2023’s Best Creative Writing Prompts for Middle School Students

26 Dec, 2023 | Blog Articles, English Language Articles, Get the Edge, Writing Articles

From the ancient epic poems of Homer to the haunting short stories of Shirley Jackson, via Russian greats like Leo Tolstoy, and the formal experiments of Virginia Woolf, creative writing has been a crucial part of society for millennia. Whether through novels, poems or memoirs, writing creatively has always been an important and evolving outlet for people to express unique ideas and emotions.

What are the Benefits of Creative Writing for Middle School Students?

I. Developing language skills

Oftentimes when we write essays, teachers advise us to use vocabulary we know and understand. Creative writing offers us the freedom to experiment and expand our vocabulary, and to use phrases we might not use in everyday life or in academia. 

This makes creative writing a great way to learn a valuable skill applicable in virtually every walk of life – communication.

II. Encouraging self-expression

Creative writing is also an excellent tool for exploring your unique perspective and voice in a vast world of digital information.

Understanding and embracing this individuality can boost your confidence in your own academic and professional voice – as well as your creative one – and sharing your inner world with confidence is an enviable skill!

III. Enhancing critical thinking

Writing creatively is as much about editing as it is about writing. Choosing what to include and what to omit, from plot to characterisation, will help you think critically about your own work in a way that can be easily applied to your academic work. 

When you write creatively, consider not only the choices you’re making but why you’re making them. What are the consequences of particular narrative decisions, and what do these decisions represent in regard to the wider story you’re telling? Thinking in this way will help develop your analytical and problem-solving skills for university and your future career, giving you a boost in your applications.

IV. Promoting confidence

As well as the confidence you gain by developing your own creative voice, seeing a creative writing project through to completion is sure to give you an enormous sense of accomplishment and reinforce your belief in your own abilities. 

Many people say they’ll write a novel or a short story one day, but few end up getting round to it, so having a finished piece of creative writing is an incredibly impressive indication of your determined and proactive approach to work.

V. Preparing for future success

The skills you develop through writing creatively are surprisingly transferable to the rest of your life. 

Critical thinking, creativity, communication, problem-solving, and good written English are skills valued by virtually every employer – and there’s no better (or more fun!) way of developing these essential skills than through creative writing. 

Having a good set of skills in your academic armoury will serve you well when applying to university and beyond, so honing them is key.

How to Use a Writing Prompt

Often the hardest part of creative writing is sitting down and seeing a blank page in front of you. Starting with a writing prompt is a great way to get your ideas flowing, so we’ve listed a few of our favourites below!

Once you’ve found a writing prompt that interests you, you can:

  • Begin brainstorming ideas, themes and characters based on your chosen prompt 
  • Plan as much – or as little! – of the structure as you’d like 
  • Reflect on the type of writing style you’re going to approach your work with. Is it a short narrative story, a poem, a creative essay, or a play? Is it a combination of all four? 
  • Research creative writing tips online to refine your work

Don’t forget to share your work with friends, parents or teachers if you need some constructive feedback!

Student lying on floor reading, surrounded by books and candles

The Best Middle School Creative Writing Prompts of 2023

Imaginary worlds

1. A boy wakes up one day and all modern technology has disappeared – nobody but him remembers it ever existing.

2. A woman meets an assortment of people who appear to be characters straight from her novel.

3. While on a school trip, a group of friends get lost and discover a bridge that leads to another world.

4. A girl wakes up one day and is transported to a world where children are leaders and adults are forced to go to school.

5. A crazy scientist discovers that magic is real and sets about proving it.

Mystery and suspense

1. Students in a school class are disappearing. One student realises they’re disappearing in the order their names are read out in the register. He has to work out what’s happening before his name is next.

2. A couple go missing the night before their wedding, leaving behind a trail of clues. It’s up to the best-man and the bridesmaid to solve the mystery before the big day.

3. A man wakes up in a strange room with no memory. The only clue he has about his former life is a diary written in code.

4. A girl buys a necklace from a flea market and quickly realises it used to belong to a murder victim. She believes the necklace holds the clues to catching the killer.

5. A boy’s vivid dreams begin to come true in real life.

Magical adventures

1. A girl is tasked with finding the last living giant in a world that doesn’t believe they ever existed.

2. A young King Arthur wakes up in the body of a schoolboy in 2023.

3. A medieval knight discovers a smartphone that has been left behind by a time traveller and uses it to outwit his enemies.

4. A modern woman discovers she’s a witch and begins to curse people who wrong her.

5. A girl discovers she’s the direct descendent of a group of evil sorcerers.

Historical journeys

1. A girl’s family cat transports her to ancient Egypt.

2. The model who posed for Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa wakes up in the present day and has to deal with being the most recognisable figure in the world.

3. A boy finds himself on a 16th-century pirate ship and has to befriend his new shipmates.

4. A girl wakes up in Pompeii days before the eruption of Mount Vesuvius and has to convince the townspeople to flee their homes.

5. A boy finds himself in Elizabethan England and must convince a young William Shakespeare not to give up on writing.

Outer space and sci-fi

1. When a boy’s parents are replaced by aliens, it’s up to him to uncover the truth.

2. A group of friends discover a portal that leads to a planet which looks identical to Earth, but isn’t what it seems.

3. A woman discovers that her boss has been colluding with an alien race in order to take over the world.

4. An evil billionaire creates an army of robots in order to take over the planet. A group of amateur hackers decide they can hack the system and prevent destruction.

5. A developer launches a virtual-reality game so realistic that people begin to worry that he has actually created an alternate universe.

Everyday adventures

1. When a town with a small population completely floods, it’s up to the handful of residents to protect themselves and each other.

2. A car chase between an ordinary truck driver and a gang of criminals spans the length of America.

3. A group of hikers become trapped in a cave and don’t have long before their supplies run out completely.

4. A man witnesses a murder while working as a delivery driver in the small hours of the morning.

5. A woman discovers a conspiracy within the company she works for and seeks to uncover it.

Family and relationships

1. A family is made to wrestle with a dark and shocking discovery about their ancestors.

2. An estranged mother and daughter are forced to reconnect when one of them is diagnosed with a rare, terminal illness.

3. A successful politician deals privately with the abrupt end of her marriage.

4. A woman meets the love of her life on her travels and has to decide whether to go back home or move to a new country.

5. A brother and a sister put their differences aside to help support their ageing mother.

Magical creatures

1. A boy finds a unicorn living at the bottom of his garden, but only he can see it.

2. Siblings discover that their mum is secretly a witch.

3. A girl discovers that all the pictures she draws of mythical creatures come alive.

4. A boy gets lost in the woods and is adopted by a family of giants.

5. A wicked witch turns a boy into a frog to punish him for bullying his schoolmates.

Humorous adventures

1. A boy who hates studying history gets sent back in time.

2. A man is mistaken for a celebrity and gets to live his dream.

3. An escaped convict accidentally finds themselves on a reality TV show.

4. A vampire who loves human blood but is otherwise a strict vegan.

5. A teenager who is addicted to social media wakes up in a time before technology.

Superhero scenarios

1. A superhero has to get an office job because they run out of money.

2. A girl with the power to predict the future has to decide whether to use her powers to get rich or to help others.

3. An elderly man discovers he has super strength.

4. A superhero with the ability to read minds tries to foil the evil plans of a popular presidential candidate.

5. A girl discovers she has superpowers but only for one day a week and she forgets she has powers for the rest of the week.

Dystopian worlds

1. The wealthiest people in the world stage a fake apocalypse so they can create a new society in which they’ll be powerful forever.

2. The government announces that due to overpopulation, having children will be made illegal. A woman discovers she is pregnant and must go on the run.

3. A new continent is discovered that’s been secretly running the rest of the world.

4. A war breaks out in which robots fight instead of soldiers, but one person discovers that the soldiers are, in fact, real people.

5. In the year 2090, technology has been banned and people live simpler but harder lives. The final generation of people who remember technology come up with a plan to bring it back.

Time travel tales

1. A boy goes back in time to save his parents who tragically died when he was a baby.

2. A girl wakes up in an ancient civilisation and is hailed as a mythical Goddess because of her strange, modern clothes and her phone.

3. A boy who is struggling with his maths homework goes back in time and is tutored by the ancient Greek mathematicians.

4. A brother and sister travel back to Victorian England and realise how differently they’re treated because of their gender.

5. A boy travels back to the 1960s and accidentally stops The Beatles from forming.

Survival stories

1. A group of friends must save their classmates when their teachers are killed by a mysterious force during a school trip.

2. Passengers on a train are held hostage and it’s up to one woman to save the day.

3. After retreating to an underground bunker during a nuclear disaster, three friends begin to run out of supplies and have to decide whether it’s safe to emerge.

4. While a group of friends are camping in the woods, they are attacked and imprisoned by a group of criminals and must escape.

5. When a group of influencers are stranded on a luxury desert island, they must battle the elements and each other to survive.

Monstrous adventures

1. A ghost begins terrorising a group of friends at a boarding school.

2. A group of hikers come face to face with a troll who is intent on feeding them to his family.

3. A girl wakes up in Transylvania and must outwit an evil vampire who is luring locals to his castle.

4. A friendly giant is appalled by the behaviour of his family and tries to save the local humans they trap.

5. A schoolteacher turns out to be a werewolf and is preying upon the pupils he dislikes most.

With the help of our creative writing prompts, you’re just a step away from beginning your own storytelling journey. 

Remember, all your favourite books started out as just a flash of inspiration!


By Sam Cox

Sam is a recent English graduate from the University of Bristol whose interests include twentieth-century fiction, film, and cultural criticism.

Hone your creative writing skills this summer!

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