Your Story 43: Winners! - Writer's Digest

Your Story 43: Winners!

Prompt: Write the opening sentence to a story (25 words or fewer) based on the photo prompt to the left.
Publish date:

Prompt: Write the opening sentence (25 words or fewer) to a story based on the photo prompt to the left. (Official Rules.)

Your Story #43 photo.

Thanks to everyone who voted on WD's Your Story #43! Here are the results. The winning entries, in ranking order, are as follows:

1. As the last of the day’s light retreated behind the desert mountains, the sheriff’s heart sank; he knew the runaway would be dead by morning. (Laura Wenzel)

2. Buck lit the lamp and prepared to step into the future, wondering whether he had packed enough strength, courage, and clean underwear for the trip. (Cindy Morrow)

3. Cursing his wife for being right about something impossible, he put down his lantern and gazed at the void that had once been New York. (Karolina Galuszka)

4. Jacob lifted the lantern off the crusty salt pan and waved toward the setting sun—a signal to his brother, if he was still alive. (David Howes)

5. When Stevens finally reached the mysterious lantern, he noticed he had left no footsteps in the desert sand. (Ashton Webb)

6. Looking across the snow covered prairie, Dwight gently lowered his lantern and wondered how he could be so lost on lands he knew so well. (Chip Putnam)

7. Knowing I mustn’t rush, I set down the lantern, steadied myself against the icy wind, and tried to recall the location I left Samuel’s remains. (Sara Shelton)

8. Staggering to his feet, the man leaned down to pick up the lantern as something wet slid over his left eyebrow and into his eye. (Angel Carter)

9. Jason sat his lantern on the sand as he raced toward the loud cry that came from the water, interrupting his thoughts. (Nancy Mills Shannon)

10. After filling his belly with beans, the cowboy grabbed his lantern and headed for the nearest shrub—where a coiled rattler lay in wait. (Gary Adams)

For more writing exercises to spark your creativity, check out Take Ten for Writers!


Plot Twist Story Prompts: Fight or Flight

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, it's fighting time.


Vintage WD: 10 Rules for Suspense Fiction

John Grisham once admitted that this article from 1973 helped him write his thrillers. In it, author Brian Garfield shares his go-to advice for creating great suspense fiction.


The Chaotically Seductive Path to Persuasive Copy

In this article, author, writing coach, and copywriter David Pennington teaches you the simple secrets of excellent copywriting.

Grinnell_Literary Techniques

Using Literary Techniques in Narrative Journalism

In this article, author Dustin Grinnell examines Jon Franklin’s award-winning article Mrs. Kelly’s Monster to help writers master the use of literary techniques in narrative journalism.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 545

Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write a cleaning poem.


New Agent Alert: Amy Collins of Talcott Notch Literary Services

New literary agent alerts (with this spotlight featuring Amy Collins of Talcott Notch Literary Services) are golden opportunities for new writers because each one is a literary agent who is likely building his or her client list.


5 Tips for Writing Scary Stories and Horror Novels

Bestselling and award-winning author Simone St. James shares five tips for writing scary stories and horror novels that readers will love to fear.


On vs. Upon vs. Up On (Grammar Rules)

Learn when to use on vs. upon vs. up on with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.