Writing challenge! Can you write an opening sentence to a story incorporating these 3 words? (Winners will be published in WD)

Your Story ContestLooking for a little Friday procrastination in the form of a writing challenge? Close that Excel spreadsheet you’re working on, minimize your boss’ emails or postpone your daily chores (come on, nobody would rather change a litter box than write, right?). Take five: It’s time for our Your Story contest.

Basically, in every issue we give our readers a chance to get  published in Writer’s Digest by responding to a writing prompt. Here’s the latest, from our November/December issue (featuring an interview with the awesome George RR Martin, I might add):


In 25 words or fewer, write the opening sentence to a story incorporating these three words: fresh, hair and tangled.


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 Nov. 26, 2012.
  • One entry per person, please.
  • How it all works: We’ll select the top 10 entries and post them on our forum. In early December, 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! One of the most fun things we get to do around here every issue is read the entries, and we appreciate every single word that comes in.

Now, to return to our Excel spreadsheets and litter boxes …

Happy Friday.

—Zachary Petit is an award-winning journalist, and the senior managing editor of Writer’s Digest magazine.
 Like what you read from WD online? Check us out in print, or on your favorite mobile device


Need help brainstorming story ideas for fiction or nonfiction? On the hunt for some great writing  exercises? 

Where Do You Get Your Ideas? explores the processes professional writers use in turning raw ideas into marketable books. This new manual from author Fred White (currently on sale!) is designed to help writers both generate story ideas as well as understand where they come from, how they are developed and how to separate the good from the bad.


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188 thoughts on “Writing challenge! Can you write an opening sentence to a story incorporating these 3 words? (Winners will be published in WD)

  1. Bri

    With the memory still fresh in her mind, she tangled her fingers in her hair and tugged hard, trying to focus on the pain she caused herself instead of the painful memory.

  2. NobleWarrior

    I stepped in fresh bear excrement and the leaves, twigs, and moss were tangled in my hair making this camping trip a catastrophe not adventurous.

  3. NobleWarrior

    I stepped in fresh bear excrement and the leaves, twigs, and moss were tangled in my hair, making this camping trip a catastrophe not adventurous!

  4. Achyut_Seth22

    The fresh, divine smell of richly pure blood suffocated the human, tangling her into the midst of immortality. Her hair shadowed her bloody mouth, as she left the sight; the blood still flowing in rivulets through the ice. It was a matter of time before the blood would dry up and the police wouldn’t find a single drop of her murderous and heinous crime. She would continue her search.

  5. scribe53

    Fresh air told Ning that he was outside the walls; and while this breath of freedom fortified his heart, his hands were shredded and his forehead pulsed as he comprehended that there was still a 20 foot fall from the end of his lifeline of hoarded hair, shreds of cloth and tangled barbed wire to the start of his race for home.

  6. kristend228

    I know I missed the deadline so this is more for me…

    “Don’t you get fresh with me, mutt,” Ty erupted, grabbing his daughter’s hair into a tangled rope of rage.

  7. TheLionKing2

    Her unbrushed hair smelled fresh, and her stolen fruits felt tangled, she thought, as she jolted down the streets, leaving her pursuers far behind her.

  8. KelseyZabc

    Tangled in her thoughts of the past month’s happenings, Jenna brushed her daughter’s hair, realizing just how fresh her father’s death still was.


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