In this assignment, students tell a brief (1-2-page) personal story of a suspenseful anecdote in their lives. This makes for a great companion to a short story unit without requiring them to generate an original fictional plot and characters. The focus is on creating suspense via a series of strategies, so it pairs well with any suspenseful short story. (I use "The Contents of the Dead Man's Pockets" by Jack Finney, not included here for copyright reasons, but the materials are not specific to that story.) Includes suspense strategies worksheet for use with any story, plot diagram planning sheet to compare story plots to proposed personal-narrative plot, peer review activity, and 24-point rubric with all-or-nothing "style points" category to emphasize basic skills like spelling and capitalization. Zip file includes editable Word docs and print-and-go PDFs.