• Andrew Johnston

Yet Another List of 30 Flash Fiction Prompts

I'm not a big fan of writing prompts, and I like flash fiction prompts even less - and yet here we are. Some of you read the post featuring broad ideas for flash pieces and needed more inspiration, which led you to one of many blogs offering prompts. I'm not impressed by them. Most of the flash prompts I've seen are very specific, so much so that they imply the ending, and/or suggest stories too complex for 1000 words.


So here's my list of suitably broad, mostly spec-focused fiction prompts. There are actually two lists. The first - 18 items long - is a selection ideas, some original and some inspired by existing flash pieces (written by me or by others) but open enough for other takes. The second list - 12 items long - contains framing ideas for the epistolary flash fiction I mentioned in the previous post.


I hope you find this a little bit useful.


From the flash fiction story "Halted."


18 Spec-Focused Flash Prompts


  1. A group of people play a futuristic sport.

  2. In a remote village, a group of peasant farmers conduct a strange ritual.

  3. An explorer finds an mysterious object and tries to figure out its purpose and function.

  4. A woman learns of her exact doppelganger.

  5. A man tries to defeat the Devil in a battle of wits.

  6. An inanimate object suddenly acquires sentience.

  7. A young child encounters a friendly robot with animal-like intelligence.

  8. A group of refugees flee from a alien monstrosity.

  9. A pilgrim seeks out a sacred location to perform a rite.

  10. Lost in the wilderness, a man approaches death.

  11. A woman finds she has detailed knowledge of a building she's just entered for the first time.

  12. A woman attempts to use sorcery to solve a problem.

  13. A group of normal people witness a catastrophic event.

  14. A journalist investigates a media figure who doesn't seem to exist.

  15. A complex signal from deep space reaches Earth.

  16. An ordinary person abruptly develops a minor superhuman power.

  17. An astronaut loses contact with Earth while on a mission.

  18. A mysterious figure makes an unusual offer to a business leader.

12 Ideas for Epistolary Flash Fiction


  1. A government advisory

  2. A white paper

  3. A form letter

  4. An instruction manual

  5. A liability waiver

  6. A series of graffiti poems

  7. A long advertisement

  8. An obituary

  9. A press release

  10. A news story transcript

  11. A series of microposts

  12. An informational pamphlet

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