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40 Story Writing Ideas by Grade Level

Short Story Ideas for Elementary, Middle, High School and All Age Writers — Writing short stories is a fun way to break up your regular journaling routine. Short stories give you total freedom to imagine “what if” and simply see where your mind takes you.

Story Prompts for All Ages

Best of all, a short story can offer the chance to look at life from a totally new perspective—or to live in someone else’s shoes for the day!

Inspire Writers of All Ages

There are so many ways to start a short story, ranging from dramatizing a real-life experience to rewriting a favorite story of your own.

We particularly love choosing a random story writing prompt and allowing the story to take shape on the page.

After choosing a story writing idea, take a few minutes to think about your characters, the setting, and the main action of the story.

Even short stories should still have key components like conflict, plot, and a clear beginning/middle/end. Sketch out a few ideas or brainstorm your main character’s motivations…and then get to writing!

As a source of inspiration to help you begin, we’ve compiled a few lists of story writing ideas for writers by age group. Check out our story writing ideas and creative writing prompts for elementary school students, middle school students, high school students, and all ages below,I and watch them come up with some good stories to tell!

10 Story Writing Ideas for Elementary School Students

Watch your youngest writers’ creativity explode with these interesting story ideas!

  1. Write a story about a group of friends who make an important pact together.
  2. Write a story about an animal escaping from the zoo.
  3. Think of a fun memory and write a fictionalized version of it where the main character is living 300 years in the future.
  4. Write a story about a house with a magic room in it that serves a different purpose for everyone who lives there.
    Elementary Story Writing Ideas
  5. A new student comes to school and disrupts the normal classroom routines—for the better.
  6. Write a story about a young boy who starts to notice words appearing in his alphabet soup.
  7. Write a story about a grandma who secretly fights crime.
  8. Two friends encounter something surprising on their way home from school.
  9. A genie grants a young girl one wish—but she must use the wish to somehow improve the world.
  10. You come home one day to a surprise from your parents—a new pet! However, it isn’t the kind of pet you’d imagined having…

10 Story Writing Ideas for Middle School Students

Older writers can use these as short story ideas for a quick writing lesson!

  1. Write a story about a young boy who hates one of his family’s oldest traditions.
  2. A woman finally finds a prized possession that she’d lost after many, many years. But it seems different than she’d remembered…
  3. A group of students decide to pull off a big surprise at the school’s big basketball game.
  4. Write a “5 years later” epilogue to one of your favorite books or movies.
  5. Two siblings overhear a secret that they weren’t meant to know…and they must decide what to do next with the information.
    Middle School Story Writing Ideas
  6. Write a story about a group of teens who discover something very mysterious tucked in the corner of an old classroom.
  7. Create your own superhero and write their origin story.
  8. An astronaut is preparing to head into space for a five-year mission. How does she spend her last week on Earth?
  9. Write a story about someone who always has a secret trick for every situation.
  10. A detective goes undercover to investigate his own father.

10 Story Writing Ideas for High School Students

High school students will no longer have writer’s block and be inspired to craft their own stories!

  1. Write a story that takes place only through text messages.
  2. A woman discovers that karma is real and must decide what to do with her newfound knowledge.
  3. Write a story about a teenage boy who is forced to grow up quickly when he learns the truth about who his parents really are.
  4. You walk into school one day and no one seems to recognize you.
  5. Write a story about a man who has an okay life—but when he is granted the power to start it over again on the first day of high school, decides to begin again in the hopes of achieving something better.
    High School Story Writing Ideas
  6. Write a story that examines how a character acts one way on the outside—while feeling completely different on the inside.
  7. A young writer begins having strange experiences—only to soon realize they are all connected to the plot points of the novel she was working on.
  8. No one will get in trouble for the annual senior prank as long as everyone sticks together. But when the plan goes awry, three students start to have doubts about keeping quiet…
  9. Write a story about a years-long feud that finally comes to a head when one person decides it’s time to take action.
  10. Write a slice-of-life story about a couple returning home from work.

10 Story Writing Ideas for All Ages

These story prompts can cover different genres – from romance to science fiction to fantasy!

  1. You discover an old photograph that settles a family debate that has gone on for years.
  2. Five friends who haven’t seen each other in nearly a decade agree to meet up for a reunion.
  3. One day, the power goes out in the middle of a giant thunderstorm—and panic ensues for an unexpected reason.
  4. Write a story about a woman who receives a package in the mail from her future self. What’s inside?
  5. Rewrite a scene from your favorite movie from the perspective of a random person on the street who is watching everything taking place.
    All Ages Story Writing Ideas
  6. One day, you learn that you have a secret family member that you never knew about. What do you do?
  7. Write a story about a woman with a real-life theme song—that often starts playing at inopportune moments.
  8. Write a story in which wild rumors cause a great deal of trouble for all the characters involved.
  9. You find an old notebook in a dusty box in the attic—only to open it and find that it has references to very recent events.
  10. Write a story about a man who gets a new phone number, only to start receiving phone calls all the time intended for the very famous person who had the number before him.

More Story Writing Resources

Until next time, write on…

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Story Writing Ideas for Every Age
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