December Jackpot

Welcome to the December 2012 Jackpot Contest…

December Jackpot Contest image“Best Opening Sentence”

SoWrite’s December contest features a minimum $25 cash prize for First Place, with a progressive jackpot based on the number of entries. 

This page is for contest entries. There are four ways you might have arrived here:

  • By special invitation
  • By entering a promotional code
  • By paying the contest entry fee
  • Completely by accident (please go here now)
How to enter the December Jackpot Contest:

Have you read the General Contest Rules yet? By entering this contest, you agree to abide by those rules, in addition to any special conditions listed on this page.

Use this page’s Comments section to submit your entry.

(see Directions, immediately above that section)

 Contest dates and times:
  • Contest opens to entries on Sunday, December 16, 2012 at 2 pm (all times are EST)
  • New entries accepted until Saturday, December 22 at 12:59 pm
  • Judging of entries begins on Saturday, December 22 at 1 pm (end of Refund period)
  • We’ll announce three finalists that day after 6 pm
  • Among non-finalists, one random entry will be awarded a $10 bonus prize that same day.
  • Contest Winner will be announced on Sunday, December 23, 2012 after 2 pm
  • Winner’s submission will be published and featured on this website at that time
 Specific Rules for  December Jackpot Contest 2012:
  • This content is for ALL GENRES, in the form of a single sentence (appx 100 words, limit).
  • Contestants may choose to enter twice (two different paid entries).
  • Choose your best Opening Sentence as your entry.*
  • You must own full copyright to this sentence. Prior publication is fine.
  • Do not identify yourself in any way as part of your submission’s text.
  • SoWrite reserves the right to edit entries if necessary (see General Rules).
    • * Any “opening” sentence will do — from a Prologue, first chapter, new section, etc.
Please carefully read and follow these Entry Directions:
  1.  Use the Speak Your Mind box for your entry. Use your keyboard’s “End” key to find this quickly.
  2. If you are logged in (“Post as [your name]”), LOG OUT before placing your entry.
  3. DO NOT use the Reply function, seen after other writers’ entries!
  4. In the Name field, enter the first 3 words of your sentence, not your name.
  5. In the Email field, enter the email you used to pay your contest entry fee.
  6. NOTE: Your email WILL NOT be displayed publicly.
  7. Leave the Website URL field blank. (Any text entered here will be deleted)
  8. Copy and paste your sentence into the Comment Box.
    1. Enter Plain Text only
    2. Limit your entry to approximately 100 words — a single sentence.
    3. Proofread your entry. Make corrections if needed
  9. Click your mouse in the box, Notify me of follow-up comments by email.
  10. NOTE: Remember to check your email to confirm your Comments subscription.
  11. When you’re ready, Click on the green box that says “Post Comment”
  12. That’s it, you’re entered!

 >> This contest is now closed to new entries. Thank you all for joining us! ~Jim

Need help with your entry?

Email SoWrite editor Jim Bessey at: jimbessey @  (omit the spaces)

You can also find Jim on Facebook and Twitter. Use the Social Icons top right of this page.


»Jackpot photo credit bbmcshane


  1. Here lies one says

    Here lies one woeful sample entry sentence, placed here as an example contest entry just so you can see how it displays.

  2. The fear came says

    The fear came, gently at first, then with a crushing intensity as her vision came into focus.

  3. This is the says

    This is the story of 13 unwanted children who were unnamed and abstracts in a tale that spanned decades

  4. Celia was born says

    Celia was born with a smile on her face, so her father would say, although it defied the circumstances in which she was born.

  5. Susan so incredibly says

    Susan; so incredibly sinful, so full of darkness, lust, and violence that only by the all encompassing mercies of God’s grace and love could she be transformed into something this… deliciously pleasurable.

  6. Just as the says

    Just as the pages of an unscrupulous businessman’s ledger are blown backward by the frigid breath of a shattered pane, so too does the brittle night fall upon this city in ever-increasing layers of aphotic guilt.

  7. She took the says

    She took the phone call out in the hallway.

  8. I fell in love with Billy Lee the night he killed Daddy.

  9. I buried myself says

    I buried myself last night.

  10. his children had says

    His children had just given him leave to find himself a girlfriend after two years of widower-hood and he didn’t have the slightest idea what to do.

  11. He kicked it says

    He kicked it; he kicked everything and not just one kick, but over and over again until the life has been snuffed out of it and its bloodied body parts are strewn about like so much sand in the Gobi Desert.

  12. Without a doubt says

    Without a doubt it was a work of insane genius; genius in that no one had ever dreamed or conceived or executed anything like it, but that gem of brilliance was the work of a madman, for who but a perfectly and irrevocably insane madman would ever dream, ever think to engineer the extinction of the human race.

  13. Poisoned to the says

    Poisoned to the point of near death, Alisha wielded her power to conquer her enemy.

    • This one is mine.
      Had the same good wishes for all finalists, but wasn’t able to duplicate comments, so they’re all just a little bit different. Such is life…

      • Now I want to know if Alisha wins out, MJ !

        I know what you mean about that message regarding duplicate comments, too. Sometimes I actually DO want to make the same comment more than once. What’s wrong with that?? 🙂

        • Without spoiling the ending…
          Of course the story hasn’t even been written…
          And knowing it is a woman’s prerogative to change her mind…
          It’s a done deal! Alisha not only wins outs, she completely baffles her unworthy opponent.
          Power is an interesting concept to consider, particularly at this time of year. An infant held the power to change the world, and wouldn’t you know it, He did just that. On that note, I wish you all a very merry Christmas!

  14. I woke up on Monday morning with a feeling of impending doom.

  15. People try to says

    People try to predict and foretell the future, but I ask them how they could ever think to do such a thing when they cannot even remember the past.

    • This entry has now been awarded our SECOND $10 bonus prize (see my comment, below).
      Now I need your help. There is some confusion on my part as to who owns this entry. I’m hoping the correct entrant can confirm ownership. Please?
      (See how things get complicated? Oh boy…)

      • Whew, got it!
        This entry belongs to Sarah C Helms, daughter of Julie. I just had to backtrack through the contest records to make sure. Thanks for your patience.

      • People try to says

        Thank you!! This contest was quite fun, especially reading all of the other posts. 🙂 Thanks so much for the opportunity!

  16. This I confess says

    “This I confess, and nothing more!” she cried aloud to the howling throng.

  17. Can one really says

    Can one really go back home, Sarah says no.

  18. Valerie had never says

    Valerie had never in her entire life taken such a quick and decisive dislike to anyone, but even before knowing his name she knew nothing would ever change her opinion of him.

  19. Have You Ever says

    Have you ever felt like you were right on the edge-not like if-the-wind-picks-up-its-bye-bye-baby kind of edge-but the edge of something that you know, once you cross, you will be forever changed; no coming back, hair on the back of your neck standing up; this is what I have been waiting for my whole life-and you know everything that follows will be mindblowingly amazing… yet, you are terrified to make the leap?

  20. Digging a scraggly says

    Digging a scraggly torn fingernail deep into the puss-filled scabby lesion behind his malformed ear, Despair sighed, bored to tears.

  21. Take your place says

    “Take your place among the forgotten and forsaken, for your currency is spent,” the priest shouted while digging his twisted index into the chest of the young king, and in a moment of recognition he crumpled under the weight of his words.

  22. A hundred villagers says

    A hundred villagers saw the sun rise over the Rocky Mountains and embraced the warmth, but Jonathan saw harsh blinding streams of light pushing through crevices in his rock hewn fortress, and mistook them for fingers of incrimination.

  23. I’ve just now posted the announcement of our finalists. Please read that page for more information.

    This page is now public, and you are free to comment openly on our fantastic entries. Thank you all!

  24. I buried myself says

    Congrats to the other two finalist, too. It won’t let me comment under the entries for some reason.

  25. So many great entries! What a treat to read through them.

  26. When it came time to award the $10 “thanks for entering” prize, to be given randomly to one of the 18 non-finalists, here’s what I did:
    > I listed each of the 18 non-finalist entries in order on a sheet of paper.
    > Then, starting at the number 18 and working back to number 1, I assigned each entry a new number “at random” — so that entry #1 got #14 and #10 was now #6, and so on until every entry had a new number.
    > I decided to roll one die twice, to allow for all numbers from 1 to 18. Here’s how:
    > The first roll would give me a number from 1 to 6. I rolled the number 2
    > Next, I rolled that die again to get a multiplier of 1, 2, or 3. #’s 1 & 4 would be “times one”, #’s 2 and 5 for “times two”, and #’s 3 & 6 for “times three”. I rolled the number 5.
    > So, first roll was 2, to be multiplied by second roll of 5 (“times two”), for a winning random entry of #4.

    Then I checked my original sheet to see which entry was assigned the number 4. That turned out to be our fifth entry, which begins with “I fell in…”

    Have a look above, among the entries, to see the whole sentence and discover the author.

    • Well, folks,
      Now that I look at the math of that one again, I got it wrong.
      Please forgive me. I won’t use that method again. (Not my son’s fault, either — all mine.)
      Turns out, 6 of the entries never had a chance to win using that flawed attempt at randomness. Those entries were #’s 7, 11, 13, 14, 16, and 17. (What was I thinking??)
      All I can do is add another $10 bonus to be awarded among those 6. So, praying this is fair, I’m assigning the #’s 1 through 6 on the die, in order, to each of those left-out entries. I’ll roll again.
      I rolled a 3, which equals entry number 13 — so there’s our second bonus prize winner. That number corresponds to entry #12 (in the order submitted), which begins “People try…”
      I’ll mark that entry, as well, and send out another prize. Sorry for my screw-up!

  27. We have our winner, folks:
    December Jackpot contest winner announced

  28. Jim, why are you driving yourself crazy and making things more complicated than they have to be? Just put numbers into a hat and pick one, two, three, whatever and all is done, easy-peasy, Baby! 😀

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