Writing Prompts

Each CityWrite session incorporates a few general writing prompts geared towards cultivating stories of how we interact with our communities. We make these prompts available in the event that someone else would like to use them (or add to them).

  • What do people need to know?
  • How did you come to know Indianapolis?
  • What does home mean to you? Can you think of a story from your past that helps illustrate your definition?
  • Think of a time when you felt truly happy—write the story of what happened: where were you, who were you with, what were you doing?
  • “What most people do not understand about me is:”
  • “Indianapolis needs more of…”
  • The best moment in Indianapolis sports was when… (Or, recreate your high school’s winning play through a playbook or short story).
  •  Think of a time when you felt sad or unhappy—write the story of what happened: where were you, who were you with, what were you doing?
  • When did you realize you were “grown up”?
  • Is Indianapolis, and your neighborhood, a safe place?
  • When was the last time you were spoken to by a stranger or spoke to a stranger? What happened?
  • Have you ever let someone down?
  • Which season is your favorite? Why? Tell a story of a memory that stands out and is connected to your favorite season?
  • What is the best way to have a cookout?
  • Who is someone you remember at __________?  What do you remember about that person?  Share a story.
  • What is a time that stands out for you at ___________?  Why?  Share a story about that time.  (When was it?  Who was there?  What was going on?  Where were you?)
  • What do you want folks to know about _______________?  Tell that story.  Why do they need to know?
  • Is there an event (a celebration, a gathering, a funeral…) that you remember happening at _____________?  Why does this stand out for you?  Why was it important?  Who was there?  What was happening?  What were you doing?
  • Is there a special place, an important place, a historical place in Indianapolis that you would like to share, talk about, remember?  Why is it important?
  • What do we need to preserve at _____________ or in Indianapolis?  Think people, places, events…
  • What do you we need to change at _____________ or in Indianapolis?
  • What defines a community?  Has there been a time when you realized you depended on others? When you wished others would have depended upon you?
  • The one thing the Mayor and City-County Council needs to know about Indianapolis is… (explain your “one thing” so people can understand your position. Why do you believe this is important?)
  • Think about the first house or apartment you moved into in Indianapolis.  What did you do on the first night living there?  Where did you go in the neighborhood after moving in? Why did you move?
  • Indianapolis is a city that…
  • “If I were the mayor, I would…”
  • Why do people commit crimes?
  • When was the last time someone helped you? When was the last time you helped someone else?
  • Describe your “perfect day.”
  • What does it mean to be poor?
  • What does it mean to be rich?
  • Which neighborhoods or areas of town do you try to avoid?  Why?
  • Why do people litter?
  • How should people spend their time?
  • If you could share one recipe with the world, what would it be?
  • What frustrates you about your neighborhood or Indianapolis? What can you (or should you) do about this?
  • What does it mean to be a citizen?
  • What does education mean to you?
  • Describe the last time you created art.
  • Write about a time when you, or people you were with, were dancing.
  • “Before I die, I plan to:”
  • Do people generally get along with one another or do they generally avoid each other?

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