Coffee Sleeve Stories

One of the members of my local writer’s group shared a call-out for a very interesting writing prospect awhile back. She’d heard of a fellow who was looking for short stories of 150 words or less, I believe, that could be published on the sleeve of coffee cups. Hmmm… though my writing tends to slant to the side of personal narrative, I liked the idea of creating fictional work in as few as words as possible, yet captivating in nature. Since my own love of reading got squelched somewhat after going to university and having all kinds of literature forced on me, I felt that maybe this particular writing challenge would be good for me as both a writer and a reader.

Thus, on weekend mornings while lying about leisurely in bed (isn’t that the best?), I eagerly began crafting a possible story idea on the ‘notes’ app of my iPhone. To my surprise, I felt that I had come up with something pretty decent and my husband agreed after reading it. Once I did some tweaking to the word count given that it was tricky to concoct something good with such limited parameters, I had the first of what would turn out to be three pieces. The beauty of writing is exactly that–you never quite know where it’s going to take you. I certainly never anticipated that I would end up with three short stories borne from one idea. After all, I’m not really a fictional writer… or am I?

Unfortunately, I was never able to get in touch with the right person about the Coffee Sleeve Project and my hopes of publishing engaging stories for coffee shop readers everywhere fell flat. So instead, I decided to publish the series of three interconnected stories on my own blog. They seemed to be well-received with my few dedicated followers, so I thought that I would take this opportunity to share them more widely now that we have the Discover Prompts.

So friends, brew up a favourite cup or three of java for yourself and pretend that the following fictional pieces are on each of the sleeves of your would-be recyclable paper cups. Perhaps I’ll call them, “Sue’s Storytime Sleeves”.

Warning: The stories could be a little intense for some, especially the last one which I actually had great difficulty writing because of the outcome. I should also clarify that the second & third stories ended up a bit longer than the 150-word count. Read on to see what you think.

1) Maria’s Story

2) Joe’s Story

3) Rosie and Lilly’s story


17 thoughts on “Coffee Sleeve Stories

  1. Shayan Afzal

    Hi Sue! I have to say it is rare that I find a post here that genuinely captures my interest. A story in 150 words is an exciting concept that I never thought about. I am doing to check out the stories you outlined above. Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You know, this came to me as a funny (ironic?) thought, but I imagine someone already jittery from too much coffee, reading these stories–especially “Rosie and Lilly” and about jumping out of their skin. And where is part 2 of that story??! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good point! Maybe I should have suggested decaf?! Truthfully, I needed some time after writing the girls’ story. It was a little rough for me. I need to get in the mindset of the characters again and find out what happens next. I’ll keep you posted. Thanks, as always, for tuning in.

      Liked by 1 person

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