Writing Prompt Story Starter: Back To School

Shutterstock / FamVeld © back to school

This week’s story starter is something most of us can relate to – going back to school!

Here in Scotland, the first of our schools went back this week, with others to follow shortly. In other parts of the UK, there’s another three weeks or so before it’s time.

Fiction team’s Tracey and I were reminiscing this week about sewing name tag labels onto little shirts and ties, blazers and gym kits.

Summer Hols

The summer holidays. Six weeks (or even as many as nine weeks) of no school – and no homework!

Family holidays, home and away.

The unpredictable British weather – long hot summer, or washout?!

School Days

First day at school — for teachers, as well as pupils.

Photos at the gate.

Too-big blazers, tiny chairs, crayons in a tin. School shoes. Play dough.  Satchels. Lined jotters.

Jumpers for goal posts.

Your first teacher. Inspiring teachers. Head teachers. Being a teacher.

Moving to High School, or into different years or classes.

Stiff collars, lost ties, shopping for stationery.

In Days Gone By

Free education for all being a relatively new thing, perhaps you’d like to think about schooling in days gone by.

Victorian classrooms. Girls taught at home. Governesses.

Schooldays Now

Going back into education as an adult.

Enduring friendships — or romances — which began at school.

Trickier parts of school life – bullying, feeling left out, school refusers. We can accept stories which touch on more challenging subjects, as long as there’s a ‘Friend’-ly vibe throughout, and a positive resolution. Stories with a more challenging storyline can be a good fit for our Specials,.

Schooldays in 2021. Social distancing and face masks, Zoom lessons.

Although our readers have mixed feeling about reading coronavirus stories, we can include them occasionally, as long as the story isn’t solely focused on the virus.

And of course, this time of year also means autumn is just around the corner.

To pick another Story Starter, click here to view our Archives.


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!