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)

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  5. pilarvizzo

    She played Cinderella at Halloween, praying her husband would behave, but as the clock struck midnight her “prince” transformed into the usual drunken, cruel beast.

  6. joce_frentz

    It was midnight as I smirked and remembered her saying, “Behave Cinderella”. However, she never specified how she wanted me to behave.

  7. boatlady

    But coming up fast, that midnight-black colt — it’s Prince Charming, he’s never behaved like this — neck and neck — he WINS — what a Cinderella horse!

  8. orushy2002

    My eyes rovered onto the platform. It was her final presentation: Behave. She was sharp, strong and overcoming. Not my soft, smitten Cinderella at midnight.

  9. LunaRaven

    Special Agent Cinderella and her partner, Agent Behave, raced down through the palace and towards the throne room, praying that they’d deactivate the bomb by midnight.

  10. Candice7858

    “No, you’re not Cinderella; I gave you a midnight curfew because that’s what happens when you don’t behave … the way I want,” said Roger.

  11. Jaybo

    “What kind of behavior is that?” bellowed the senior priest inside the confessional, and the poor young deacon, leaving behind his pride, breviary and absolution, dashed out into the seminary halls as like a black dressed midnight- fleeing Cinderella.

  12. Patspurg61

    “Cinderella behave!” Alex warned the slobbering Saint Bernard. “Or the only place you’re heading at midnight is the yard!”

  13. JFloydKeller

    Now that she was the parent, who would make her behave, and put down the Spenserian-Miltonian mishmash of Cinderella she’d worked over, hours past midnight?

  14. BoarderCollie

    “Midnight” suggested Dad, “No, Cinderella” wailed the four year old hysterically, “behave” said Mum calmly, scooping up the squirming puppy, “We will call her Cinders”

  15. rochhamp

    I begged Grandma to behave, but she approached the aloof judge with the fury of Cinderella’s evil step-mother catching her daughter out after midnight.

  16. debra_kirouac

    Katharine hated all things Disney, so she didn’t behave well when she opened a present from her Cinderella-loving cousin, Daisy at midnight – Katharine actually puked.

  17. storyteller3

    I awoke not knowing at all where I was and there was a dog – certainly not my dog – behaving very oddly, and around her neck hung a pocket watch it appeared to be stuck at midnight, and then in the distance a voice, “Cinderella where are you?”


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