Last call! Writing Challenge: Write the Opening Sentence to a Story Based on This Photo

To anyone not currently wandering the halls of Book Expo America in New York, loaded down with so many books you wish you’d brought a wheelbarrow (my favorite part of the event): How about a writing challenge?

Basically, in every issue of Writer’s Digest we give our readers a chance to get  published in the magazine by responding to a writing prompt. Here’s the latest, from our May/June 2013 issue:

 

In 25 words or fewer, write the opening sentence to a story based on this photo:

YSMJ

Your Story #50

 

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

The rules:

  • Your sentence (just one, only one!) must be 25 words or fewer, no exceptions.
  • The deadline is June 3, 2013.
  • One entry per person, please.
  • How it all works: We’ll select the top 10 entries and post them on our forum. In mid-June, 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 contest in the magazine: “You can be funny, poignant, witty, etc. It is, after all, your story.”

Good luck! And, of course, happy Friday.


Zachary Petit is the senior managing editor of Writer’s Digest magazine. 
He finally caved in and joined Twitter, and is now hopelessly distracted: @ZacharyPetit. 

*

 

Need some help surviving and thriving in the writing life? Check out James Scott Bell’s The Art of War for Writers

Successfully starting and finishing a publishable novel can be like fighting a series of battles—against the page, against one’s own self-doubt, against rebellious characters, etc. Featuring timeless, innovative, and concise writing strategies and focused exercises, this book is the ultimate battle plan and more—it’s Sun Tzu’sThe Art of War for novelists.

 

You might also like:

136 thoughts on “Last call! Writing Challenge: Write the Opening Sentence to a Story Based on This Photo

  1. Breezygirl

    So this is what it feels like to play God, Jack thought, watching the plane make its last climb and the passengers, their final journey.

  2. lindakim

    She looked out the window of the plane and saw the man standing alone and wondered, not for the first time, what she was doing on this plane.

  3. jimpick

    Engulfed in the twilight, and, almost tragically alone, I knew the landing of that plane somehow signified the final chapter in my life.

  4. denoftn

    David finally realized the truth in Stephanie’s accusation that he was a workaholic as she took off on their honeymoon without him.

    I reposted this because the first time it didn’t show up.

  5. tallglassofnick

    As I gripped my briefcase watching that 747, the idea of never seeing her slipped away, knowing one day I’ll have a seat on that plane.

  6. Inksister

    No Memories. No thoughts, questions, or ideas on how he came to be here. Just a briefcase he had to deliver, and a name- “Steeleheart.”

  7. jpbaker

    Sweat slowly slithered down my trembling cheeks, dripping onto my newly bought suit jacket as I gripped tightly the handle of my empty suitcase.

  8. sparkyeco

    Bomb in hand, Jack wondered how he’d explain that American Airlines flight AM622 would land safely a few hours later in Chicago and whether he would be truly safe with his new identity…

  9. jpbaker

    Sweat slithered down my trembling cheeks, dripping onto my newly bought suit jacket as I gripped tightly the handle of my empty suitcase.

    1. LTorossian

      Oops – one sentence rule – easy fix (I think):
      If I focus hard enough, I can see the outline of her face in the jet’s window as she takes off without me – she’s smiling.

  10. Jo-sephine

    With the sun on my face and a potted plant to my left and right, I caught my breathe and tried to ignore the irony, as my flight disappeared in the clouds.

  11. TriteStatic

    The anxious terminal commotion provided rhythm to my internal orchestra of a racing heartbeat and sinking stomach, as the last plane traced the morning horizon.

  12. Anthopants

    Too little too late. Howard, bomb squad, watched an overfilled commercial airplane escape the tarmac. His mind raced: “How do I get on that plane?”

  13. Mary O Paddock

    Lockwood studied the stranger with the briefcase; how he never looked away from the tarmac, like watching Boeings take to the air was a religion.

  14. korenlis

    The low angle of the plane, that odd cardboard cut-out, and an impossibly clean floor means fakery abounds and old Pete will be thrilled.

  15. KMF1029

    Derek’s hand gripped the briefcase handle so hard his arm shook; he watched the plane ascend with a final roar, taking his soul with it.

  16. tygerrose

    He stood at the concourse’s picture window and stared out in disbelief of the plane taking off in front of him. It was the plane that he was supposed to be piloting.

  17. korenlis

    The low angle of the plane, that odd cardboard cut-out and an impossibly clean floor means fakery abounds and old Pete will be thrilled.

  18. jimbone21

    Thomas held tightly to his briefcase as he vowed to enact revenge upon the vandals that had torn the verticle strips from his favorite painting.

    1. jimbone21

      ugh, spellcheck was off:

      Thomas held tightly to his briefcase as he vowed to enact revenge upon the vandals that had torn the vertical strips from his favorite painting.

  19. TriteStatic

    The anxious terminal commotion provided rhythm to my internal orchestra of a racing heart and sinking stomach as the last plane traced the morning horizon.

COMMENT