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Scotland's Stories writing prompt: New dawns

A writing prompt inspired by our Scotland's Stories: Hope campaign.

Language: English

Last updated: 25 March 2024

You can also access this prompt in Gaelic.

Scottish Book Trust is asking people all over Scotland to submit their true, personal stories on this year’s theme of Hope. 

Use this writing prompt to get your creative juices flowing. You can submit your piece here for the chance to be featured in a free book, produced by Scottish Book Trust, that will be distributed around the country during Book Week Scotland 2024. 

If you've used one of our prompts to kickstart your creativity, we'd love to read what you've written! You have up to 1000 words to share your story, but you don’t need to use them all. Make sure you submit your piece to Scotland’s Stories by 7 June to see it published on our website (and maybe even in this year’s Book Week Scotland book!).

New dawns

Sometimes we require hope to make difficult decisions and start anew. To clean the slate and refresh our lives. Is there a time when you realised you were on the brink of a new horizon? For this year's Scotland's Stories project, we are asking the people of Scotland to tell us their true life tales of the new dawns that have brought them hope or came from daring to hope for something new.

Sometimes good things fall apart, so better things can fall together.

- Marilyn Monroe


Out in nature

When times are shifting, sometimes re-engaging with the natural world can bring us peace and perspective. Find some time to spend in nature or reminisce about a time when you felt in touch with your landscape. If you are struggling to conjure one, you could look up pictures or videos of a nature scene for inspiration.

Now, set a timer for five minutes and try to write as many words or phrases as you can that are inspired by these places. Think of the sights, smells and sensations. How did the wind feel on your face? What plants or animals did you see? 


Go through the camera roll on your phone, a photo album or a collection of photos online and select any images with nature in them. It could be a selfie taken outside on holiday or a bird or flower that caught your attention. Select three of these photos and write about the context of when they were taken. What were you doing directly before the picture was taken? Were you going somewhere important or was this moment motivated by something in particular? What happened after the image was taken? Was it the start of something new? 

Start Writing

New seasons

Using the above prompts as inspiration, think about a place that has played a pivotal role in you starting a new chapter in your life. Describe how this location influenced you and how it made you realise it was time for a change. It could be a visit to a place you realised you had to move to, or a calming moment in nature that put things into perspective. 

Nothing blooms all year round

Sometimes we need to take stock and rest before we make our next move. Think of a time of reflection in your life that preceded a new dawn. What were you feeling at the time? What did your life look like? Did all hope seem lost, only to be found again?

The butterfly effect

Think of an important moment in your life and consider what set it in motion. Try to trace it back as far as possible. Sometimes it’s the actions that feel minimal which have the biggest consequences. It could be a kind word from a stranger, a throwaway piece of advice or a sign from the universe that you only truly understood after events transpired. Write about a moment that started as a seed and grew.