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101 Nonfiction Writing Prompts

Updated on May 11, 2012

Where are All the Nonfiction Writing Prompts?

Fiction writers have always had a ton of writing prompt love. And there are writing prompts galore if you want to pour your private thoughts into a journal.

Nonfiction-istas, however, really haven't been privy to the whole writing prompt scene. (What are we, chopped liver!?!)

A nonfiction writing prompt (in case you didn't know) is a simple brainstorming tool that helps you come up with new blog posts, articles and ebook topics to write about. In general, writing prompts can take the form of a single word, a phrase, an image, a statement or a question.

Not all prompts are going to push your creativity towards greatness, which is why it's good to have an abundance of them at your disposal. You'll find 101 on this page.

If you need more (1,598 more to be exact), then check out my ebook, 1,699 Nonfiction Writing Prompts, available on Amazon.

How to Best Use These Nonfiction Writing Prompts

The writing prompts you’ll find below are in the form of questions. Questions are particularly good for nonfiction writers because they nudge your brain for an answer. That’s how they help you work your brainstorming magic.

The great thing about the questions below is that you don’t have to choose prompts from your respective niche for this technique to work (unless you want to, of course).

Let me show you an example. I was recently trying to come up with some ideas for a series of camping articles. Based on the questions in 1,699 Nonfiction Writing Prompts, here are a few I came up with:

5 Simple Starter Tents for New Campers

(Inspired from the prompt, “What’s a good starter set for a newbie DJ?” in the Entertainment category.)

5 Must Have Apps for First Time Campers

(Inspired from the prompt, “What free apps can you suggest for (people)?” in the Technology category.)

How NOT to Get Mistaken for Grizzly Bear Lunch When You’re Camping

(Inspired from the prompt, “Have you ever been mistaken for somebody else?” in your Life category.)

How to Stop Red Ants from Invading Your Camp Site

(Inspired from the prompt, “How do you stop an argument before it starts?” in the Love & Relationships category.)

10 Things You Probably Won’t Need on Your Next Camping Trip

(Inspired from the prompt, “What are some common mistakes people make when organizing a space?”)

As you can see, none of the prompts I chose were camping related. Heck, they weren’t even outdoorsy.

Nonfiction writing prompts don’t have to be related to your topic as long as you have a good supply of them at your fingertips, and you’re willing to think outside the box a little.

#1 RULE: Experiment!

Nonfiction writing prompts are great for sparking new ideas... even the ones that have nothing to do with your topic. It's okay to make strange connections!

Nonfiction Writing Prompts Galore

  1. What's the fastest way to complete a (task) with (name of software)?
  2. What are the advantages of using (tech product 1) over (tech product 2)?
  3. How do you find blogs that you can guest post on?
  4. What kinds of things stress children out?
  5. How can you other people to submit articles to your blog?
  6. As a beginning blogger, what's the best way to ensure long term success?
  7. How can you make your blog stand out in a crowded niche?
  8. What does it take to become a top blog in your niche?
  9. How do you introduce the vegan lifestyle to a child?
  10. What are some good bedtime habits for parent and child to adopt?
  11. How do you determine what chores your child should be doing?
  12. What should you allow your child to do when helping you in the kitchen?
  13. What are some inexpensive first date ideas?
  14. What are some good date ideas in (city)?
  15. How do you break the ice during the first telephone conversation?
  16. How do you maintain the excitement of a long distance relationship?
  17. Do you secretly long to be someone who your friends and family might not approve of?
  18. What would you describe as the happiest day of your life?
  19. Was there ever a day when one of your senses was significantly more increased than usual?
  20. Make a list of everything you love about your children. How do you see yourself in that list?
  21. What's the best way to spend a rainy day?
  22. What was the last situation that made you cry?
  23. My favorite (clothing items) for (people)
  24. My favorite (items) for (occasions)
  25. My favorite (items) for (geographic locations)
  26. My favorite features on the (item)
  27. My favorite (furniture items) for (rooms)
  28. My favorite (places) for (occasions)
  29. My favorite (things to eat) in the (season)
  30. My favorite (type of food) recipes
  31. What are the best (occasion) cruises?
  32. What are the best (occasion) resorts in (city)?
  33. Where can you find cheap flights to (city)?
  34. What items should you purchase while visiting (city)?
  35. What travel gadgets should you bring when going to (city)?
  36. What are some commonly overlooked expenses when it comes to traveling to (city)?
  37. What type of luggage should you get?
  38. What are some good games/group activities for (event)?
  39. What are some do it yourself decoration ideas for (event)?
  40. How do you create an agenda for (event)?
  41. What are the dos and don'ts of planning a small/large (event) in (city)?
  42. What (holiday) traditions are celebrated around the world?
  43. What's it like to spend (holiday) in city? Are there any local traditions?
  44. What are some office party ideas for (holiday)?
  45. What forums exist where people can talk about (health issue)?
  46. What are some things every woman/man needs to know about (health issue)?
  47. What mistakes do people typically make when it comes to treating (health issue)?
  48. Is (cure) right for you?
  49. What are some alternative treatments for (health issue)?
  50. What are (supplements) typically used for? What are their health benefits?
  51. What are some alternatives to a traditional black tuxedo?
  52. What are some alternatives to the little black dress?
  53. Whose style would you like to steal for a day? What would you wear?
  54. How can you modify/alter your (clothes) for a totally new look?
  55. What's the right and wrong way to wear (clothing item)?
  56. Is the pricier (beauty product 1) really better than the less expensive (beauty product 2)?
  57. What are the five items women should always have in their makeup bag?
  58. What's the best way to keep your beauty products organized?
  59. You tried (beauty product)… does it work? What's your opinion?
  60. What are some cool facts about (actor, musician, model)?
  61. What are some groups that have a similar sound as (musician)?
  62. What are your favorite songs from (musician)?
  63. What are some great (musicians/songs) from the (decade)?
  64. What can you do with: fishing lure, fabric, and mason jars?
  65. What can you do with: scrapbook paper, lace trim, and metal spikes?
  66. What can you do with: leather scraps, cabochons, and blank canvas?
  67. What can you do with: measuring tape, feathers and bottle caps?
  68. What can you do with: doilies, water paint, and gold buttons?
  69. What can you do with: silky fabric, puff balls, and Polaroid pictures?
  70. What factors should you consider before adopting a (animal)?
  71. What if it's your first pet?
  72. What are some good treat ideas for your (animal)? What if your (animal) is overweight?
  73. How do you make your own (animal) treats?
  74. How do you introduce your (animal) to a new (animal)?
  75. Pet sitter or boarding care… How do you know what's best for your (animal)?
  76. What (flower, fruit, vegetable, tree, herb) do well with limited water supply?
  77. What are some things you shouldn't do to your indoor plants?
  78. What factors do you need to consider before buying a greenhouse?
  79. What tips can you offer for people wanting to build their own greenhouse?
  80. How do you prepare the soil for (flower, fruit, vegetable, herb)?
  81. What are some fast growing (flower, fruit, vegetable, tree)?
  82. What's the best (flower, fruit, vegetable, tree) for novice gardeners?
  83. How do you incorporate worms into composting? What kind of worms should you use?
  84. What's the best way to divide your garden?
  85. What are your favorite garden design ideas? Where can readers find more garden design ideas?
  86. What government agencies do you need to contact before starting a renovation project?
  87. What are some signs that your (space) needs remodeling?
  88. How do you transform the look of (space) with shelving?
  89. What flooring options are appropriate for (space)?
  90. How do you remove mold from (space)? How do you when it's time to bring in a professional?
  91. What can you do to spruce up your walls without painting them?
  92. What can you add to make your outdoor space more livable?
  93. What type of maintenance should you be prepared to make on a home in the summer/winter/spring/fall?
  94. How can people from (country) buy property in (country)? What are the laws?
  95. What do you consider to be the toughest part of the home buying process?
  96. How do you create a virtual tour of your home?
  97. What are some good strategies for staging a home?
  98. What are some simple ways to reduce your bills without sacrificing quality of life?
  99. When is it safe to splurge?
  100. What type of insurance do you need if you're a (person)?
  101. What are the essential steps to take before you start investing?

Want More Nonfiction Writing Prompts? - (Do you think 1,699 would give you a boost?)

1,699 Nonfiction Writing Prompts cover 21 different topic categories allowing you to brainstorm, mix-and-match with creative abandon!

The majority of the prompts are formulated as questions, just like you see here. I guarantee you'll be brimming with ideas after reading through this puppy.

Comments? Questions? - Let me know what you think of these writing prompts!

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    • whittwrites profile image

      T.B Whitt 3 years ago from the Philly area

      I bought a copy of the 1,699 writing prompts and it is a great book. Thanks for this Hub

    • whittwrites profile image

      T.B Whitt 3 years ago from the Philly area

      I have the book you're talking about 1'699 writing prompts and it is as you say a good investment,

    • profile image

      Sippriano 5 years ago

      Came back to say just went to buy your book! Love it and once again thank you for this lens....

    • profile image

      Sippriano 5 years ago

      Very helpful lens, love the idea of non fiction writing prompts. Thanks.

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 5 years ago

      Another excellent lens for writers! These prompts are really helpful.

    • CameronPoe profile image

      CameronPoe 5 years ago

      Very helpful list, especially for many of us lensmasters.

    • Netbug LM profile image

      Netbug LM 5 years ago

      Great list! I may have to check out that book sometime. ;)

    • DahliaValentine profile image

      DahliaValentine 5 years ago

      @Fcuk Hub: Thank you so much! I'm glad you liked it.

    • DahliaValentine profile image

      DahliaValentine 5 years ago

      @Auntie-M LM: And it's gets better. I actually sell 1,699 of them in the ebook I mentioned in the article.

    • DahliaValentine profile image

      DahliaValentine 5 years ago

      @Virginia Allain: I'm glad I could inspire you... and that means a lot considering you're a former librarian.

    • DahliaValentine profile image

      DahliaValentine 5 years ago

      @bushaex: I'm glad you liked it bushaex!

    • LeslieMirror profile image

      LeslieMirror 5 years ago

      Great list! Every writer would appreciate it

    • Fcuk Hub profile image

      Fcuk Hub 5 years ago

      You are great example of great writer. I like your lens very much :)

    • profile image

      Auntie-M LM 5 years ago

      Great ideas! and there really were 101 of them. I am impressed.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 5 years ago from Central Florida

      You are right, I seldom see writing prompts for nonfiction. I maintain a lens with writing prompts for memoir writers and also have a page of where to find ideas for Squidoo web pages. Your list had a number of topics that set me to thinking of pages I could make.

    • bushaex profile image

      Stephen Bush 5 years ago from Ohio

      I call that a good start for any writer! Thanks.