I’ve recently discovered the joy of writing prompts.

Writing prompts aren’t new.  They are little bits of starters for writers to begin a story, typically a short story or flash fiction.  However, they are new to me.

While I don’t write a story about every prompt that I come across, they have gotten my creative juices flowing, which is, in fact, their purpose.  So today I decided to share my list of personal web sites that I haunt for writer’s prompts.  Even better, some of these prompts are free contests that you can win a variety of prizes.

Most of the other prompts that I’ve found are generated prompts, which does have their uses, but the point of our jaunt is to “get published” and have an internet footprint, so for my list, I am going to concentrate on those.  I realize that my list is about Writer’s Digest (the major publication for writers), and I’m not trying to endorse them at all.

The weekly forum has a list of prompts.  As an added benefit, you can put your link at the bottom of the forum post to help drive traffic to your blog.  My first prompt has generated about twenty unique visitors to my site.

Then there is the Promptly.  You add your prompt as a comment to each blog post and it is entered into a random office drawing.  The only drawback is that the CAPTCHA is so “good” that you can’t post anything at all.  They provide an alternative email, but I haven’t seen any of my prompts get added yet.

Your Story is a feature of Writer’s Digest magazine.  The winner, chosen from a poll, is published.  I’m not sure if there is any money attached to it, but you can definitely use it as a kudos for publishing.  And it’s free.

Do you use any writing prompts to help you get your inner muse started?