Writing Prompt Story Starter: NHS

story starter

This week’s Story Starter is inspired by something close to all our hearts.

Clapping For Our Carers has become a regular Thursday evening occurrence in our street, and in streets up and down the country.

Families everywhere appear on doorsteps and balconies at 8pm as a small sign of the gratitude we all feel towards those who put their lives on the line to protect us. In our street, we’ve even had the occasional bagpiper — socially distanced, of course!

I spotted this sign when I was out and about for some exercise this week.

So, for this week’s prompt, let’s think about our wonderful NHS.

Positive, everyday stories

Let’s focus on positive, everyday stories — our dedicated doctors, nurses, and healthcare staff. The teams working in hospitals and doctor’s surgeries. Ambulance crew. Receptionists. Cleaning teams. Everyone working together.

Little miracles happening, every day. The kindness of strangers, who often become friends.

The beginnings of the NHS. Healthcare through the years, since the foundation of the NHS in 1948.

Nurse’s training — many readers have fond memories of this. District nursing. Health visiting. Midwifery, past and present.

As well as short stories, there’s so much scope for serials: lots of drama, and interesting characters. Medical dramas are popular on TV for those reasons!

Here at the “Friend”, we’re not accepting stories solely based around coronavirus at the moment, for two reasons.

Firstly, we’re grateful for the professional 24-hour news coverage of this pandemic, but it can feel overwhelming. The “Friend” is like an oasis of calm in the midst of it all — a safe place, and a break from what has been, for many, a very worrying time. So we’re aiming to keep that in place for now.

Secondly, because this epidemic remains a fast-moving, fluid situation. We go to press weeks ahead of “real” time, so that could prove problematic.

Keep an eye on the website — we’ll let you know if that changes.

Best of luck with your writing this week!

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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!