Writing Prompt Story Starter: Easter

story starter

I’ll start this week’s Story Starter by wishing all our readers and writers a very Happy Easter.

It’s an unusual Easter, for all of us. So much has been happening in the wider world around us that the celebration hasn’t had the focus it usually has. And today is Good Friday, already!

As you may know, the “Friend” team are working from home at the moment. There are definitely pros and cons to this, as Angela says in her Editor’s Diary this week, but it’s all good!

And the whole team is pulling together to make sure your “Friend” is published every week.

On the Fiction team, we’re in touch with each other every day. We’re trying to keep things as close to normal as we can, and are reading, approving, purchasing and illustrating stories as usual.

Payments are being processed in the usual way — so, if your story is bought, there’ll be no delay in payment. And “The People’s Friend” is continuing to pay on acceptance, rather than on publication.

So, let’s think about this week’s story starter.

Easter inspiration

Easter is a journey, the culmination of 40 days of Lent. Which may or may not have involved trying to give something up! Or perhaps trying to do something positive for others.

Rewinding slightly, Lent began with Ash Wednesday — and before that, Pancake Day of course! Shrove Tuesday, Mardi Gras.

Fast-forward to Holy Week, Spy Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, the Easter Vigil.

Easter is also a celebration. After a tricky time, a happy resolution. So you might think about celebrations — of all faiths, and of different faiths, and simply celebrations.

Easter memories, of happy times we’ve spent with loved ones. Traditions of old passed on through centuries, and families. Choirs. Passion plays. The Oberammergau Passion Play — still happening nearly 400 years, as promised, if the village was saved from plague.

Due to our current lockdown, going to a church service may not be possible this year. But many churches are offering “virtual” services through a livestream. Connections made possible by all the tech we have available now.

And then there’s Easter food! Eggs, of course. Easter Egg hunts. Chocolate eggs. Decorating boiled eggs, and rolling them down a hill, to signify the first Easter morning.

Hot cross buns. Lamb roast for Sunday dinner.

Easter bonnets.

As our Mairi pointed out in her Facebook live post, Easter is a moveable feast. It usually signifies the beginning of spring. Daffodils appearing. New life. Lambs and bunnies. The weather warming up.

Our Easter stories were all illustrated and ready to go by New Year, but we’re always looking for stories set throughout the year for our Annual — it gives our reader a sense of the ‘flow’ of the year. So stories set in particular times of year are very welcome – seasonal stories, as well as stories attached to particular dates or events.

Why not St Swithin’s Day, the Oscars, or the London Marathon?

The rhythm of the year in past times. Quarter Days, like Lady Day, Midsummer, Michaelmas, and Christmas. Candlemas.

We welcome historical stories and serials, as well as contemporary. WWI, WWII and Victorian times are popular among our readers and writers. Stories set in these eras are most welcome; we also welcome stories set in other times.

So, I hope that’s some food for thought, story-wise, and wish you the best of luck with all your writing endeavours this week.

As we enter our fourth week of lockdown, our submission guidelines can be found here.

If you’re looking for another Story Starter, take a look at our Archive here.

Lucy Crichton

Fiction Editor Lucy is always on the look-out for the very best short stories, poems and pocket novels. As well as sourcing enjoyable content, she enjoys working with our established contributors, encouraging new talent, and celebrating 155 years of 'Friend' fiction!