Sample Topics

One piece of writing, fiction or non-fiction, of 1500 words or less, in English or French, is required for admission to the “Write Your Story” Writers’ Retreat. It needs to be submitted at the latest one week before the retreat starts. The copyright of your piece remains yours.

Write about a character stumbling upon a library book that changes the course of their life, for better or worse.

Write a story that weaves together multiple lives through their connection to a particular tree.

Start your story with a character struggling to remember the date, because every day is like the last one.

Choose a piece of music and write a story about it, ex Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow? by The Shirelles, Would I Lie To You? by The Eurythmics or Wouldn’t It Be Nice? by The Beach Boys

Write a story using this picture as inspiration

Write about someone who books a bargain vacation, only to be told when they arrive that they need to share a hotel suite with a stranger.

Write about someone who’s lived on a tropical island their whole life and is leaving it for the very first time.

Create a timeline of events depicting your life by using newspaper headlines. Try to focus on events that didn’t involve you directly, but connect them to the pivotal events in your life.

Write a near-future thriller where a piece of everyday technology has turned against your character — and only your character.

Write a story using this picture as inspiration

Write a near-future thriller where a piece of everyday technology has turned against your character — and only your character.

Set your story in a remote winter cabin with no electricity, internet, or phone service.

Choose an event in your life that someone else remembers differently. Describe both memories and debate the differences. Who do you think is right? Why do you think you remember it differently?

Write a story told exclusively through dialogue.

Write a story using this picture as inspiration

Write about someone keeping track of time with tally marks on a wall — until one day they discover that all the marks are gone.

Write about someone who gets proposed to five times on Christmas Eve.

Tell a story from your life in inverted chronological order. Start with the end, then backpedal to the middle, then tell the beginning, and then fill in the rest of the gaps.

Write a science fiction story where all human behaviour can be predicted — until your character does something the algorithm did not expect.

Write a story using this picture as inspiration

Write about someone who gets an inheritance from a relative they’ve never heard of, but they’ll need to do something completely outside their comfort zone in order to collect it.

Write a mystery where the detective realizes at the last moment that they have the wrong suspect.

Write about 5 things that make you incredibly happy and describe why they make you feel this way.

Write about two people who know they’ve made a mistake, and one of them wants to tell the truth but the other wants to lie about it.

Write a story using this picture as inspiration

Start your story with the line, “This was supposed to be the happiest day of their lives,” and end it with, “By then it was too late.”

Choose a smell, aroma or perfume and write a story about it.

Write about a road trip you took, and about where all your fellow travellers ended up in life versus where you ended up.

If you could be anywhere in the world at this very moment, where would you want to be and why?

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