tell me a story


The art of storytelling is not just one to be perfected for summers around campfires or your future bestselling memoirs. The request that we all made as children, “Tell me a story,” is one that we must ask ourselves to do even now. Whether you’re writing a critical essay or a personal narrative, often times you can support your thesis by answering this request. Today, we will practice storytelling in the form of a simple personal narrative.

First, I want you to write a list of five things you would buy at the grocery store (this can be a grocery store that carries any food item from anywhere in the world) if you had an unlimited budget.

Then, I want you to write a 150 to 400 word narrative explaining your purchases. Please pay attention to sound and image in your writing, erring on the side of whimsy or sentiment rather than tedium (i.e—this because of that).

For example, on my list I would include fresh-picked Maryland blackberries. One of my favorite memories of childhood is going to the orchards outside of Rockville and scanning the bushes for the plumpest jewels just barely hanging on, which I knew my mother and aunt would later turn into pies. When I remember those days, there is a feeling of an unending early summer, longing, and a kind of joy that is difficult to duplicate outside of childhood.