Writing Ideas

Young Authors’ Writing Ideas—“Happily Ever After: What’s Your Story?”

NCRA members who attended the Leadership Conference in June 2013 offered ideas to support writing on the theme, “Happily Ever After: What’s Your Story?”


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Writing Ideas for Young Authors from Leadership Conference and Other Discussions

Special Events

  • Birthday
  • Holiday
  • Competition (Big game)
  • Wedding
  • Retirement
  • Quinceañera
  • Bar/Bat Mitzvah
  • Graduation
  • Spiritual experience (confirmation, baptism, getting saved)
  • Sweet 16, 13, 10
  • Prom
  • Dance
  • Homecoming

  • Family love stories
  • Welcome home stories (military service)
  • Changes in families (new baby, coping with divorce, grandparents moving in, new job)
  • My grandmother’s house. . .
  • Family trip that ended well
  • Getting adopted
  • Family hero
  • Ancestors’ stories (new country, different eras, love story)
  • Family vacation
Fairy Tale-related people & places (and stories that end “happily ever after”)

  • Your prince or princess
  • Castles
  • Knights, kings, queens
  • Heroes
  • Denmark
  • Disney/Disneyland
  • Brothers Grimm
  • Research fairy tales
  • Fractured fairy tales
  • Conquests
  • Slaying dragons, wicked witches
  • Fairies
  • Magic, enchantment
  • Tournaments (jousting)
  • Letter to a fairy tale character
  • Hans Christian Andersen
  • Comparing original fairy tale with a Disney version
Achievement/Success stories

  • Personal school achievement plan (academic success story)
  • Times you worked especially hard to achieve
  • A time when you didn’t give up
  • Writing/publishing success story (self-made “rags to riches” stories)
  • Learning a new concept, skill (riding a bike, learning to drive), language
  • Overcoming adversity, struggles, disabilities, illness, injury, barriers, fears, a challenging situation
  • Sports success story (personal best, underdog wins)
  • Accomplishing a goal
  • Completing a project
  • Overcoming a disappointment (disappointment followed by triumph)
  • Fulfilling a dream
  • Survival stories
  • Awards, honors
If I . . .

  • Was an animal
  • Could change the world
  • Was a superhero
  • Was a pirate
  • Was shipwrecked on a deserted island

  • What do you want to be/do as an adult?
  • What do you want to do in 10 years?
  • How will you accomplish your future goals?
  • Dreams for a future “happily ever after”
  • New adventure

  • I remember when. . .
  • Going to campus
  • Spending the night away from home
  • Revisit past school years (activities, projects, field trips)

  • Organizing an event
  • Serving as an officer or leader
  • Benefits of teamwork



  • Coming to a new school, town, home
  • Being the new kid in school
  • Making new friends
  • Reconnecting with friends
  • Meeting someone new
  • Economic changes (less money but finding happiness, even without money)

  • Play, poem, fairy tale, tall tale, pourquoi, (how things came to be) that end “happily ever after”
  • Favorite book and influence of that book on their lives, writing, etc.
  • Which role best represents you? Damsel in distress? Big bad wolf? Knight in shining armor? Wicked witch? Troll? Handsome prince? Beautiful princess?
  • Book review of book with a happy ending
  • Imagine that you could spend the day with your favorite storybook character or author


Character traits

  • “Pay off” for doing a good deed
  • Exhibiting a positive character trait (courage, respect, responsibility)
  • Being a gracious winner or loser
  • Good Samaritan
  • Following the Golden Rule (Doing unto others. . .)
  • Becoming a reformed bully
  • Breaking a negative cycle
  • “If you’ve got lemons, make lemonade.” (How a change in weather that altered plans but you made the most of it.)


Loss of

  • A pet
  • A friend
  • A family member
  • Your home
  • A job
  • Something precious



  • Pet stories that end “happily ever after”
  • Getting a new pet (puppy, kitten, goldfish, hamster)



  • Write a letter to yourself at _______ (a certain age)
  • I finally figured it out
  • Job-related: volunteer, community service
  • Current events
  • Getting the teacher you want/not getting the teacher you want (but it ended happily)




  • Put yourself in the shoes of someone who is different from you in some way (someone who lives in another country)
  • If I could make 1 wish
  • “Happily ever after” attitude
    • If I could do it all over again . . .



  • Second chances
  • Unfortunately/Fortunately
  • Rewrite a sad ending
  • Finding something that was lost
  • Finding/winning something valuable (toy, money, jewel, treasure)
  • Today is the day!
    • Travel