Writing Prompt Story Starter: Families

Shutterstock / nito © story starter

This week’s Story Starter has a definite festive feel to it – it’s all about family.

Maybe families during the festive season?

This year, of course, everything is different for most of us – with  Zoom calls or socially-distanced visits replacing our usual get-togethers.

Incidentally, we’re happy to accept stories which feature coronavirus. We’d ask that the pandemic isn’t the sole focus of the story, though. Our readers are interested in reading stories about people affected by the crisis, whose lives are touched by it.

Our readers value and respect all families; traditional, and blended families; single-parent families; families where parents may live separately.

Children perhaps loved and brought up by grandparents, or other relatives.

Big families. Extended families. The more, the merrier!

Adoption – being welcomed into the family.

Family dynamics. Who gets on with who . . . and who doesn’t?

Sisters. Brothers. In arms?


Being close to Grannies and Grandpas. Much-loved. Remembered.

Babies – and around Christmas time, new babies, especially! New additions.  Waiting, hoping, for a baby to arrive. New mums and dads.

Nieces and nephews, aunties and uncles.

Mums. The heart of many families.

Families adapting to different situations, both happy and challenging. Moving on after a bereavement, or redundancy. Fresh starts.

Family celebrations – birthdays, and anniversaries.

Family-run businesses. Keeping it in the family.


Of course, it’s not realistic to expect all families to get on, all of the time. We’re happy to feature ‘grittier’ storylines, such as the sadness of estrangement or of loss, as long as there’s an upbeat or forward-looking resolution.

If you look at our serials, you’ll see that many of them are based around family life.

Hope you’re enjoying Christmas week. See you soon!

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

Lucy Crichton

Better known as “Fiction Editor Lucy”, I am always on the look-out for the very best short stories, poems and pocket novels. As well as sourcing enjoyable content, I enjoy working with our established contributors, encouraging new talent, and celebrating 155 years of “Friend” fiction!