La Creative Ideas and Free Online Resources
for Writing

by Julie Knapp, copyright 2005

Wacky Random Headline Generator -- click to make a weird
headline, then write your own news story to match it ;-)

Fortune Cookie Story Prompts -- use the fortune to inspire a story,
news article, song, or poem (from Bruce Van Patter)

Shape-Book Patterns -- dozens of boldly outlined printable shapes,  
choose with or without guide lines, great for descriptions, listing nouns
or other parts of speech, or poems, free  

Postcard Creator -- from Read Write and Think, a free online activity
that allows students to type addresses and messages onto a blank
postcard format, then print it out, color or decorate, for older kids, you
could use the postcard to generate story ideas

PIZZAZ !... People Interested in Zippy and ZAny Zcribbling --
creative writing and storytelling ideas

Let's Get C reative! -- free online web activities from author Bruce Van
Patter, many ideas and prompts to spark imaginative writing and thinking

Wordle -- enter text that you've written or copied and generate a
"cloud" of words, with more frequently used words larger that the others
(fun way to show a preponderance of "nice" or "really" or "cool" ;-)

All You Need to Know About Cartooning -- cartoons are a great way
to express humor, tell stories, or work thru issues -- also take a look at

Make Beliefs Comix! -- free online comic-maker, choose from several
pre-made characters, choose the mood of the character (happy, sad,
mad, surprised), and type words into "bubbles" to make a comic/story

Create a Comic Strip -- from Hasbro MonkeyBar, scroll down to Comics

KaBoom! -- a dictionary of comic book words as sound effects ... and
now, a
little comic book humor

Write a Travel Brochure -- a great option to writing a factual report on
a place... but also think of creative alternatives, such as a brochure for
a different time or historic event, for space travel, or from the point of
view of an animal, bug, or germ ;-)

Young Novelist Workbooks
(they take a few minutes to open up) .

Cure NanoWriMo's writer's block! by Language is a Virus -- writing
games and gizmos to inspire creativity

Script Frenzy is an international writing event, like NaNoWriMo, but  
participants write a script during the month of April

ReadWriteThink Printing Press -- an free, onlne, guided interactive
tool for creating and printing out a brochure, newspaper, booklet, and
flyer, several other writing activities available, too

Writing With Writers Workshops from Scholastic -- free online
tutorials on different kinds of writing, includes news, folktales, book
reviews, biography, science writing, etc., messages and tips from
professional writers provide inspiration

Favorite Poem Project -- 50 videos documenting and encouraging
poetry's role in Americans' lives.

Science Writing -- what is it and how is it different from other writing?  
includes several fun ways to incorporate science writing projects

Neuroscience for Kids Writing Projects -- lots of clever ideas for
writing about brains and the nervous system

Better Fonts -- over 10,000 free fonts, great for poetry and prose!

25 Funniest Analogies from Student Writers

RIF Reading Planet Game Station -- free online spelling and writing
games, sign up then it is free

Storytelling Activities from Story Arts -- can be used as pre-writing
exercises and to generate ideas for written stories

5-Card Nancy -- create picture stories from cut-up Nancy cartoons

Hula as a Literary Experience... by Vanessa Maañao

The Five Paragraph Essay Slide Show -- amusing show and tell for
the 5 paragraph essay
Five Paragraph Essay Model -- and example essay and outline, with
each element in a different color
SAT Essay Prep Course -- very helpful free online course
SAT Essay Writing Part 1 -- free video on YouTube explains strategy
and walks thru writing an essay

Get Writing! -- free online mini-courses, tips, contests, inspiration for
young writiers of all genres, from the BBC

The Slam by Cricket/Cicada Magazines -- a place for teens over 14
to submit creative writing for general peer review
**parents should pre-read entries on this website for appropriateness**  

WordSmiths -- an anthology of teen writing on the web, from the NY
Public Library, accepted submissions are featured for 1 month
**parents should pre-read entries on this website for appropriateness**  

Language Construction Kit -- for creating your own artificial language
(for fantasy novels, games, etc)

Starship Dimensions by Jeff Russell -- compares relative sizes of
fictional starcraft to each other, The Hindenburg, Eiffel Tower, Apollo
craft, etc., inspiration for sci-fi writing

Lesson plans on
Code Writing and Code Breaking