After some serious November fun, I’m pleased to announce our fast and festive December Jackpot Contest:
“Best Opening Sentence”
In the spirit of the holiday season, I’m keeping this one short and sweet. We’re looking for a few good sentences — maybe a jackpot winner from you!
We’ll start the pot at $25 and let it build using 50% of every entry fee.
What’s in a sentence? A lot!
- Call me Ishmael. —Herman Melville, Moby-Dick (1851)
- Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. —Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita (1955)
- It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. —George Orwell, 1984 (1949)
- It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair. —Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities (1859)
- It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents, except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the house-tops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness. —Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, Paul Clifford (1830)
What do you think — can you do better than any of those?
We’d love to see you try!
Your contest entry can be fiction or non-fiction, new or old, previously published or not. You could make up your entry right on the spot, if you like. (You must own the copyright.) All we need is your favorite opening sentence. In fact, if you want to, you can enter twice!
Added in for the festivities, one lucky random entry will receive a $10 bonus prize, just for entering this contest.
This is good, clean holiday fun. Nothing too heavy or serious.
We’re going holiday cheap, too — it will only cost you a buck to play, if you’re a site Subscriber.
“So how does this work?” you ask.
It’ll take you less than 5 minutes to enter.
You’ll need your sentence, plus a dollar or two, depending. (see below)
I’ll add 50% of every entry fee to the initial $25 prize pot. Obviously, then, we’re playing “the more the merrier” this time around!
We’ll take new entries until Saturday, December 22 at 12:59 pm EST. Judging begins immediately after that.
We’ll announce 3 finalists that same day, by 6 pm. Then, from all remaining non-finalists, we’ll choose one entry at random to receive that $10 holiday bonus prize.
Our contest winner will be announced by Sunday afternoon, two days before Christmas.
Fast, fun, and easy — right? No weighty critiques, no pensive pondering.
Our judges will use two simple criteria to compare the entries:
- Basic writing skill
- Originality and the power of one sentence to snare a reader ‘s interest
Bring us your powerful sentence. A sentence so strong, so intriguing, that your readers will beg for more.
* Entry fee is discounted to $1 if you are a Subscriber to SoWrite.Us.com
What happens after you enter?
You’ll be able to read all of the other contest entries.
You could even leave a comment on one or more entries, if you promise to behave. None of the writers’ names will be revealed until the contest is over, so we want to work hard to maintain anonymity as much as possible. (We managed that nicely the first time around.)
The judges will read and consider every entry. Each will assign a point rating for the 2 different quality measures: basic writing skill, and (most important) that elusive “Wow!” factor. None of these scores will be publicly displayed.
When it’s done, we’ll throw $10 bucks to one random entrant and award the jackpot to our winner. The winning sentence will be published on the site. Maybe we’ll use it as the theme for a future contest.
So, if you have one or two great sentences in your writing arsenal, please do join the holiday celebration here.
Remember that this is not a popularity contest, to be won by whomever has the most Likes or G+’s. Your odds of winning are based upon the total number of entries and the level of your brilliance.
The minimum $25 First Prize is guaranteed to be awarded
Right from the start, 50% of every paid entry will increase the prize jackpot.
The contest is open right now and continues until Saturday, December 22 at 12:59 pm EST. Our winner will have his or her prize money in hand two days before Christmas.
Would you like to join us?
>> This contest is now closed to new entries. Thank you all for joining us! ~Jim
If you are not a SoWrite site subscriber or you would like to enter twice, please click the button below to enter: (Be sure to read the Thank You page!)
$2 ENTRY FEE via PayPal:
If you are a SoWrite subscriber, use the discounted $1 entry fee button instead. (You can sign up right now using the blue box, below, if you want to.) Please be sure to read the Thank You page!
$1 ENTRY FEE via PayPal:
SECURE PAYMENT INFORMATION:
When you click the Pay Now button, you will be directed to PayPal’s secure payments processing page for SoWrite.Us.com. Please read the Thank You page carefully for your Entry Password and contest page link. Payments made in error will be cheerfully refunded upon request.
Questions? Ask away, right here on this page in the Comments section. I’ll be sure to answer your inquiries promptly.