ONC prompts

What are you expecting to see in the prompts for ONC this year? And what are you hoping will be a prompt or be part of one?

I’m expecting either a vampire or zombie themed one. And a prompt about body swapping with a celebrity.

I would love to see one that evolves mythology and honestly if we could have some supernatural creatures that aren’t the common ones that would be great. Like I would absolutely love an excuse to write about Wendigo’s.


Don’t know. I’d have to see previous years to get a feel for speculation.

1 Like

They take down the books with the info every year so it’s definitely not easy to find past prompts.

I know what three were from last year though:

One was about picking people to kill based off of spin the bottle
You sold your soul to the devil years ago. Today, he gives it back to you and says “I need a favour.”
You find yourself bouncing around in time when one day you’re in the 1950s and the next in 1990s. The only constant thing is a stranger whom you see every era.

I used the last two so those were straight up copied from the prompt list and the first one I’m going off of what I remember.

Edit: the last two might of been from 2020. The past two years just blend together for me.


Well, they look to be rather randomized, not trending, based upon the three.

Heck, maybe an afterlife one?

1 Like

god this one is so cool. why didn’t i do anything with that last year?

1 Like

Honestly, same. I remember I was put off by it for some reason but it’s completely up my alley.

1 Like

I remember a few more.

“You either die a hero or live to see yourself become the villain” from the dark knight

child of hero/es needing to go to an all villain school and trying to blend in. where does it go wrong?

You’re a weapon and weapons dont weep

you and friends reuniion at a cabin, stuck in there during a storm. start reminiscing about old memories but realize you all are telling different versions of the story/are forgetting things (idont remember clearly its late)

“there’s a monster under your bed” but you’re actually good friends with it and either it needed your help or vice versa


I honestly might use that prompt later down the line when I’m bored.

1 Like

I think at the time i was completely dried up on contemporary/neo modern fantasy plots. i was very unifocused last year.

Now I have more characters without a solid story so I might be able to do something there.

1 Like

the bottle one?

yeah it would be the perfect short novel idea. you could keep it pretty contained.

1 Like

I honestly would write quite a few of these now. And I know for a fact when I was picking prompts none of these were ones I was interested in.

I usually end up screenshooting the prompts I like, highlighting them and then decide which ones I like the most and write that one(s).

I think I was still in my phase of everything needs to have some amount of romance otherwise nobody will read it. And I probably picked prompts based on whether or not I could add romance to it.

I can’t quote for some reason but yes the bottle one. It’s definitely one that I would work on more to improve my skills or if I was stuck on another story.

Now that I think about I think the bottle one was written in a way that it came out as a satire. Which I mean it kind of already is but they made it seem like they wanted pure comedy instead of a thriller or horror with comedy elements.

My feeling in general last year was that a lot of the prompts set up the inciting incident of the story. Like “X happens, what do you do?”. Which made me realize that that’s not how I create a story. I would much rather work from the situation that occurs from that event, and later figure out exactly how that came to be.

Which was why I went with this prompt last year:

Strange and unlikely circumstances lead to someone’s pet iguana becoming the most feared and respected Captain, during the Golden Age of Piracy.

This prompt might seem weird and quite specific, but it actually gave me a lot of leeway to work out the circumstances that made this happen (which involved a mysteriously missing captain, a mermaid spell, and a treasure map).

This year, I’m really hoping for something to fit my actor kidnapping story into (perhaps something about someone waking up in a locked room or an author going too far to finish their story).


I suspect the rule book will be up end of the month, and the competition will start in early February


I honestly wonder how many people can write a book out of things like that.

I hope you get something that works with your prompt. Although, I’m now curious if they’ve ever done an abduction prompt or not as they seem to steer clear of things like that. I mean the one thriller/ horror prompt I remember (which is in a couple post above) was very satire.


I’m hoping that someone’s speculation of it being released on the 18th is going to be true. Especially because after the 19th I’ll have quite a bit of free time to write.


True, they might not do prompts that could possibly lead to problematic stories. Hopefully, I can squeeze this story into another prompts then, (To be clear, the story I’m planning is very much a satire as well. I can’t write dark stuff. I write fluffpuff. So there might be a possibility to fit it under something else)


Some of the prompts were quite vague and there is always the leeway to change them too

This is kind of what I’m hoping to be able to do! Like last year, there were a couple of generic quotes you could base the story on, so surely I could make something like that fit.

On the other hand, I do worry that living up to the prompt is one of the things they judge on and that maybe my story will be eliminated early if it’s too obviously just shoe-horned into a prompt (sometimes I wonder if Iguanatopia was cut because the iguana didn’t actually become the most feared pirate captain of them all :joy:)


I want one for Mac.

1 Like