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34 Excellent Personal Story Ideas to Fuel Your Writing

Personal Story Writing is a genre that is fun to write and enjoyable to read. And now, you have at your fingertips a wonderful list of personal story ideas to inspire you and your writers. So, read on to see more now and enjoy!

All Ages Personal Story Ideas

Yes! You’ve Found Some Wonderful Story Ideas for All Ages

A personal story is one in which the student writes about their own experience with a person, a place, or a moment in time.


Personal stories allow students to consider their own perspectives, write about their experiences, and understand how that time in their lives affected them.

Students of all ages often realize this early on, as they discover that their own writing style may be different from that of their peers.

This is why…

In order to help students connect their own experiences with the act of writing, you can use personal story ideas and prompts.

Helps Students Connect with Good Personal Short Story and Personal Narrative Prompts

When you have your students write a personal story, you may want to consider asking them to share it with the class.

You see…

Not only will your students begin to see that there is no right or wrong way to write a personal story, but they also will learn a little bit more about their peers.


They will begin to understand one another on a deeper level and they will become more comfortable with one another inside the classroom.

Good Personal Stories, Short Stories, or Good Narrative Essays in the Classroom

Personal story ideas and personal narrative topics and prompts can be used as part of the writing curriculum at any grade level.


Whether you are working with elementary students who are just learning how to write or you are teaching high school students how to connect with the writing process, you can use personal story prompts to help them perfect this writing style.

Ok, get to it and use these personal story ideas to encourage the students in your class to share their own experiences through writing. I think you’ll be glad you did.

Personal Story Ideas for All Ages

  1. Write about the first day that you met your teacher. What did you think your teacher was going to be like? What was he or she actually like?
  2. Have you ever had a birthday party? What was the theme of the party? What was the party like? What was your favorite memory from the party?
  3. Write a story about a pet that you have or an animal that you have loved. What kind of impact did that animal have on your life?
  4. Write a story about one of your family traditions. What does this tradition mean to you? Do you know when your family began this tradition?
  5. Write a story about a mistake that you made in the past. How did you feel when you made the mistake? What were the circumstances surrounding the incident? What did you learn from this mistake?
  6. Write about a dream that you had recently. What do you think the dream meant?
  7. Describe a time in which you faced a dilemma with a friendship. What was the problem? How did you handle it? Did you ask for help in solving the problem?
  8. Think about your favorite hobby or pastime. Now, write a story about how you discovered this hobby and why you decided to stick with it.
  9. Have you ever visited another city? Write about what it was like to take a trip to a new place.
    Personal Story Writing Ideas
  10. What is the first item that you ever purchased with your own money? Write about how you earned the money and why you chose to buy that item. What does that item mean to you?
  11. Write about a time when you had an experience with another culture. What was that moment like? What did you learn from that experience?
  12. Write a personal story about a memory that you treasure. Use vivid detail to describe the experience.
  13. Write a personal story about a memory that is difficult for you. Include information and insight as to why that was a difficult time in your life, and how you have worked to overcome that challenge.
  14. Write a story about a time when you tried something new. What did you try? How did you feel before you tried it? How did you feel afterward?
  15. Write a story about a special moment that you had with one of your role models. Why does this memory mean so much to you?
  16. Write a story about a time when you were the center of attention. What was happening at this moment? How did you feel?
  17. Write a personal story about your siblings or your cousins. Describe the relationship that you have with these family members while telling about one of your favorite memories together.
  18. Write a story about a time when you had to be patient. Why did you have to wait? Was it worth the wait?
  19. Write a story about a time when you had to tell the truth, even though it was difficult to be honest.

Personal Story Writing Offers Additional Benefits

While personal writing can certainly help young writers become more creative and confident in their skills, this writing style offers additional benefits that extend beyond the established curriculum.

In fact… 

Personal narrative essays in the elementary school, middle school, or high school settings can also encourage children to feel proud of their past, help them better identify with the challenges they have overcome, and discover connections with their own peers that they didn’t realize existed.


When students focus on their own personal experiences, they are able to organize their thoughts better, be more engaged with their work and take more pride in the finished product. Many educators are finding that personal story prompts are the perfect complement to their social-emotional learning activities.

15 Additional Personal Story Prompts to Try

  1. Inspiration often leads to action. What was the last person or event that inspired you? How did that inspiration change your path forward? Write a personal narrative about this experience.
  2. Write a detailed description of the main character in your favorite book and incorporate that character into your next short story. 
  3. Name your favorite place to be in the entire world. Write a short story about what it’s like when you are in that place or about your favorite memory from that spot. 
  4. Think about the best gift you ever received. What made that gift so special? Write a narrative story about the moment when you received that gift. 
  5. A superhero is not necessarily someone who wears a cape or who has special powers. Sometimes, superheroes are a part of our everyday lives. Write a personal story about a superhero in your life, and describe the moment when they saved your day. 
  6. Think about the beginning of the school year and the expectations that you had for it. Write a descriptive essay about how your school year has gone so far, and how your experiences compare to what you thought was going to happen.
  7. What was the hardest thing that you had to do? Write a descriptive paragraph about that moment — be sure to describe the emotions you experienced at the time.
  8. Draft an outline for a historical fiction story based on your own life. Keep in mind that historical fiction often includes factual information about events and people — but allows you as the writer to put your own creative spin on the piece. 
  9. Describe your most successful moment in your favorite sport or activity. Why was this such an accomplishment for you? How did you feel in that moment? 
  10. If you have a pet, think about the day that your pet joined the family. Write a personal narrative essay about what happened that day. If you do not have a pet, write a story imagining what it might be like to bring an animal into your home. 
  11. Imagine if you were a character in your favorite fairy tale. Which character would you be? How would you change the story. Rewrite this fairy tale from your own unique perspective. 
  12. Find a favorite photograph from last summer. Now, write a detailed description of what happened that day — such as how you felt, what the weather was like, what happened next and more. 
  13. What is a nonfiction book that you relate to? Write a journal entry about why you relate to that book.
  14. Look back on some journal entries from earlier in the school year. Now, describe how you changed and grown since then. 
  15. Think about a goal that you have. Now, write a short story about what it might be like when you reach that goal.

I hope you enjoyed these personal narrative ideas and topic ideas and use them in your lesson and assignment plans for your students. Again, these ideas are good for all students from elementary to middle school, high school, and perhaps even for your college students.

Closing Thoughts…

Don’t forget, if you are going to ask your students to be brave and share their own experiences in their writing, you should do the same.

Provide your students with personal story examples that are suitable for their own age level or writing skills and know you a little better as well. You could share about an upcoming vacation (or one you took already), a movie that means a lot to you, your first pet, best friend, or even a significant memory from your childhood. The point is to pick the right topic so you can share something of meaning and substance with your students.

Remind your kids that they can use a personal story in order to reflect, share, or overcome a challenge. By developing these narrative writing skills, they will be able to keep on writing expressively and thoroughly for the years to come!

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Personal Story Prompts for All Ages
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