After an extended holiday break, the first line contest is back.
And I have news to report that makes me very happy. The ever awesome Barbara Barnett took one of the posted first lines, wrote an entire story inspired by that line, and then sold it to Daily Science Fiction. Made my day when she told me that.
So the contest is back, with a few changes.
Change the first: I will mix up the prizes offered. You can still win a portable fantasy map, or you can request a different type of vintage pendant. I have plenty of both and I can always make more. If you’d rather have a keychain, just say so.
Change the second: The line I post must be used in your paragraph or first stanza, but you can use it anywhere in that paragraph or stanza. First line, last line, or middle, the only requirement is to use the line.
It won’t be long until I have ARCs for Delia’s Shadow and I will have a few to give away. I’m working on thinking up a whole new set of contests for those. As they say, watch this space.
The short version of what’s going on.
Once a month I will post an orphaned first line here on the WordPress blog and on LJ. All my LJ posts are mirrored on Goodreads, so you can find the line in all three places. In comments–either on WordPress, Lj or on Goodreads–write the first paragraph of a story or the first stanza of a poem using that line. Easy peasy.
Just remember, you can only write ONE paragraph of prose or ONE stanza of poetry.
Anyone can enter. Anyone at all, friend, foe or interested stranger, newbie or professional. Your great aunt, your next door neighbor or Cousin Joe can post an entry. I do draw the line at having your dog enter.
There is more at stake here than covering yourself in glory on my blog. Oh yes, there is an actual prize involved. The winner each month will receive one of the pendants I make, either a map or one of the vintage pictures.
Kinda like these. Not this exact one, but you get the idea. I’ll surprise you.
And the first line for this month is:
Seeing the stars meant braving darkness.
Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to dazzle me with that line. Do something different, unexpected. Competition here is tough. I know some kickass writers, but more than half the winners have been people I don’t know. I really mean it when I say the contest is open to anyone and everyone has a chance to win.
You have one week to write something that knocks my socks off. Winner(s) will be announced on Thursday, Feb. 21st.
Detailed rules for those who missed them.
A few rules:
1. A paragraph or first stanza means just that. Not two, not three or a fat epic, one paragraph or stanza of reasonable length.
1a. Only one entry per person, per contest.
1b. The same person can only win once in any three month period.
2. I’m not going to censor what people write. That…annoys me. All I ask is that you keep your entry to no more than an R rating, tops.
3. However, comma, I reserve the right to delete entries containing slurs of any kind. Respect is a good thing. I encourage it.
4. Marshall can enter, but he can’t win. Anyone else, published or otherwise, is welcome to try for the prize.
5. I reserve the right to use any line I post in a story sometime in the future. I probably won’t, but best to cover my bases. Your story or poem would be totally different in any case.
6. All entrants are encouraged to write whole stories or poems using the line and go forth and sell them. Just don’t post more than the first paragraph or stanza here.