Great Beginnings First Line Contest–Open to Everyone!

The first line of a story should hook the reader so they’ll read more. It’s so important to catch the attention of an editor or agent for the same reason.

WIFYR is serving up a new contest to hone that first line. The Great Beginnings First Line Contest is now open. The rules for the contest are as follows:

-anyone may participate,

-the first line may be part of a project being worked at this year’s WIFYR conference, (optional,) and

-entries are due by midnight May 12th.

-submit entries to: . Put First Line Contest in the subject line.

First place winner will receive a five-page critique by John Cusick, agent at S©ott Treimel, NY, and author of GIRL PARTS.

Second and third place winners will receive a one-page critique by Greg Leitich Smith, accomplished author of Chronal Engine and WIFYR faculty member.


This Post Has 11 Comments

  1. ilima

    Just to clarify. This first line does NOT have to be from a completed novel, whether we’re working it at WIFYR or not. AND it doesn’t have to be the first line of the MS we’d like critiqued. Is this right?

    1. beccabirkin

      Right, Ilima. Who knows? Maybe it will inspire your next novel…

  2. Debbie Nance

    Wow! What a great opportunity! I love First Line Contests!! And to have a prize of a 5 page critique from John Cusick–everyone should be polishing their first sentence and sending it in. This is very cool.

  3. Melinda Fredrickson

    Just to be clear, this is for legitimate, high-quality first lines, not an “It was a dark and stormy night” type contest, right?

    1. beccabirkin

      Right. Although I’ve read the entries of that contest before, and they’re funny. Was Madeline Le’Engle the first one to write that line?

  4. beccabirkin

    Using something you’ve finished is just an idea. This can be any first line, but of course First Line, by definition, would mean the first sentence of a short story or book. I should clarify that we’re looking for fiction, preferably children’s fiction.

  5. beccabirkin

    Also, the contest is open to all fiction writers, regardless of conference attendance. Children’s fiction is preferred.

  6. KimberlyAfe

    Ooh, this is awesome. Thank you for the opportunity.

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  8. Karen Cheesman

    When will the winner be announced?

    1. beccabirkin

      Soon–We’re working on getting it judged as we speak.

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