Horror Writers Association Blog

Writing Prompt: Dog Days of Summer

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Young Horror brings you writing prompts to energize your week with spooky idea inspiration. Are you writing picture books, chapter books, middle grade, or YA? Your next great idea could be sparked right here.

Check back every Monday for new writing prompts. Share your ideas and discuss in the comments below.

Dog Days of Summer

For today’s writing prompt, turn on the sprinkler, because we’re in the dog days of summer. These “dog days” point to the rise of Sirius, the Dog Star. Sirius ushers in the hottest 40 days in the Northern Hemisphere. Time to avoid heat stroke and write.

Force your character out of the air conditioning and into the heat. What do kids do in a summer swelter to cool off? I was devotee to Popsicles, and to sticking my tongue out to see how it changed color. Ahhh…the fun of Red Dye #40.

You expect to see a bright red tongue, or shocking green lips. What if something unexpected happened instead?

Child and popsicleWriting Prompt

WRITE: A flash-fiction (under 500 words) where two characters share popsicles, then stick out their tongues and scream at what they see on the other’s tongue.

Share your ideas in the comments below, or on Twitter with @horrorwriters #writingprompt or #YoungHorror


Author Head ShotShanna Heath is an author and monster slayer who writes horror for all ages. Childhood can be terrifying. Shanna makes monsters, then shows kids and teens how to defeat them. A lifelong horror fan, Shanna was inspired to write horror for young people after re-reading Baum’s Ozma of Oz as an adult. You can find her scary kids book and movie recommendations on her website, or connect with her on Twitter and Facebook. Shanna’s favorite young horror read is Coraline by Neil Gaiman.

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