Lately, I’ve been obsessed with one–word writing prompts and it all started with a children’s book. 

The church I’m currently attending, First Church Birmingham, did a special sermon series during which we read and gleaned lessons from select children’s books. One of those books was The Word Collector by Peter H. Reynolds. It tells the story of a little boy named Jerome who is fascinated by words, and he collects them in a notebook, writing down any words that stand out to him throughout his day. Inspired by little Jerome, I started doing the same thing. And I’ve been turning these words into one-word writing prompts. Also, I’ve been sharing a one-word prompt each day in the See Jane Write Network Facebook group.

I talk about this more in my latest podcast episode. 

What are one-word writing prompts?

The idea of using a single word as a writing prompt might sound silly. You may think you need a prompt that presents a scenario or gives you a deep question to contemplate. But as a writer, you know that there is great power in words. Yes, even a single word. 

Chances are you could look at a word and fill an entire page pretty quickly with thoughts on what the word means to you, how the word sounds, and how the word makes you feel. 

How To Use a Single Word As a Powerful Prompt

There are so many different ways to use a one-word writing prompt. If you’re a fiction writer, perhaps the prompt could be the first word a character speaks. Maybe as a poet, you challenge yourself to start and end your poem with the word. For a journal entry or a personal narrative, write about a life experience that the word makes you remember. Even journalists can use one-word prompts. Take the word and brainstorm article ideas related to it. 

100 One-Word Writing Prompts to Try

Here are 100 one-word writing prompts to get you started:

  1. Magic
  2. Freedom
  3. Pride
  4. Acceptance
  5. Worthy
  6. Glory
  7. Refrain
  8. Abundance
  9. Water
  10. Lava
  11. Praise
  12. Silence
  13. Solitude
  14. Community
  15. Solidarity
  16. Ghost
  17. Art
  18. Poetry
  19. Music
  20. Play
  21. Park
  22. Canyon
  23. Eclipse
  24. Journey
  25. Face
  26. Nostalgia
  27. Congratulations
  28. Beauty
  29. Fireworks
  30. Confession
  31. Faith
  32. Fear
  33. Facts
  34. Truth
  35. Skinny
  36. Lunch
  37. River
  38. Dance
  39. Willow
  40. Criminal
  41. Evil
  42. Anatomy
  43. Elementary
  44. Equal
  45. Glazed
  46. Busy
  47. Excuse
  48. Doubt
  49. Attention
  50. Language
  51. Love
  52. Skin
  53. Control
  54. Pathway
  55. Portal
  56. Stack
  57. Fresh
  58. Start
  59. Pitch
  60. Evergreen
  61. Travel
  62. Talk
  63. Quiet
  64. Critic
  65. Bold
  66. Candle
  67. Movies
  68. Popcorn
  69. Kiss
  70. Clean
  71. Flavor
  72. Favor
  73. Grace
  74. Mercy
  75. Summer
  76. Winter
  77. Spring
  78. Fall
  79. Sea
  80. Monument
  81. Game
  82. Agenda
  83. Cease
  84. Fire
  85. Justice
  86. Blinding
  87. Measure
  88. Peace
  89. Protest
  90. Sun
  91. Moon
  92. Stars
  93. Chime
  94. Market
  95. Money
  96. Evidence
  97. Defy
  98. Guarded
  99. Pursue
  100. Final

What words would you add to the list?