Weekend Workout: End-of-Year Short Story Challenge! (or 50 First Lines Redux!)

I’ve been jumping up and down in my mind (I do that) to use some material from the 50 first lines exercise I started months ago. I used this exercise, another of my favourites, for a writing contest back in February and the results were terrific. The whole 50 First Lines exercise is a blast and it works. I’ve proven to myself over and over again that it works, and now I have an excuse to use some of my results. There’s an open call for a short story anthology I’m interested in submitting to and the deadline is Dec 31st, so it’s perfect timing. If you’d like to join me and submit to this anthology (or to any other anthology or magazine or just want to finish a short story by the end of the year), you can play along. You can play along regardless of anything, but...

Wednesday Winners: Final Round, Feedback, and Book Draw

Thank you to all who participated in any stage of the 50 First Lines Challenge! (FEEDBACK questions to you in blue) THE PLAYBACK In Round One, you were challenged to come up with 50 first lines and pick your top FIVE. We chose FIVE lines as finalists. (FEEDBACK: do you think this worked well? should we require a link to the person’s blog to prove they did 50?) In Round Two, you had to use either your five lines or the finalists’ five lines and come up with 5 first paragraphs. You sent us your top 3 and we picked our TOP THREE.  (FEEDBACK: do you think everyone should have to use the same five finalists’ lines?) In the Third Round, you had to pick one of the top three paragraphs and tell us what that story was about. (FEEDBACK: I’ve never...

Round Two Winners and Round Three Rules: The 50 First Lines Challenge

The 50 First Lines Challenge Round One challenged you to write 50 First Lines and submit your Top Five. Round Two challenged you to write Five First paragraphs and submit your Top Three. From all those paragraphs, we picked OUR Top Three. It was tough for our judges to pick the Top Three. Seriously tough. It took 2 days to whittle it down and we had a new guest judge (a Vancouver writer/actor/producer) to break the ties. Without further ado, the Top Three First Paragraphs are (in no particular order): 1 – TAMARA WALSH (I don’t have a blog link for her) I blame everything that happened on the orange chicken. Nobody would’ve ever known it was me who spray painted, “Steve Sucks!” across his barn if the dumb chicken hadn’t gotten itself caught in my...

50 First Line Finalists and 2nd Round Rules! Join us!

I have been trying to write this post all day. It’s just been one of those days. For those just tuning in, I am hosting a writing challenge/contest and we have just finished the first round. Anyone can join in the next round, so read on. First, thanks to the writers who took up the 50 First Lines Challenge (they wrote 50 first lines as fast as possible and submitted their favourite five). Our judges actually had their own challenge, and I had to bring in a tie-breaker to settle things. Judges included a MG writer/educator, a spec fic publisher and sci fi writer, and an adult fiction writer, so we ran the gamut. One of them exclaimed, “These are so good! It was hard to pick.” If you did not attempt this exercise, I highly recommend it and...

No MGM; Campaign Tag; 50 First Lines by Midnight!

My regular blog schedule is out the window. As a matter of fact, I wouldn’t expect any more Middle Grade Monday posts from me until after The Campaign and the Bologna Children’s Book Fair are over. So at least March 26. The 50 First Line Challenge is STILL ON! You have until midnight tonight (that’s PST – my time – so 3 AM to those in NYC and 8 AM to those in Bologna, Italy) to submit your Top Five. There’s been interest and reposting and lots of hurrah’s, but only a few brave writers have posted theirs so far. Even if you miss this round, you can still participate in the next. This is only the First Round of the exercise/challenge/contest. You can still participate in the Second Round. Instructions will be posted on...