Writing Prompt Story Starter: Library Books

story starter

This Story Starter dropped right into my inbox this week.

One of the nice things about working on the Fiction team is being in regular contact with our assigned authors.

Occasionally, we’re given new authors to work with, usually if one of the Team moves on.

One of the authors I’m now working with is Annie Harris, who was formerly Fiction Ed Shirley’s author, before Shirley retired.

At the moment, our published authors are emailing in submissions.

With one of her emails, Annie sent me this image.

Library lucky dip

It’s her library book pile, which Annie and her husband organised to see them through lockdown.

As some areas were preparing to go into different “tiers” of lockdown, some local libraries allowed borrowers to order a maximum of 20 books “sight unseen”, to get readers through the lockdown period. So it’s like a lucky dip – with the titles chosen for you, within certain categories.

As you can see, Annie ordered a mix of crime and contemporary fiction – with some writers new to her and some known, but new titles.

So, this week’s prompt is the library. And library books, of course!

A library theme

Most of us will have memories of going to the library as children, perhaps on a Saturday morning. And only being allowed to take out a certain number of books!

Those little library cards they used to keep in the front of the book, until it was borrowed, and stamped. Remember them? Now replaced by plastic library cards . . . which you still can’t always find when you’re ready to set off!

Librarians. Being furloughed – most library teams have been furloughed at different points during the coronavirus situation, and we’re fine to include elements of the real-time situation in “Friend” stories.

The people who borrow the books.

Taking a pile of books every time, or just one. Bringing them back on time – or years late? The amnesty box of shame!

The different sections. Getting to know which borrowers borrow which books.

People reading papers quietly. Or chatting. Or using the computers.

Activities for babies and toddlers, and younger children. Working on homework.

There’s so much going on in a library, I hope it helps with some writing inspiration this week!

And thanks to Annie, for sharing her pic with us.

Remember you can pick another Story Starter from Lucy’s back catalogue by clicking 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!