Writing Prompt Story Starter: Competitions

Shutterstock / A. Karnholz ©

Lucy’s taking inspiration from recent events in the “Friend” office, for this week’s story starter!

If you’ve had a chance to catch up with Editor, Angela’s blog from last Friday, you’ll know that we’ve been judging our Short Story Writing Competition.

This was held as part of ‘Scotland’s Year Of Stories 2022’, which celebrates stories written in, inspired by, or created in Scotland.

Our Short Story Writing Competition

Authors who have not been published in the “Friend” were invited to submit 2000-word stories with a Scottish flavour.

We’ve now chosen a winner, whose story will be published in the magazine alongside a bespoke illustration, later this year.

Although our competition is now closed, remember you can submit stories to our dedicated email address for unpublished Friend authors, any time.

I wondered if our competition might prompt a story for you, this week?


Raffles, lucky dips, the lottery, bingo.

World record attempts.

A day at the races. And a flutter?

Being in it to win it.

Good luck – or no luck at all!

Baking And Gardening

Competitions as part of events – such as baking, or gardening, at fetes and school fayres.

Competitions at Highland Games – dancing, tossing the caber, bagpipes. Tug-o-war and hammer throw!

Prize crosswords. Chess. Darts and dominos at the pub.

What sort of situations might “Friend” readers be interested in?

Sporting Competitions

Wimbledon, the Open, the Olympics.

This year’s Commonwealth Games.

Team events, or individual?

Sporting events from the past.

Giving your story a definite date can be a brilliant starting point for a story – you can get to work imaging the setting; the clothes and music of the time; the buildings and transport.

Music Competitions

Competitions in singing – solo or choir?

Coming first. Coming last. On the podium. Medals.

Waiting to hear the results!



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!