First Lines: A contest!

by Jim

The biggest news in publishing this week is that the London Book Fair is barely happening because of cursed Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajokull which, thanks to the NY Times, I can now pronounce!

But really, I can only say so much about that, so instead, let’s have a contest!

You’ve all surely heard that agents make decisions really fast, and if we aren’t entranced by your writing within 6.2 seconds or somesuch, we’ll just move on to the next thing. This is, for the most part, entirely true. So let’s see how quickly you can win us (and your fellow blog readers) over. Post the first line of your manuscript in the comments below by the end of the day on Thursday, 4/22. I’ll narrow it down to a select group of finalists, and then we’ll have a poll for you to judge who had the best, most intriguing first line.

The winner gets to have their full manuscript considered by yours truly. You don’t even have to query!

Bring it on! And in the meantime, enjoy this hysterical NPR link about mishaps that has nothing to do with anything.

256 Responses to First Lines: A contest!

  1. Anonymous says:

    From my YA fictional memoir/novel:

    We were standing together, naked and shivering, when the heavy metal doors slammed behind us and we heard the gas hissing in, and then suddenly, through the fog, we heard shouts coming from outside – "The twins! Where are the twins?" – and the chamber door opened to reveal Dr. Mengele.

  2. Carol Anne says:

    I should have had a plan of some kind, because that was the kind of person I was.

  3. February Grace says:

    Aww man, I just missed the deadline.

    But for the sake of other readers maybe giving feedback on it anyway…

    "Intersecting beams of refracted light cut through her, glaring so violently she could no longer bear to see."

  4. Mike Jung says:

    Whoops, like another contestant, my story is upper MG too – please disregard my entry. Sorry aobut that.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I wonder if Jim knows that some people posted their first lines on the Dystel Facebook page.

  6. dgm_sf says:

    The little children came early to the hangings.

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