Last call! Can you write an opening sentence to this story? (Chance to get published in Writer’s Digest)


Write an Opening Sentence | Free Writing Contest

From hardboiled detectives to murderers, leprechauns, spies and even giraffe narrators, when it comes to the diverse and unique entries in our free Your Story contest, the gang’s all here.

If you have a spare moment this weekend for a writing challenge, take five minutes and give it a whirl.

Basically, in every issue we give our readers a chance to get published in Writer’s Digest by running a prompt and asking them to do one of two things in response to it: Write a full short story, or write a one-sentence opener to a short story.

For our March/April 2012 issue, we invited our readers to go the one-sentence route for this writing prompt:

Write the first line to a story incorporating these three words: Cinderella, midnight, and behave.

Want in? Post your entry in the Comments section of this post, and it’ll automatically be entered in the competition.

The rules:

  • Your sentence (just one!) must be 25 words or fewer. Entries of 26 words will be DQ’d (even though it’s my lucky number).
  • The deadline is April 10, 2012.
  • One entry per person, please.
  • How it all works: We’ll select the top 10 entries and post them here. In mid-April, readers will vote for their favorites to help rank the winners.
  • This is a free writing competition. The prize is publication in WD.
  • You can also submit your sentence via the form here.
  • Finally, as we say about this publication contest in the magazine: “You can be funny, poignant, witty, etc. It is, after all, your story.”

Good luck! One of the most fun things we get to do around here every issue is read them all, and we appreciate every single word that comes in.

I’ll be back next Friday with my series on vintage discoveries from the WD archives—and some free books. Stay tuned.

(And if you landed here looking for general advice on submitting short fiction to publications, check out my colleague Scott Francis’ excellent post on 10 rules for submitting short stories.)

Happy Friday.

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158 thoughts on “Last call! Can you write an opening sentence to this story? (Chance to get published in Writer’s Digest)

  1. katieje

    “Be home by midnight…behave yourself,” Belle mocked; Cinderella and Aurora laughed as the three boarded the jet to Vegas for Cinderella’s numbered single days.

  2. sushreemishra

    “Rules are for fools,” smirked Cinderella of the 21st century, “time will behave today, follow my orders, and stop at midnight!” she winked.

  3. bookclubmom

    “But Mom, you can’t ground me if I don’t behave,” protested the modern Cinderella, “because with daylight savings time midnight is still an hour away.”

  4. anncarol

    I submitted an Opening sentence via the On-Line Submission Form and via eMail in late MARCH.
    Is there a way a can confirm it was received?

  5. LawWriter66

    Although Cinderella Tuhoey’s mother asked her only to behave and be home by midnight before granting permission to attend the party, Cinderella failed both conditions.

  6. David Hawke

    Elena promised herself she would behave, but by midnight she had already stolen two bags of dog food, several crickets, and a lizard named ‘Cinderella’.

  7. SapphireSunlite

    “If she had only learned to behave,” he thought, “this frail Cinderella girl wouldn’t be sprawled in her own crimson stain with that midnight stare.”

  8. LotsofChickens

    “Behave”! she said turning to her friend and laughing,” look it might be midnight but your not Cinderella, Its not as though them clothes will turn to rags if we go on to a club, come on enjoy yourself, you deserve it after all that’s happened.”

  9. stylib38

    I felt like a Cinderella who’d just spotted the time as midnight approached and even my desperate silent pleadings couldn’t get the clock to behave.

  10. andileroy

    “Cinderella’s Dominatrix Service – we guarantee to arrive precisely at midnight with the tools necessary to make you behave … or your beating is on us.”

  11. janemaldives

    Why behave when games were intoxicating: giving handsome men until midnight to impress her – she was ugly – but not desperate, like Cinderella.

    (22 words)

  12. sdo261

    At least I could behave; while Jody bawled, I eyed my Cinderella clock ticking towards midnight and prayed that Daddy would return unscratched this time.

  13. soozequeue

    The chances that I would behave at Leeza Alloco’s wedding were about the same as finding Cinderella smootching Prince Charming after midnight – slim to none.

  14. sispieth

    Behave sniffed the entire length of the debris field, and finding the fuselage, she licked the smoke off the midnight letters which spelled “Cinderella”.

  15. dreamongirl

    It was almost midnight and I could not make my heart behave, unlike Cinderella I didn’t have a fairy godmother telling me when to run.

  16. noldsy73

    Carlton struggled against midnight’s beckoning grip on him, unwilling to allow the night to dictate how he should behave; he wasn’t Cinderella, after all.

  17. aadkins2

    Not known for her ability to behave, Cinderella glanced at the clock reading 5 past midnight and took another swig of whiskey from her flask.

  18. phernandez.2009

    “Aurora, behave!” cried Cinderella as the mare reared in terror at the pounding hoof beats behind them and the tolling bells announced it was midnight.

  19. meetdylan

    I stared into Cinderella’s eyes, as cold and lifeless as the midnight hour, and knew if I didn’t behave, morning would come without me.

  20. sluna

    The clock’s midnight carillons reverberated— the Cinderella hour’s strikes mask my shotgun cocking as I wait for the once well-behaved lady to enter.

  21. Nicola Higgins

    “Will the prince behave?” asked Cinderella timidly, “because I’m not sure I want to go if he won’t, especially since the ball ends after midnight.”

  22. Molly12

    Cinderella doesn’t behave! She didn’t leave at midnight to get back home in time, instead she ran to the next ball to see Prince Frankenstein.


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