Writing Prompt Story Starter: Waiting

Shutterstock / katarinag © story starter

A little patience is required for this week’s Story Starter.

Last Sunday was Gaudete Sunday, the third Sunday of Advent.

Meaning “rejoice”, Gaudete represents the passing of the mid-point of Advent, when Christmas isn’t far off.

As far as the candles in the Advent wreath go, Gaudete Sunday is represented by the rose candle.

Incidentally, the candles in the Advent wreath represent hope (week one); peace (week two); joy (week three); and love. The white candle which is traditionally in the centre represents the arrival of Christmastide.

Traditionally, Gaudete Sunday was a pause from fasting, Advent in those days being a little like Lent. A period of calm, of reflection, of waiting.

Can this help inspire some stories this week?


For a vaccine. For normal life to resume. Or at least, for restrictions to be relaxed.

Waiting to see loved ones. Who’ve been shielding, perhaps?

Waiting for . . . a letter, parcel, or an email? A chance, or an opportunity?

Waiting for . . . exam results? Health check results? Spring? Holidays to start?

Waiting for . . . Christmas. All the preparation, and excitement. Children, hoping for a visit from the man in the red suit!

Waiting for . . . whom? A friend? A boyfriend? A baby?

Waiting patiently. Or not!

Waiting rooms. At the dentist, GP surgery, train station, bus station, airport.

Waiting tables. Ladies-in-waiting. Waiting for news.

Talking of which, if you’re an unpublished author and you’ve sent a submission to the Fiction team since lockdown, we’re sorry for the length of time you’ve been waiting for a response.

Since March, we’ve been working from home, with extremely restricted (or zero) access to the office.

As soon as it’s safe for us to do so, the “Friend” team look forward to returning to the office and reading and responding to all submissions.

While we’re waiting, we’d like to thank our Mail team for working so hard to keep your submissions safe.

Click here to pick out another Story Starter from Lucy’s back catalogue.


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!