March Contest announcement: “Best Opening Paragraph”

NEWS: Our February and March Contests, rolled into one
Feb-Mar contest image

Our new contest Winner’s badge!

— So, bigger and better prizes for everyone!

Welcome to our February/March Writing Contest

“Best Opening Paragraph”


FIRST PRIZE:  $30 cash (minimum)

SECOND PRIZE;  $20 cash

THIRD PRIZE: Free e-book from Rocking Horse Publishing (new site sponsor!)

Even more prizes will be awarded: 

• Possible publication with — open to all, by invitation

• $10 “thank you” prize for one non-finalist, chosen at random

• One free digital copy of The Fires of Waterland by Raymond Alexander Kukkee

• One free digital copy of The View from Above by Gary Ponzo (a SoWrite Editor’s Pick anthology)

 Here’s how you enter:

Hi friends — we’re now past Deadline for this contest. Feel free to comment on entries, if you like!

Entry is free for SoWrite subscribers. All you need is one great opening paragraph — brand new, or from one of your previously-published works. (You gotta own it. Play nice!) WORD LIMIT: about 200 words, give or take.

Want to enter more than one paragraph? You can submit one additional entry (see below).

I’ll add 50% of every extra-entry fee to the initial $30 first-place prize pot. 

ENTRY DEADLINE: Saturday, March 16 at 11:59 am EST. Judging begins immediately after that.

Our contest winner and finalists will be announced by Monday evening.

SoWrite’s judges will use two simple criteria to compare the entries:

  • Basic writing skill
  • Originality and creativity

We have a panel of four judges for the March competition:

I hope you’ll join us, and maybe win some cash!

CLICK HERE to enter – FREE for SoWrite subscribers (see sign-up form, below)

Find the password:   [Subscribers, check your email]

You may submit up to ONE more entry: keep reading…

Help us grow the January cash prize — 50% of every extra entry will increase the prize jackpot. 

If you would like to add one more entry, or if you prefer not to Subscribe to Updates, use this $1 entry fee button. Please be sure to read the Thank You page!

$1 for ONE EXTRA ENTRY via PayPal:

PayPal - The safer, easier way to pay online!


When you click the Pay Now button, you will be directed to PayPal’s secure payments processing page for  Payments made in error will be cheerfully refunded upon request.

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. We have two fresh entries, friends.

    Both are excellent. Is yours even better? Go for it! Plenty of time left to enter.

  2. Fiona Mather says

    Can I join for free ?

  3. Yes, of course, Fiona!

    Just use the blue sign-up box, above. Read your confirmation message carefully for the password, and you’re in! I’d be glad to have you join us. Your name is very familiar. Thanks for asking!

  4. Two more entries were submitted this past hour!

    Great to see some new names here, too. 🙂

  5. I think I will enter too, if I find a good one somewhere in my stack of half-done stories.

  6. Jim, I haven’t been able to open the contest page, it defaults back to the same page (enter the password) I removed cookies, etc, all to no avail, tried the old passwords, have not been able to read any entries yet. ?

    • Looks like I accidentally made things too complicated, Raymond:

      The password is case-sensitive, which it probably wasn’t in the earlier contests. Will you try again, with capital “M” and capital “W”? That should get you in. If not, please let me know and I’ll investigate further.

      Sorry for the confusion!

  7. very nice post, I definitely adore this web-site, keep on it!

  8. Dang! I miss read the deadline. I thought it was p.m. Oh well, I’ll catch the next one.

    • Sorry you missed out, Brenda.

      I was a bit late on Saturday morning with my “last call” notice. We’d love to see you join in next time.

      Right now, our wonderful panel of 4 judges are working together to agree on March’s finalists. The emails have been flying back and forth since yesterday afternoon. Stay tuned.

  9. I’ve marked our winning entries on the March Merge Contest page.

    Please check the Comments section there to claim your entries (anonymous until now), and see which paragraphs earned prizes. Comments and replies are now welcome on that page.

    Thanks to everyone who participated. Our panel of judges had a difficult time deciding our finalists. Applause for everyone!

    • The promised announcement is now live on the site, here:

      Congrats to all of our finalists, and thanks to EVERYONE who entered. Thank you also, to our fantastic-four judges!

      • Congratulations go out to each of our winners, particularly Dawn Hawkins, first prize winner, “Anne”(yet unidentified) second place and Gerald Dlubala for his 3rd prize entry. All entries were excellent. Judging this competition was tough because of the high quality of the entries across the board. I really enjoyed judging these entries and may participate in the next one! I thank my fellow judges for their wisdom and insight in judging this tough competition! Well done, people, and special thanks goes to Jim Bessey at for creating such a fine contest! “:)

        • Thank YOU, Raymond! Your positive attitude, selfless generosity, and keen insight has been a driving force in all of our contests. You’ve absolutely earned an opportunity to compete once again, my friend. And when you do, we just might have our first repeat-winner! 🙂

  10. When I originally commented I clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now every time a comment is added I get 4 emails using the exact same comment. Is there any way you possibly can eliminate me from that service? Thanks!

    [all supplied URLs deleted by site admin]

    • Every couple of days, I just have to approve the most creative attempts from recent Spam messages. This one is pretty slick.

      And so, fleftequifs (??), I do hereby eliminate you from that service. Nice try, though! 🙂

  11. The next time I read a blog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as significantly as this one. I mean, I know it was my choice to read, but I basically thought youd have some thing fascinating to say. All I hear can be a bunch of whining about something that you simply could fix if you happen to werent too busy seeking for attention.

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