Printing or Saving Your Stories

We’ve added a new option to make it easy to print or download the stories you’ve written.

  1. Sign into Retrospect, pull down the menu from your name at the top right, and click My Profile.
  2. Along with your profile information and choices, you’ll see a purple button called Print My Stories. Click the button.
  3. Retrospect will compile up to ten of your stories into a web page.
  4. From your browser menu, select File > Print.
  5. To print your stories, click Print.
  6. To download your stories as a PDF file, use your browser’s Print or Save to PDF option. In the Print dialog box, it might look something like this:Save as PDF option
  7. If you have more than ten stories, scroll to the bottom and click Older Posts. Lather, rinse, and repeat as needed.

If you save to PDF, you’ll need Adobe Acrobat Reader (or equivalent program) to view the file.

How to Get Started

It’s pretty simple, actually. Create an account. Read a few stories (from the Home page) to see what others are posting. Then, jump in and start writing!

Our Home page highlights the latest prompt, along with stories that have already been written and shared. You’ll also find other stories from recent prompts and a list of upcoming prompts.

The most important menu is at the top of the page. Here, you’ll find items such as Read Stories, Write Stories, My Stories, and Help. Dropdown menus will take you where you want to go.

If you have questions, select Help from the top menu. You can also contact support, report issues, and send us suggestions by clicking Contact from the bottom menu, or by emailing us at

Writing Your First Story
It’s easier if you write your first story in response to the current prompt—just click Start Writing on the Home page. If you’re stuck for an idea, pull down the Write Stories menu look at previous prompts, or write about your own topic.

For your first story, try writing a Quick Take—just a paragraph or two, perhaps adding a photo from your archives or the Internet. (Feel free to post material you’ve written previously.) The interface is similar to a word processing program.

Add Story_annotated

Once you’ve finished writing, use the Publish box to preview, save, and share your work.

Publish story_annotatedYou can also add a Featured Image if you have one. Enjoy Retrospect and happy storytelling!

Setting Your Profile Options
You can find your profile under your name in the top right corner of the website. Here you can complete your user profile, change your password, read messages, and see writers you’re following or who are are following you. You can also specify email settings for how often you want to be contacted.

Member Profiles

If you’re curious about other Retrospect members after reading their stories, you can check their profile for biographical information they may have shared. To do so, click their name anywhere you see it on the site and, on the list of stories that appears, click the link at the top to view their profile.
Julius Caesar profile_portrait
If you’d like to enter and share your own information, sign into Retrospect, pull down the menu from your name at the top right, and click My Profile. You’ll see your public information along with a set of tabs.

Profile tabs
Click Edit, fill in any fields you want to share, and click Save Changes when you’re done. You can also add or change your profile photo. Your bio and your photo, if you have them, will appear at the bottom of all of your stories.

Elsewhere in your profile, you can change your email settings (which notifications you receive from Retrospect and how often), check your messages, and manage the lists of members you follow and who follow you.


Buy It On Amazon

We have the honor of hosting several published authors on Retrospect. We want to make it easy for you to explore these authors’ stories in greater detail. So we have teamed with Amazon to offer access to their books from Retrospect. On each author’s story page you’ll see a link to their books on Amazon. By clicking through, you can support their work by ordering their published books. Your order, including anything else you buy in the same session, will also help support Retrospect.


Read Us on Mobile

If you only use Retrospect on a desktop or laptop computer, we want you to know that it works on mobile devices as well. A smartphone is especially convenient for reading stories. There are now hundreds stories on Retrospect— and soon, we hope, thousands—and most are short enough to read easily while waiting in line, on a plane or Uber, in a waiting room, or whenever you have a few minutes to spare.

mobilessSo try us on your smartphone or tablet! Just go to on your mobile browser. You’ll find the interface very similar to your desktop computer. You can access the top menu by tapping the icon with three horizontal lines. A good way to browse is to choose Read Stories > Surprise Me, which displays them in random order. While reading any story, you can tap the author’s name to read more by him or her. At the bottom, you can access more stories on the same prompt.

Let us know how this works for you, and whether you’d like to see a Retrospect mobile app that makes it even easier to read stories on your phone or tablet. You can post a comment on this blog post, email us at, or use the Contact link at the bottom of the screen.


How to Share Your Stories on Social Media

Social sharingTo share a story on Facebook, Twitter, or by email, simply click one of the icons at the top of the story. Or click the + icon to share on a wide choice of other social media.

You’ll see an initial social sharing message that you can customize as you wish. For example, here’s the window you get when sharing to Facebook:

Facebook share 2Just specify where or to whom to share, add your message, and click Post.

Adding images to your story

Enrich your story by adding photos

Use images to illustrate your story and give readers a clue to what the story is about. A featured image (think of it like a book cover) will appear: 1) at the top of the story; 2) on the home page when that prompt is current; and 3) as a thumbnail in the previews of the stories.

You can insert other images—as many as you wish—wherever you want in the story.

To add images to your story, follow these steps:

Step 1. Get the photo onto your computer.

Step 2. Upload the image into your Media Library.

Step 3. Insert the image into your story.

Step 1. Get the photo onto your computer

How you do this depends on where you get the photo.

1a. Use your own photo.

Your old photos can make your stories come to life. This is the time to share those period photos from old albums or shoeboxes!

Once you find the right photo, there are several ways to get it onto your computer.

Scan it into your computer. You’ll get the best results if you scan with at least 300 dots per inch (dpi) resolution. Tip: Crop the image in preview on your computer before scanning to get the best results.

Take a photo of the photo. If you don’t have a scanner, just use your phone to take a photo of the old photo. Then you can: 1) sync your phone’s image to your computer; or 2) email the image to yourself and then download the attachment to your computer. Save it onto your desktop, or remember where you filed it, and give it a name you will recognize.

Or, just use a photo that’s already on your computer.

1b. Use an image from the Internet.

If you would like to illustrate your stories with photos from the Internet, there are plenty in the public domain. This includes most US government images as well as many publicity photos for movies and TV programs. To find available photos, go to Google Image Search and enter your search term. When the images appear, click Search Tools, pull down the Usage Rights menu, and click Labeled for noncommercial reuse. All the remaining photos should now be usable in your story.

To download it, right-click or Ctrl-click the image from the website and save it to your desktop (or other location you choose).

Continue with:

Step 2. Upload the image into your Media Library.

Step 3. Insert the image into your story.

Step 2. Upload the image into your Media Library

Click Start Writing from any prompt to start your story. From the Add Story page, click Add Media:

Add Media

This will take you to your Media Library. Click Upload Files.

Upload Files

Either drag or drop an image from your computer into this window, or click Select Files, navigate through your folders, and select the image you want.

If there are other images you want to use in your story, click Upload Files again and repeat the process. Now they are in your Media Library, ready to be added to a story.

Insert Media

Click the X in the upper right corner to go back to the Add Story page.

Continue with:

Step 3. Insert the image into your story.

Or go back to:

Step 1. Get the photo onto your computer.

Step 3. Insert the image into your story

Once an image is on your computer, there are two ways to include it in your story.

3a. Insert the image as your featured image.

Your featured image is meant to give readers a clue to what the story is about. This image will appear: 1) at the top of the story; 2) on the home page when that prompt is current; and 3) as a thumbnail in a list of stories.

From the Add Story page, click Set featured image to go back to your Media Library, where you can select an image you’ve already uploaded.

Set Featured Image

(If you haven’t uploaded your image yet, you can upload or drag and drop it from your computer as explained in step 2.)

Featured Image

Set Featured Image 2

Click the featured image you want (a checkmark will appear). If you wish, enter a caption for the image in the Attachment Details section on the right. Then click Set featured image at the bottom right. You’ll see the image under Featured Image on the right side of the Add Story page.

Featured Image Set

If you don’t set a featured image, but your story contains other images, Retrospect will select the first one to use on the home page and as a thumbnail.

3b. Embed the image within your story.

To embed images within your story, put your cursor where you want to insert an image and click Add Media.

Embed Images

Again you’ll see your Media Library, where you can click to select an image or upload a new one.

Insert media 2

Once you select your image (a checkmark will appear), Attachment Details will appear on the right.

By default, your image will appear left-aligned in your story, occupying its own vertical space. You can also flow text around it if you wish. Below the caption field, under Attachment Display Settings, set Alignment to Left or Right or Center and Size to Medium or Thumbnail.

When you’re done with Attachment Details, click Insert Into Post at the bottom right. Back on the Add Story page, your picture will appear in the main text box, wherever the cursor was. You can drag it elsewhere if you wish. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Image Placement

Play around with image placement and alignment until you’re happy with it.

Preview your story

Before publishing your story, you can always click Preview to see how it will appear in Retrospect.





Go back to:

Step 1. Get the photo onto your computer.

Step 2. Upload the image into your Media Library.