The (Third) ''Worst Storyline Ever'' Contest!

Have you got a horrible idea for a story? Well I want to hear about it. Welcome to the (third) “Worst Storyline Ever” Contest – a competition that encourages terrible loglines.  This contest happened before, so click on “Contests” at the bottom of this post and scroll down a bit to see previous incarnations. (If you have any problems or concerns, e-mail me at

“Worst Storyline Ever”


A logline
is a one-sentence line that explains what
your story is about and shows the “hook” – the unique idea that makes
people want to see more.  You see loglines all the time in TV Guide and on the back of DVD boxes. Here are some examples:

  • “Three middle-aged men defeat their midlife crises by starting a college fraternity.” (Old School)
  • “When a Roman general is betrayed and his family murdered by an evil prince, he comes to Rome as a gladiator to seek revenge.” (Gladiator)
  • “In a future where criminals are
    arrested before the crime occurs, a cop struggles on the lam to prove
    his innocence for a murder he has not yet committed.” (Minority Report)

But that’s all the examples I’m going to give you, because I’m not looking for good examples of a logline; I’m looking for bad examples. Nay – terrible, stupid, “oh-my-God-that-idea-is-dumb-as-hell” examples.

Examples of Bad Loglines

1. After an unidentified cow swallows an armed
nuclear device in a botched Homeland Security raid, Agent Tom Anderson
is thrust into an unlikely partnership with buxom organic farmer Daisy
Jones to sift through three hundred cows and 10 barns full of manure as
the clock runs down in a desperate quest to save Kansas City from a
moo-clear disaster.” (past contest winner from Livia Blackburne

“A man’s lifelong plan to dress up like Jabba the Hutt and star in a
new line of workout tapes finally comes to fruition, but everything
goes horribly awry when the man gets ink poisoning, lead poisoning and
mercury poisoning all at once.”

3. “After losing badly in The Kentucky Derby, a
horse is sold to the glue factory where he is processed and bottled,
and we follow the stories of everyone who uses the glue, from a
nose-picking pre-schooler to a dyslexic kidnapper who glues cut-out
letters on a ransom note, until the last drop is gone.” (past contest winner from Chris Whigham

Here are the rules:

1. Stick to the format, but have fun with the idea. You want your logline to be one sentence only and must be 60 words or fewer,
and explain what the story/movie is about. It’s what you put in that one
sentence that will win you this competition. So the trick is to make
your logline a terribly creative idea that’s pitched in a professional
2. The contest will go until the end of the day,
11:59 p.m., EST, Sunday, March 28.  Submissions received after that will
not be considered.
3. To participate, simply click on “Comments” at the end of this post and
leave your submission as a comment with your full name and e-mail. You must include your real name and e-mail.  If you are super paranoid about leaving your name (Google!), use “L. Martin Smith” instead of “Leonard Smith.”
5. You can submit up to two (2) bad loglines. You can include both in the same comment post as you wish.
6. The contest is open to everyone of all ages, save those employees, officers and directors of GLA‘s publisher, F+W Media (formerly F+W Publications).
7. By posting a terrible logline for consideration in this contest, you
are agreeing to the terms written here.

Please note: To be eligible to submit, I ask that you do one of two things: 1) Mention and link to this contest twice through your social media – blogs, Twitter, Facebook; or 2) just mention this contest once and also add the Guide to Literary Agents Blog ( your blogroll. Please provide link(s) so I can verify eligibility. You can e-mail the links if you wish (

The Prizes:

First prize (grand prize): 1) A
query letter critique from me. 2) A follow-up phone call to discuss the
query critique and a plan of action for seeing your work published
(basically: you ask questions, I answer). 3) A one-year subscription to; 4) Praise on this blog from yours truly.

Two runner-up prizes: 1) A one-year subscription to (value $50).

The Judges:


          First Round Judge                           Final Round Judge:
        Chuck’s dog, Graham 
                    Graham’s owner, Chuck
           (pictured age 3)                               (pictured age 11)

* Please do not throw dog mentions into every entry. Graham is an independent judge who is looking for just plain funny.

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64 thoughts on “The (Third) ''Worst Storyline Ever'' Contest!


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  2. Nikki Niswonger

    Due to the type-O I overlooked, I would like to submit this as my second submission.

    Tim Taurus dreams of being NASCAR’s first midget driver and is within arm’s length of The Chase when a video of him committing hate crimes with vegetables is released causing sponsor, Green Giant, to file a lawsuit in which the judge orders Tim to star in the vegetable commercial that would launch his Hollywood career on the Jerry Springer Show.

  3. Nikki Niswonger

    Tim Taurus dreams of being NASCAR’s first midget driver and is within arm’s length of The Chase when a video of him committing hate crimes iwth vegetables is released causing sponsor, Green Giant, to file a lawsuit in which the judge orders Tim to star in the vegetable commercial that would launch his Hollywood career on the Jerry Springer Show.

  4. Ross B. Lampert

    An overgrown Bronx forester, two math magicians (a knot theorist entwined in a tangled affair with a naughty numerologist), and three spiritual seekers (a stumpy ethics professor, a shady defrocked priest-turned-naturist, and a willowy Wiccan) embark on a 123 day (4 month) quest across 5 continents for the One True Tree.

  5. Kelly Neiling

    1) Michael Moore’s newest documentary, Beyond the Plaque, (now in 3D!), will take you into the enigmatic world of orthodontia, only to reveal that there’s nothing shady going on there, but the story takes an unexpected turn when one bold orthodontist illuminates the documentarian’s own crooked teeth and embarks on a four-hour procedure that will put you on the front lines.

    2) Pixar expands its audience base in its latest computer-animated creation, Polly Poledancer, which follows Polly, a Las Vegas stripper, as she uncovers through therapy some of the reasons behind her career choice including an absent father, a pedophiliac brother, and a mother who refused to breastfeed her, all with her lovable sidekick and manager, Kinky Koala, by her side.

  6. Linda Hofke

    Wheelchair Ninjas: A group of elderly super heroes living in an old folks home decide to rekindle their crime-fighting careers by policing the hallways at night, but miscommunications due to slipping dentures, hearing aid malfunctions, and failing eyesight result in blunders that have them karate-chopping each other instead, allowing the villains to escape with the resident’s pre-packaged cafeteria meals.

    Posted twice to Facebook. Links have been emailed.

  7. John Green

    After a disappointing sexual encounter with an extra-terrestrial, Fugazi discovers the ‘Close Encounter’ has given him psionic powers. But he had no idea that his humble attempts to declothe nubile women would thrust him full tilt into an global terrorist conspiracy that only the restless spirits of Michael Jackson and Ronald Reagan could help him unravel.

  8. Lisa C.

    In an attempt to rid her radish crop of ravenous garden snails, Babbette Bonsai, the famously flexible half-French, half-Japanese experimental gourmand of Nicobar Island, strikes upon the perfect solution: selling aphrodisiacal escargot to non-vegan Greenpeace outcasts who dock at her bay for more than just tubers and tasty appetizers (hubba-hubba)!

  9. Elizabeth MacKinney

    Martin Snovatny writes horrible log lines for his pathetic movie scripts, which he unloads on unsuspecting producers by extortion. The fed-up producers hire a team of roller-derby wash-ups to kidnap Martin A-team style and abandon him in an Italian convent where he and the nuns habitually write and direct drab papal documentaries for private catholic schools.

  10. Missy Feller

    1.) A ball of lint, tired of living out his existence in a human bellybutton, decides to leave the only home he’s known to pursue a career in Hollywood.

    2.) In a stereotypical story about anyone in particular, Someone discovers something when he meets No One, who strives to teach Someone anything and ultimately to appreciate nothing.

    * Links sent to your email

  11. jeff raudebaugh

    1)For New York dog walker Caesar, he thought his life was complete, until his veterinarian ordered him to move to the arid southwest or die from ‘damp dog disease,’ where he teams up with his new found Apache life mate “Bitch in the Wind” to begin his life’s real quest of trying to tame the entire wolf population of New Mexico.

    2)Cosmetologist Paolo didn’t realize just what kind of predicament he was in for when he ran his practiced fingers through Maka’anus’ hair, the current Kamehameha King that was searching the world over for the perfect human sacrifice to Moaning Loa – the loud whining Fire God of his people- , and a new hair stylist.

  12. Lia Luus

    Hi Chuck,

    Here are my entries:

    1) Kojak: Resurrection
    Users of an effective and wildly popular kiwi fruit gene therapy cure for baldness recruit Kojak to protect them from both a cannibalistic serial killer known as The Zombie, and Asian gangs engaged in a newly created black market trade in delicious fruit-flavored human brains.

    2) Shaming Primate Ryan
    Controversy surrounds the spectacular success of a high school football team after it is revealed that Coach Zaius put his players on a diet of Purina Primate Chow, and that their improved game play is accompanied by questionable social grooming practices and higher SAT scores.



    contest posted to:


  13. Steven Carman

    After Dexter Green loses his U.S. Postal Service job, his wife leaves him, taking with her Sammy the Goldfish, Dexter’s only true friend–all of which sends Dexter postal, literally, as he opens a postal business, charging his customers less the cost of a stamp to fold a letter into a paper airplane and fling it out his window.
    (These are the two links for my first submission, too.)

  14. Kate Tan

    1) After accidentally eavesdropping on George Bush and Saddam Hussein talking in a betting den (in disguise, of course), a detective-turned-thief uncovers a conspiracy between the two men to make everyone in the world say hi (high) and ‘lo (low) at the same time to make them confused about the opposites, allowing them to take over the world.

    2)When all the cows on Earth unite to start the Cow War of ’10, small town detective’s unfortunate lookalike is forced to embark with his two assistants, a war veteran who claims to be Osama Bin Laden and George Bush’s long lost twin brother, on a mission to save Earth from suffocating at the mercy of the cow’s farting.

    Blog post and blogroll at


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