book, I thought I would check out what they had to offer. I have to say, I’m kind of impressed.

What Are Weekly Reedsy Writing Prompts?

Every Friday, Reedsy sends out five new prompts through their newsletter. They are then added to the list on the website where anyone can pick and choose which to write about.

This means the list of prompts is continuously growing at about 20 per month. At the time of this post, there are 1,394 prompts available to sift through.

Reedsy provides a drop-down tool where you can select the specific genre for which you want to write. Unfortunately, there is no option for Horror, which is quite sad, to be honest.

Still, I can make a horror story out of any prompt.

What Can Writing Prompts Do for You?

Writing prompts are essentially idea templates that help kickstart the creative process. After all, a lot of writers struggle with coming up with a good idea for a tale.

That’s where prompts come in.

However, these snippets of ideas can go quite a bit further if you embrace them. And thanks to the power of the Internet, there are a lot of communities out there ready to read your story.

For instance, writing prompt communities can help you by:

  • Building a network with other writers
  • Combatting writer’s block through ideas
  • Establishing a writing routine
  • Establishing yourself as a writer
  • Providing ideas to include in your current WIP (work in progress)

Now, let’s look at the point of “establishing yourself as a writer.” You can use the stories you create from writing prompts just about anywhere. And there are a lot of places that will let you submit stories for publication.

In one instance, I turned a one-sentence prompt into a 10,000+ word story. A good prompt could get the ball rolling.

What Can You Find on the Reedsy Writing Prompts Page?

When I first came across this page, I had no idea that Reedsy provided so many resources and tools for authors. In fact, I keep coming across all kinds of things that I’ll surely use in the near future.

Today, we’re only going to worry about the prompts page and the different things you can find. It’s actually not all that bad of a setup if you need inspiration or help through writer’s block.

A Growing List of Writing Prompts

As I said earlier, there are nearly 1400 prompts to sift through at the moment. Luckily, you can arrange them by genre. So, if you want a prompt for sci-fi, it’s as easy as using the drop-down box to make your selection.

Every week, Reedsy adds five more new prompts for the cash competition. These can be used by anyone, and you can publish your works directly to your profile page for free.

Then, when others read your work, you have the potential to earn “Karma Points,” which I’ll go into in a moment.

Stories By Other Writers

By clicking on any of the writing prompts (except for current contests), you can see a list of other authors and their submissions in Reedsy. You can then read, share, or follow the author.

From what I’ve seen, there is quite a community of writers who share insights and appreciate the works of others. It kind of reminds me of Wattpad but centered more on short stories.

In one instance, I read how one author was providing constructive criticism regarding character development. And I have yet to read something written by a sheer troll.

It’s a great place to get insights in order to polish up your style and ability. Never underestimate the value of a proper critique.

Contributor Karma Points and Leaderboard

Reedsy Writing Leaderboard

One of the things that piqued my interest the most was the leaderboard. This is a place where authors are highlighted for contributing the most to the community.

You can earn points for every like, when something you submit to a contest is accepted, or by winning the contests themselves. This triggers the competitive nature in me, and I have no doubt that I’ll be adding my own stories in the very near future.

Now, you don’t really earn anything by being at the top of the leaderboard outside of bragging rights. However, it may contribute to more exposure, which could lead to others clicking your links and buying your books.

Especially if you establish yourself as an incredible author.

Reedsy Writing Prompts Profile Page

The Reedsy Writing Prompts Profile is different from the marketplace. You’ll have your primary author page when using the writing app and hiring editors and professionals to work on your book. But then you also have the profile on the writing prompts page.

Here, you can add your bio, links to your published works, a URL you can share on social media, and a pre-made widget you can add to your website. It is here where your stories are listed when you publish them for free from the writing prompts.

It’s not as robust as something like Inkitt or Wattpad. But it is something you can share that highlights your written works.

The Writing Prompts Contest from Reedsy

Weekly Writing Contests

The overall purpose of the prompts is based on a weekly contest. Submissions cost $5 each, and the winner will receive $250 in prize money.

Stories need to be 1,000 to 3,000 words long. So, about the size of a short chapter in a full-sized book.

According to the rules, you can submit up to five stories per week, each corresponding to the specific prompts. Stories need to be turned in no later than 11:59 pm EST the following Friday.

You do need a PayPal account in order to receive the prize money, though.

Submitting the Story to Your Profile for Free

As an alternative to submitting your story to the contest, you can simply save it to your profile page. This is a free element, but you can choose to change your mind and pay the entry fee to submit the story for the contest if you’d like.

Stories saved to your profile are available for anyone to read and comment. I suspect this is where authors generate the most Karma Points.

Using the Plot Generator

Reedsy Plot Generator

If you don’t like any of the prompts available, you can always create your own with Reedsy’s Plot Generator. This is a great tool to come up with a lot of different ideas for your next story or add a subplot to an existing one.

It’s kind of a fun tool to use, and it has given me a few ideas for future short stories. Then again, that’s the point of the tool.

In any case, the Plot Generator is a free app from Reedsy and is simple to use. Just select your genre and Reedsy will do the rest. Of course, you can always keep clicking the “Generate” button for new ideas.

Will I Ever Use the Reedsy Writing Prompts?

The more I dive into the writing prompts page, the more I want to throw my hat into the ring. Then again, I already have my plate full of stories I need to finish before jumping into another platform.

Some of which are fairly major projects.

Sure, it’s not that hard to crank out a 3,000-word story based on a writing prompt. But I’m not sure if I currently have time to really flesh out a good tale.

However, I do plan on putting some time into seeing what Reedsy and its writing prompts can do for me in the very near future. I’m even debating on writing flash fiction on the weekends.

Another thing I can consider is using it to write an anthology.

In any case, the ideas generated by both the contests and the Plot Generator are very interesting. So, it’s safe to say that I’ll be working on setting up my own little corner of the community to share some of my works.

Even though you don’t get paid for these short stories, unless you enter the contest and win, it’s more about notoriety and recognition. The more places you can get your name with a solid writing background will only work to your advantage.

Those stories might not pay out now, but they could lead to sales from author links or by creating fans who seek out your books.

In this case, something as simple as a profile for writing prompts could open the door to your career.

How Do You Kickstart Your Creativity?

Generally speaking, I’m never at a loss for ideas when writing. If I do get writer’s block, it lasts for maybe five minutes before I continue with the story. But not everyone can stay focused in such a manner.

There’s nothing wrong with that as we are all unique authors. And that’s when writing prompts can be of great benefit.

What kinds of things keep your creative juices flowing? Do you use music to inspire your tale, or do you use some other tool to keep your focus?

Sometimes, I’ll burn incense depending on the scene.

Michael Brockbank
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