Inspiration for Quiz Bowl questions

Alright, I’ve got about 2 days to write questions for the next (college-level) tournament in which I’m participating. I need fresh fodder for art and literature-themed questions and am severely lacking in inspiration. Anybody have suggestions for interesting topics, obscure (but not too much so) facts, or otherwise mentally stimulating ideas?


Go to your local library and look in the reference section for copies of The Peoples Almanac and The Book of Lists. They’re rather old (late 70s early 80s) but lots of fun.

As much as I love the People’s Almanac series, they’re absurdly unreliable as far as accuracy goes.
In regards to creating quiz bowl questions, just from my own experience, old newspapers and magazines are suprisingly good for almost every kind of trivia.

Art and lit questions come easy for me because I studied both in college. Science ones are the toughest.

For a look at what other people are writing about check out:

What school do you play for?

I majored in English in college. A few years ago, a friend asked me to e-mail some questions to her daughter Ellen, who was then competing for her high school team. Since Ellen’s weakness was “dead European authors”, I was happy to comply with her mother’s request. A few of the queries i came up with:

  1. By what pseudonym is Eric Blair known?

  2. Which novel was based on the life of a man named Alexander Selkirk?

  3. Which poem contains the line "Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!"?

Hope this sampling gives you some ideas!

Just in case anyone wants to know the answers:

  1. George Orwell

  2. Robinson Crusoe

  3. Percy Bysshe Shelley’s Ozymandias