The Fiction Collection


This collection doesn’t need much of an introduction from me… These are brilliant images to inspire brilliantly creative writing.

The questions are included because ‘reading and writing float on a sea of talk’ (Britton, 1983) – the quality ideas, language and structures come from a rich discussion of the picture and the possibilities for writing.

This sheet is a good starting point for generating ideas: See think wonder, and this one is great for collecting and developing vocabulary: Vocabulary builder.


Credit: Tim O’Brien

  • What can you see? What do you think? What do you wonder? Discuss and/or record your ideas here: See think wonder.
  • Who – or what – smashed the glass?
  • Was the frog there before, or did it enter the frame afterwards?
  • Why are there water droplets inside the frame?
  • Who holds the key?
  • Why is there a tag reading ‘Prince’?
  • Is the frog a prince?
  • Why is the title ‘A Prince’? Why not ‘The Prince’? What’s the difference? (Y3 grammar link)
  • Does this remind you of any stories you know? How is it similar/different?
  • Write this story – choose your perspective, style and structure. Do you want your story to feel like a fairy tale? How will you make yours stand out?


Credit: Erik Johansson

  • What is happening here?
  • What was the girl doing before this? How do you know?
  • Why are the ants angry?
  • Did she fall over or get pulled over by the ants?
  • What is she saying? What is she thinking? How is she feeling?
  • Does anyone know that she’s there?
  • What do you think is going to happen?
  • Write a short narrative of this event. Try to create tension through your sentence and language choices. Choose what you want your reader to feel and check that you have achieved this by reading your writing to someone else. [Or, better still, comment it here and I’ll respond!]
  • Slow writing challenge (to support with/extend the above task):
    You can only write 9 sentences. You can use 2 long, 4 medium and 3 short sentences. Which order will you use them in? Experiment with the different sentence lengths and structures. Once you have written a piece that you’re proud of, explain your sentence choices and the effect you wanted them to have.
    Find this challenge and examples here: Angry Ants slow writing.


Credit: Franco Matticchio

  • What can you see?
  • Who is the Invisible Man? Why is he invisible?
  • Why is he carrying someone in his briefcase? Who is that? How did he get there? Is he trying to get out? Does the Invisible Man know that he’s there?
  • Where is he going?
  • Tell this story.


Credit: Jakub Rozalski

  • What can you see? Look closer.
  • What/who is the figure in the mist?
  • How did it get there?
  • What does it do?
  • Are there more of them?
  • Who is the person standing on the cliff top?
  • What are they doing?
  • What is their story?
  • Share the title & meaning of ‘summon’ – who is ‘The Summoner’? How do you know?
  • Where do you think this could be?


Credit: Lena Gnedkova

  • Who is the person? Are they the ‘keeper of the keys’? Give evidence to support your opinions. Have they always been the keeper of the keys? How did they become this? Do you need to have certain qualities or qualifications to be the keeper? Is it a good thing? How does this person feel about being keeper of the keys?
  • Why is this person wearing one key around their neck?
  • Why are there keys hanging from this branch? Why is the branch connecting two trees? How?
  • Why are the keys glowing? What do the white lines on the branches and the ground represent?
  • Where is this place? Is it special? Do the keys have to be kept here? Why?
  • Does anyone else come here?
  • How does the ‘keeper of the keys’ get these keys? Why do the keys need to be ‘kept’?
  • What is each key for? Choose a key and tell its story.


Credit: Henrik Evensen

  • Describe this setting. Try to use new and adventurous vocabulary e.g. decay, desolation, vacant, shrouded in fine dust, smog, splintered metal, deafening silence…
  • An apocalypse is a great disaster; an event involving destruction or damage on a catastrophic scale. What happened here? What caused the destruction of New York City? When did it happen?
  • Is it only NYC, or does it go further? (Locate NYC on a map, discuss the cause and how far it would spread.)
  • Who is the person? Are they riding a horse? Where did they come from? How did they survive? Is that the only survivor?


© Shaun Tan ‘The Arrival’ Lothian Books/Hachette Australia

  • Who are the giants?
  • Where did they come from?
  • What are they doing? Why?
  • Why are the people running away?
  • Why do the giants need lights in their helmets? Why are they wearing helmets and overalls?
  • How do you feel towards them? Why do you think this is?
  • Tell ‘The Story of The Giants’. What kind of story will it be? How will it end?


Credit: Tyler Carter

  • Who are the people?
  • Where is this?
  • Where did the T-Rex come from?
  • What are the characters thinking?
  • What do you think will happen next?
  • Tell this story.


Credit: Tyler Carter

  • What do the tentacles belong to?
  • How did it get there?
  • How do the man and the dog feel about it? How do you know?
  • Was the man expecting to see this behind the door?
  • Who opened the door?
  • Where is this?
  • What will happen next?
  • Tell this story. What form will your story take? (Could you wr


Credit: Burda

  • Who is onboard the ship?
  • Who is Captain Nemo?
  • Where did the robot come from?
  • What is it doing?
  • Why is it in the water? Will the water damage it?
  • How would you feel if you were on the ship?
  • What will happen next?
  • Tell this story.


Credit: Matt Dixon

  • What is the ogre doing? Why?
  • Why is there a glowing light over the flower? Where is it coming from?
  • What do you think is in the pouches on the ogre’s bag strap?
  • Why were the children in the woods?
  • Does he know that they are watching him?
  • Do the children want him to know that they’re there?
  • Does this remind you of any other stories you know? Why? What’s similar and what’s different?
  • Write this story in the style of a fairytale. Who will be your main character/protagonist(s)?
  • Are ogres normally good or bad characters? Find as many examples as possible before you draw any conclusions.


Credit: Jen Betton

  • What is the boy doing?
  • Who are the other people in the background?
  • Where are they?
  • What time of day is it? How do you know?
  • Why are the people all here so late?
  • Why does one man have his arm in the air? Why does a woman have her hand to her face? What might they be saying?
  • Can you tell anything about how the boy is feeling?
  • Where is he going?
  • What is he going to do with the flower?
  • Why is the picture called ‘Moon Garden’?
  • After discussing and exploring the picture, share the following two and use them to tell the story.


Credit: Matt Dixon

  • Who is the person?
  • Where are they going?
  • What are they carrying?
  • Do they know what’s behind them?
  • Describe the creature behind them. [Look at the eyes, the fangs, the scales…] What is it? Where did it come from? Was it there all along?
  • What is it going to do?
  • Describe the moment when the person realises that there is something behind them – try to build the atmosphere and make the reader feel tense. How do they find out? [rumbling? growling? a single rock bouncing across their path?] How will they react?
  • Tell this story. What structure will your story take? When does this scene happen?


Credit: Borda

  • Describe the trees. Can you use a simile/metaphor/personification?
  • What animals might you find here?
  • Who do you think took this photograph?  Why are the trees all around and above them?
  • Why isn’t there any colour in this photograph?
  • How does this image make you feel?
  • What kind of story would this setting suit? Why?
  • Write a spooky story using this setting; use the title of the image as the title for your story.
  • Write a fairy tale using this setting.
  • Write from the perspective of one of the trees.


Credit: Ryan Lang

  • Who is this?
  • Why do they have a sword?
  • Where did the dragon come from?
  • What kind of dragon is it?
  • Why are there skeletons on the ground?
  • How is the person feeling?
  • What do you think will happen next?
  • Write your own myth or legend inspired by this picture.


Credit: Jungho Le

  • Who is the old lady?
  • What is she doing?
  • What is the shadow? Why isn’t it the same silhouette as her?
  • How does she feel as she’s looking at this shadow? What might she be remembering?
  • Why is it in a book?
  • Why did Jungho Le call this picture ‘Fall’?
  • Write the story of this woman’s life. Include flashbacks.
    • What world events has she lived through?
    • What changes has she seen?
    • What was her childhood like?
    • Is she alone now? Has she always been alone? Was she ever married? Did she have children?
    • What are her favourite memories?
    • What’s her personality like? How will you show this through the writing?
    • How might you structure your story?


Credit: Lena Gnedkova

  • What happened here?
  • Why are the buildings under water?
  • Why are the lights still on in the buildings?
  • Who is the person on the street below? What are they doing there?
  • Why did they build a lighthouse in the middle of a town?
  • Why is the girl standing on top of the lighthouse?
  • What is the ‘break’ in the sky?
  • What do you think is going to happen?
  • Tell the story of the Lighthouse Town.