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TypeTribe Contest: $25 for Your Best Opening Sentence

July 29, 2009

What’s the best, most beautiful, most intriguing, most I-wanna-read-more opening sentence you’ve ever written? It could be for a complete or incomplete short story, novel (or chapter to a novel), speech, or essay–all formats that TypeTribe will support. It must be something you wrote–no plagiarizing here.

This coming Sunday evening, I’m going to post all submitted sentences to a poll on this blog. After 48 hours–the standard amount of time for getting feedback from a TypeTribe critique group–I’ll tally the votes. The author of the sentence with the most votes wins $25 cash (paid via PayPal). If there’s a tie, there will be a lightning round.

You may only submit once, and you may only vote once. But you can solicit your friends and family and even strangers on Twitter/Facebook/e-mail to vote for your sentence as well. They’re free to provide feedback on the sentences in the comments section of the poll. The person who offers the most constructive, insightful feedback will also win $25 cash.

So submit your sentences (one per person) in the comments section below with your real e-mail address, your name, the name of your work, and a one-line bio if you’d like to promote yourself (another function of TypeTribe). All sentences must be received by this Sunday at noon (CST). I will only accept the first 10 sentences submitted due to space and attention span limitations.

Also, while you’re here, feel free to sign up for the TypeTribe launch notification e-mail. It’s just one e-mail, and every 100th signup wins $25.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. July 29, 2009 10:16 am

    Here’s my submission, from a story I wrote called “Harvest Madness.”

    “I am alone. I am steeped in misery.”

    Michael Goodell

  2. July 29, 2009 12:50 pm

    “This’ll be fun for us,” she said three months ago, crying.

    That is the first sentence from one of my creative nonfiction pieces, titled “Looking for a New Model.” I write fantasy, creative nonfiction, and modern short stories while also reviewing restaurants, cocktails, and wines on my blog ( and publishing a weekly soap opera column online.

  3. Dee Blackwelder Marley permalink
    July 29, 2009 2:08 pm

    It was a small gesture – the tips of her fingers brushing against his toes.

    This is from a non-fiction piece that’s in progress and doesn’t yet have a title. I write fiction and non-fiction, most of it short to match my attention span.

  4. July 30, 2009 1:22 pm

    “I owe a debt of gratitude to France.”

    Something that is in the very, very early stages of development.

  5. July 30, 2009 2:01 pm

    Recently I had the pleasure of meeting some people who were dead.

  6. July 30, 2009 5:56 pm

    On reflection, as she watched 76-year-old Mr. Turner attempting to beat up a bemused Johnny Matthews with his walking cane, Matilda accepted that accidentally clicking ‘reply all’ had led to consequences of beyond catastrophic proportions, but she had never been one to dwell on mistakes and nurture regrets.

    (From a short story, “The Wrong Shade Of Green”)

  7. July 31, 2009 12:17 am

    Blue streaks of lightening dashed across the black Nebraska sky and thunder roared like a thousand wild mustangs stampeding across the plains.

    (From “Legacy of the Gunfighters”, the work in progress sequel to “McCullen” which is to be released next month)

  8. Josh Covington permalink
    August 2, 2009 9:58 am

    “Delmer Rainey is the kind of guy that can turn a man’s head around with a shovel and not even bat an eye. ”

    The opening line of The Crater Road Madman, a story from In Search of Monsters, my upcoming collection of short fiction.

  9. August 11, 2009 7:31 pm

    I know I’m ineligible at this point, but I just wanted to share:

    On his eighteenth birthday, Jadrew Linbitter stayed home from work and, as tradition decreed, made a dagger out of his leg bone.

    That’s the first line of “Better,” which you can read at 512 Words or Fewer. Cheers!


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