Writing Prompt Story Starter: Poppy

Shutterstock / sportoakimirka © story starter

The month of Remembrance inspired this week’s Story Starter.

Although there’s a lot of uncertainty in the world right now, the rhythm of the year carries on.  Hallowe’en and Bonfire Night have just passed, and this Sunday it’ll be Remembrance Sunday.

So our writing prompt this week is the poppy, “a symbol of both Remembrance and hope for a peaceful future” .

November begins with All Saints and All Souls — calling to mind those who’ve gone before us.

Then we remember, remember, the 5th of November, 1605.“Gunpowder, treason, and plot”. Guy Fawkes.

Bonfires . . . and a penny for the Guy. The weather, usually frosty and dark.

Food with a bonfire night link: bonfire toffee, parkin cake. Sausages cooked over flames, and marshmallows toasted on the fire.

Fireworks. This year, mostly back-garden displays.

Invented more than 2000 years ago in China to scare away evil spirits, fireworks also traditionally welcome in the New Year; and if you’ve ever been on holiday to Malta, you’ll know how beloved their fireworks displays are, brightening up local feasts and celebrations.

Then we move on to Remembrance Sunday.

Getting together to respectfully commemorate the fallen. Like everything else this year, it will have to be done in a different way — with social distancing, or via a livestream.

Remembering those who fell in both World Wars. Those who we’ve lost in more recent conflicts. And those from further back in time.

Remembering all those we’ve loved, and lost. Pausing to remember, and reflect.

Poppies. A simple symbol. A simple idea, still going strong.

Charities having a tricky time this year due to the situation we find ourselves in. Like all businesses, having to adapt, and do things slightly differently.

We’re happy to accept submissions which mention the ongoing coronavirus situation; we’d simply ask you to be mindful that the situation remains fluid, so please bear that in mind when writing.

Hope this helps ‘spark’ some ideas this week. Over to you!

To choose another Story Starter, click here.


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 150 years of 'Friend' fiction!