How to Write a Heading & Caption for a Short Story


Once you have written a short story, you can add a heading and a caption as final touches. The heading is a word or short phrase that draws in the attention of the reader. The caption provides a witty, striking or surprising statement relating to the story itself. The caption is usually next to a picture printed to capture the reader's focus. Writing headings and captions requires careful consideration as you need to be selective with your words.

  • Read through your short story thoroughly before writing your heading and caption. Write down the story's main points. Make note of any controversial, unique or particularly compelling parts of the story that will help generate heading and caption ideas.

  • Sum up the short story in one short phrase or sentence. Think about what the most important aspect of the story is, and try to define it in one sentence.

  • Refine the sentence into a heading between one and five words long. The heading needs to be short and snappy to grab the reader's attention. For example, a story about a burglar who takes his pet cat on robberies could have the heading "The Real Cat-Burglar."

  • Look at the illustration or photograph that goes with your short story. A caption is a sentence that describes the image and reflects the main premise of the story. It adds extra intrigue alongside the heading.

  • Consider using a statistic or quote from the story to add interest to the caption. A caption for the example story could be, "The cat-burglar stole $40,000 with help from his feline accomplice."

  • Put the heading and caption together, and make sure they complement each other. The heading explains briefly what the story is about, while the caption relates more directly to the image. Check they match and do not repeat the same words or phrases.


  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images
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