Your Story #92: Winners

Your Story Writing Contest: Write the opening sentence (just one sentence), of 25 words or fewer, to a story based on this photo.
Publish date:
Image placeholder title

Image from Getty | Credit: Lisa5201

  • Prompt: Write the opening sentence (just one sentence), of 25 words or fewer, to a story based on the photo above.
  • You can be funny, poignant, witty, etc.; it is, after all, your story.

Use the submission form below OR email your submission directly to

IMPORTANT: If you experience trouble with the submission form, please email your submission directly to within the body of your email (no attachments, please).

Unfortunately, we cannot respond to every entry we receive, due to volume. No confirmation emails will be sent out to confirm receipt of submission. But be assured all submissions received before entry deadline are considered carefully. Official Rules

Entry Deadline: August 20, 2018 — CLOSED

Out of more than 300 entries, Writer's Digest editors and readers selected the following 10 winners:

  1. Thirty-five days had passed since they ran away from him and, for the first time since they left, they both relaxed enough to laugh. —Jennifer Lagasca
  1. The innocent, life-affirming giggle of her daughter anchored Meg in truth and, for just a brief moment, they floated together—weightless from their haunting past. —Meaghan Artigues
  1. Mom looked up and handed the picture back to me, the wrinkles in her forehead becoming deeper as she furrowed her brow: She couldn’t remember. —Sabrina Barner
  1. I envisioned myself both old and young lying in the surf, dreaming about my beginning and my end. —Ian Taylor
  1. With each passing year and with every scroll through her newsfeed, she held a hope she’d one day have a child. —Sarah Ginter
  1. Happiness washed over me in waves that glorious afternoon at the beach, our last moments together before the fateful day you were taken from me. —Dana Zambon
  1. My mother wept, shamefully burying the photo of us from that summer on the lake, the last happy moment of my life. —Susie Tierney
  1. Ever since Maddy died, Jess swam alone—to talk to her, I reckon—but as I listened, Maddy’s laughter echoed across the lake. —Angela Litterio Hastings
  1. The familiar feeling of a mother-daughter bond almost made me regret kidnapping the little angel. —Tyler Brown
  1. She lay on my belly, giggling, bobbing along as clouds collected over Corolla, North Carolina, and the horizon drifted away. —N.H. Merchant

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Dream Sequence

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, let your characters dream a little dream.

WD Vintage_Armour 12:03

Vintage WD: Don't Hide Your Light Verse Under a Bushel

In this article from 1960, poet and author Richard Armour explores the importance of light verse and gives helpful hints to the hopeful poet.


Tessa Arlen: On Polite Editorial Tussles and Unraveling Mysteries

In this article, author Tessa Arlen explains how to navigate the differences between American and English audiences and create a realistic historical mystery.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 547

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 lazy poem.


Denise Williams: Romance, Healing, and Learning to Love Revisions

Author Denise Williams recounts her experience with writing her first book while learning about the publishing industry and the biggest surprise about novel revisions.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge

2020 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Next Steps

Here are the final steps for the 13th annual November PAD Chapbook Challenge! Use December and the beginning of January to revise and collect your poems into a chapbook manuscript. Here are some tips and guidelines.


Shook vs. Shaked vs. Shaken (Grammar Rules)

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

November PAD Chapbook Challenge

2020 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 30

For the 2020 November PAD Chapbook Challenge, poets write a poem a day in the month of November before assembling a chapbook manuscript in the month of December. Today's prompt is to write an exit poem.