Dawn Hawkins wins our “Best Opening Paragraph” contest!

Dawn has earned our $31 First Place prize for her entry
Feb-Mar contest image

Dawn’s contest Winner’s badge

— We had so many great entries!

Before we get to the other finalists, let’s have a look at Dawn’s winning “Best Opening Paragraph.” Here’s what she wrote:

I made the mess myself. I couldn’t say no. I almost felt like it was an obligation. The only problem was, I didn’t know where the obligation to them stopped and to myself began. Now this is what is left. They shredded me to bits, parts of me were scattered around the world, parts of me I once liked and parts of me I now loathe. My only wish, most of the time, was to be left alone, to wallow in my own pain and self-pity or to disintegrate into the cold, dark confines of a shallow grave. I got my wish I suppose, but she gave me hope, a hope I don’t remember ever having before. That hope, the hope she gave me, the recipe of which should be tucked in an old wooden box and placed high atop a shelf for posterity’s sake, that’s the hope that helped me survive the end of my life.

Dawn’s submission was our panel of judges’ unanimous choice for First Place. Congratulations, Dawn, and thank you very much for your entry.

Our SECOND PRIZE,  $20 cash, goes to Anne Parfitt-Rogers

Here’s how Anne’s mysterious entry began:

The faintest glint of moonlight shone through the open door, illuminating the body lying motionless on the carpet. Ballantyne peered down at the dead man, taking note of the trail of blood emanating from the wound penetrating deep within his abdomen. Funny, he could have sworn … (read the rest)

Congratulations on a very close race, Anne!

We have more prizes, too, for our March contest:

THIRD PRIZE: Your choice of free e-book courtesy of Rocking Horse Publishing goes to Gerald Dlubala for “Janey walked up…” (click here to read the whole entry) The battle for these final three places was a very close one, hotly-argued among our four judges. Congratulations, Gerald!

FOURTH PLACE, One free digital copy of The Fires of Waterland by Raymond Alexander Kukkee, will be awarded to Mary Horner, the author of “Terry Jake didn’t…”  (click here to read the entire entry) I just heard from Mary, and have edited this announcement to include her name. (Thanks, Mary!)

FIFTH PLACE, One free digital copy of The View from Above by Gary Ponzo (a SoWrite Editor’s Pick anthology), will be awarded to Kerry Wood. His entry began “My cousins said…(click here to read the rest of Kerry’s entry)  I’ll be in touch with the details, Kerry.

Our $10 BONUS PRIZE, awarded at random to one non-finalist, is awarded to Olivia Bredbenner, for her entry “She stood on…” (click here to read Olivia’s entry) This is my heartfelt “thank you for entering” prize, just for the fun of it.

IN ADDITION, Carolyn Varvel will shortly contact two of our contestants with an invitation for possible publication courtesy of WormholeElectric.comI’ll send those two invitations, folks, so please check your email inboxes later today.

All cash prizes will be awarded by midnight tonight. 

 Congrats to all finalists and thank you to all entrants!

Please extend a warm round of applause to this round’s wonderful panel of four judges:

Special thanks to our site and contest sponsors:

Mandy's Pages websiteThe Fires of Waterland by RA KukkeeWormhole Electric PublishingRocking Horse Publishing

»Award badge graphic by:  Jim Bessey

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  1. Thank you so much. What an honor considering the amazing writer’s who entered the contest. Makes me feel like I almost measure up to their excellence! This was a fun contest.

  2. Julie Helms says

    Congratulations Dawn! And also to the runners up! I had a lively time with the other judges discussing all the entries–what a fun variety. Enjoyed this contest immensely. 🙂


    • As the moderator, I was able to read the emails flying between our four judges. Now THAT was fun, indeed!

      By the way, I know you really wanted to enter this one, Julie; and you were entitled to do so after sitting out one contest round. Thank you SO much for agreeing to judge this round. Your input really mattered. I owe you one!

  3. Oh.. the contest entries were fun to read. Congrats to Dawn for the brilliant entry. It is amazing to see wonderful writing talent displayed here. 🙂 Congrats also to all the other winners and entries. 🙂

  4. I’ve heard from Anne, our Second Place winner:

    “Dear Jim,

    Thank you very much for your email – that’s great! No, we haven’t met
    before. Yes please, I’d like you to release my full name (Anne
    Parfitt-Rogers). … I’ll look forward to next month’s competition!

    Best wishes, Anne”

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