Story Spark #5: Winter Dance

It’s Week 5 of the Summer Writing Club! Can you believe how fast it’s going by? Since this is our second-to-last Story Spark, we wanted to give a special shoutout to all of the Writing Club members who have been joining in from the Southern Hemisphere. We know it must get a little annoying to hear Summer! Summer! Summer! all the time, so we decided to turn the tables (and the poles) on everyone.

This week when you sit down to write, bundle up and think wintry thoughts. If it’s hot where you live, then this will be an extra workout for your creativity. “Write what you know” is a good rule of thumb that you might have heard before. But it’s equally important to use your imagination when you write.

Start with the artwork below and picture a setting for your story that doesn’t look like your hometown. Maybe magic exists, or Christmas doesn’t, or the world as we know it has ended. Sometimes if you DON’T write what you know, wonderful things can happen.


Story Spark #5: Winter Dance

Storybird Summer Writing Club Dany Paragouteva

Winter Dance, by The art of Dany Paragouteva / Storybird

Prompt #1: If you were to look into any window in this town, you would find traces—and sometimes explosions—of magic.

Prompt #2: This morning’s headline read, “Christmas tomorrow!” This was the biggest news possible, because we haven’t had Christmas in 46 years.

Prompt #3: I’ll remember our seaside city as it was this day. Before the chimneys stopped smoking, when people still bothered to do laundry. When the grand hotel was always booked, so weary travelers had to rent out our spare room. And I’ll remember our last guest, the one who stopped the world.

To submit your story to the Summer Writing Club, follow these three steps:

1. Prompt - Choose ONE of the writing prompts above to inspire your story. (You can use more than one if you feel like super-sizing the challenge, but you must use at least one.) You don’t have to use the exact wording, but our moderators must be able to tell that your story is based on the ideas in the prompt. Also, the writing prompt doesn’t have to be at the beginning of your story; you can build up to it in a later chapter. Just let us know in your chapter note that the prompt is coming.

2. Art - You MUST use the artwork pictured above somewhere in your picture book or chapter. It doesn’t need to be the cover, but it must appear in the story. That’s part of the challenge of the Summer Writing Club. Entries that are missing the art won’t be accepted for the SWC.

3. Tag & Title - You can use any title you choose! When you publish your book or chapter, make sure you add the tag SWC on the book details page (here’s how).

THIS IS IMPORTANT: ONLY stories based on the Summer Writing Club Story Sparks may be tagged SWC! If we see that you are tagging your non-SWC stories to try and get faster moderation, we will return the chapters to the bottom of the queue. Repeated warnings will result in your account being suspended, so play fair. It’s way more fun for everyone.

Read all the rules here.

Still have questions? Click here.


Creative Partner Eliza Osborn is the author of The Mystery of Dogwood Cross, as well as a popular on-going Storybird book called Cliffhangers and Other Thoughts About Writing, which is filled with tips and advice about creative writing. In addition to being a writer, she’s also a homeschool mom (and former homeschooler herself!) and is fascinated by words, images, places, and the past.



Click here to see all of the Summer Writing Club posts and Story Sparks



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