The (Second) 'Worst Storyline Ever' Contest!

Author:
Publish date:

This contest is now CLOSED (as of Oct. 6).
Thank you to everyone who
submitted. Judging will take place in the next 7 days or so
and winners will be notified by e-mail just before I make
the results public. Thanks!

--------------------

Have you got a horrible idea for a story? Well I want to hear about it. Welcome to the "Worst Storyline Ever" Contest - a competition that encourages terrible loglines. This contest happened once before, so feel free to check out that go-round. (If you have any problems or concerns, email me at literaryagent@fwmedia.com.)

"Worst Storyline Ever"

Contest


A logline
is a one-sentence line that explains what your story is about and shows the "hook" - the unique idea that makes people want to see more. You see loglines all the time in TV Guide and on the back of DVD boxes. Here are some examples:

  • "Three middle-aged men defeat their midlife crises by starting a college fraternity." (Old School)
  • "When a Roman general is betrayed and his family murdered by an evil prince, he comes to Rome as a gladiator to seek revenge." (Gladiator)
  • "In a future where criminals are arrested before the crime occurs, a cop struggles on the lam to prove his innocence for a murder he has not yet committed." (Minority Report)

But that's all the examples I'm going to give you, because I'm not looking for good examples of a logline; I'm looking for bad examples. Nay - terrible, stupid, "oh-my-God-that-idea-is-dumb-as-hell" examples.

Examples of Bad Loglines


1. "After the death of his goldfish, a priest renounces his faith and gets a job at the local White Castle, where he becomes addicted to special sauce and tries to dance his way to getting respect on the streets."

2. "A man's lifelong plan to dress up like Jabba the Hutt and star in a new line of workout tapes finally comes to fruition, but everything goes horribly awry when the man gets ink poisoning, lead poisoning and mercury poisoning all at once."

3. "When a woman dies and is reincarnated as a power saw, she uses a telepathic link with feral cats to help trick and trap and kill her former-lover-turned-murderer-turned-taxidermist."

Here are the rules:

1. Stick to the format, but have fun with the idea. You want your logline to be one sentence only and must be 60 words or fewer, and explain what the movie is about. It's what you put in that one sentence that will win you this competition. So the trick is to make your logline a terribly creative idea that's pitched in a professional manner.
2. The contest will go until the end of the day, 11:59 p.m., PST, Monday, Oct. 5. Submissions received after that will not be considered.
3. I will judge the contest, with some possible input from other WD and WD Books staffers.
4. To participate, simply click on "Comments" at the end of this post and leave your submission as a comment with your full name and e-mail. You must include your full name and e-mail. If you are super paranoid about leaving your name (Google!), use "L. Martin Smith" instead of "Leonard Smith."
5. You can submit up to two (2) bad loglines. You can include both in the same comment post as you wish.
6. The contest is open to everyone of all ages, save those employees, officers and directors of GLA's publisher, F+W Media (formerly F+W Publications).
7. There are a lot more rules (most of them dealing with legal stuff) that you can find in the comments section of this post.
8. By posting a terrible logline for consideration in this contest, you are agreeing to the terms written here as well as the terms added by me at the beginning of the "Comments" section of this blog post.

The Prizes:


First prize (grand prize): 1) A query letter critique from me. 2) A follow-up phone call to discuss the query critique and a plan of action for seeing your work published (basically: you ask questions, I answer). 3) A copy of the 2010 Guide to Literary Agents; 4) a one-year subscription to WritersMarket.com; 5) Praise on this blog from yours truly.

Two runner-up prizes: 1) A free copy of any one (1) of the following books: the 2010 Guide to Literary Agents, the 2010 Writer's Market; the 2010 Novel & Short Story Writer's Market; or the 2010 Children's Writer's & Illustrator's Market; 2) a one-year subscription to WritersMarket.com.

Good luck!!!

New to The Guide to Literary Agents blog?

John B. Thompson | Book Wars

John B. Thompson: On Researching Changes in the Book Publishing Industry

John B. Thompson, author of the new book Book Wars, shares the research that went into his account of how the digital revolution changed publishing for readers and writers.

From Script

Supporting AAPI Storytellers and Tapping into Mythical World Building (From Script)

In this week’s round-up from ScriptMag.com, meet South-East-Asian-American filmmakers and screenwriters, plus interviews with screenwriter Emma Needell and comic book writer/artist Matt Kindt, TV medical advisor Dr. Oren Gottfried, and more!

What Is a Personal Essay in Writing?

What Is a Personal Essay in Writing?

In this post, we look at what a personal essay (also known as the narrative essay) is, including what makes it different from other types of fiction and nonfiction writing, examples of effective personal essays, and more.

FightWrite™: How Do People Who Don’t Know How to Fight, Fight?

FightWrite™: How Do People Who Don’t Know How to Fight, Fight?

If your character isn't a trained fighter but the scene calls for a fight, how can you make the scene realistic? Author and trained fighter Carla Hoch has the answers for writers here.

April PAD Challenge

30 Poetry Prompts for the 2021 April PAD Challenge

Find all 30 poetry prompts for the 2021 April Poem-A-Day Challenge in this post.

The Problem of Solving a Mystery When You're the Prime Suspect

The Problem of Solving a Mystery When You're the Prime Suspect

Mia P. Manansala, author of Arsenic & Adobo, explains how writers can help their main character solve a mystery when they're the prime suspect.

Mistakes Writers Make: Not Using Your Spare 15 Minutes

Mistakes Writers Make: Not Using Your Spare 15 Minutes

The Writer's Digest team has witnessed many writing mistakes over the years, so we started this series to help identify them for other writers (along with correction strategies). This week's writing mistake writers make is not using your spare 15 minutes.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Unexpected Visitor

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Unexpected Visitor

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, invite an unexpected visitor into your story.

7 Tips for Writing a Near Future Dystopian Novel

7 Tips for Writing a Near-Future Dystopian Novel

In this article, debut author Christina Sweeney-Baird explains how writers can expertly craft a near-future dystopian novel.