If you’re like me, it can be difficult in the summer to stay motivated and find time to write. My children are out of school, so my daily routine is different. And the lure of vacation, family outings, and the beach sometimes interferes with sitting down at my computer. With that said, I’m always brainstorming and keeping my eyes open to all the possibilities for ideas just waiting to be discovered. Often, writing to prompts can help provide some inspiration. And even if I don’t have a long block of work time scheduled, drafting a short piece based on a prompt can get me back into the writing habit.

I thought it would be fun this month to offer a list of summer writing prompts that are always buzzing around in my brain. Perhaps these will inspire you to create a story or two:

1) Remember a childhood memory about a beach, water park, carnival, or a summer picnic. Think of the objects associated with those memories. Perhaps write a story focusing on a shell, a carousel, a carnival ride, or ants in a picnic basket.

2) Enjoy a photo walk around your neighborhood. Take photos of flowers, cute animal antics, birds, nature, and kids on playgrounds. Write a story based on one of the photos.

3) Think about your favorite summer activity. Perhaps it’s sailing, building a sandcastle, riding your bike till dark, jumping into a pool, or eating an ice cream cone. Write a hundred words based on the feeling you get when you think about that activity.

4) Turn on the radio. Jot down the names of five songs you hear, or think of songs you remember from summertime. Write a story based on the song title or lyrics.

5) At home or at a restaurant, choose your top five summer foods. Create a story where one ingredient or a favorite recipe factors into the story.

Let me know in the comments if you try any of these writing prompts. I hope they spark creativity all summer long!

Melissa Stoller is the author of the chapter book series The Enchanted Snow Globe Collection - Book One: Return to Coney Island and Book Two: The Liberty Bell Train Ride (Clear Fork Publishing, 2017 and 2019); and the picture books Scarlet’s Magic Paintbrush and Ready, Set, GOrilla! (Clear Fork, 2018). Upcoming picture books include Return of the Magic Paintbrush and Sadie’s Shabbat Stories. She is also the co-author of The Parent-Child Book Club: Connecting With Your Kids Through Reading (HorizonLine Publishing, 2009). Melissa is an Assistant and Blogger for the Children’s Book Academy, a Regional Ambassador for The Chapter Book Challenge, a Moderator for The Debut Picture Book Study Group, and a volunteer with the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators/MetroNY. Melissa has worked as a lawyer, legal writing instructor, freelance writer and editor, and early childhood educator. Additionally, she is a member of the Board of Trustees at Temple Shaaray Tefila, and a past Trustee at The Hewitt School. Melissa lives in New York City with her husband, three daughters, and one puppy.