Writing Challenge: Can You Write the Opening Sentence to a Story Based on This Photo?

And now, it’s time once again for our long-running writing challenge: The Your Story contest. Think of it like The New Yorker’s caption contest with a WD twist.

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 (most excellent) November/December 2013 issue:


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

Your Story


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. 25, 2013.
  • 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.
  • 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, as always, happy Friday.

Zachary Petit (@ZacharyPetit) is the senior managing editor of Writer’s Digest magazine. Check out the latest issue of WD—which features an exclusive dual interview with Anne Rice and Christopher Rice, and a feature package on how to improve your craft in simple, effective ways—in print, or on your favorite tablet.


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234 thoughts on “Writing Challenge: Can You Write the Opening Sentence to a Story Based on This Photo?

  1. Logan

    “The chair on my back is for your convenience,” said the giant tortoise, “but please sit down for the journey’s long and you’ll become weary.”

    I tried to enter on Friday evening…but I don’t see my original sentence….so I am doing it again…just in case.

  2. ExactlyEva

    I prided myself on remaining level-headed in my romantic relationships, but when I met Leland, I thought “surely, surely I could drown in those eyes.”

  3. Nicola R. White

    Wendy thought of Peter alone on his rock and knew he had been right – to die would be an awfully big adventure.

    Apologies if this shows as a duplicate comment, but my post from yesterday seems to be missing.

    1. JS.Alian

      Should be….”Baring her soul”! It sounds much better.

      Baring her soul to the sea of people, masking despair behind her raven hair, a bow she takes and steadies her grace…Deafening Applause follows!

  4. all.is.fair

    Knowing how ridiculous this would sound, Helena made the call, anyway. “Lucy, there’s water everywhere…” rushed out, as the chair sunk deeper into the floor.


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