Wednesday Winners: Final Round, Feedback, and Book Draw

Thank you to all who participated in any stage
of the 50 First Lines Challenge!

(click for source)

(FEEDBACK questions to you in blue)


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 tried it this way before, any comments or ideas for a different 3rd Round challenge?)


For each round, every participant got an entry into the drawing. If one of yours was chosen as a finalist, you got an extra draw.

For the DRAWING, and a choice of a print or ebook version of either Book One or Two of the Faerie Tales form the White Forest series:
Charissa and Esther Jones!

The judges consensus is that

4 AM Writer (Kathryn J) had the best storyline in Round Three (congrats 4 AM), so with a total of 6 points, you are the grand prize winner!

Not only do you get a choice of the books from above, I’m going to mail you a special prize. Once I knew it was you, I picked a prize I thought you’d really like.

Congrats to all. Thank you so much for playing. And thank you to our judges and tie-breakers (Tod, Jennifer, Natalie, and Yvette).

I won’t be around due to the book fair, but there will be some time release posts coming and some guest bloggers. I’ll try to check in from Bologna if possible.

FURTHER FEEDBACK: which was your favourite round? your least favourite? the one that challenged you the most? And – would you play again?


  1. tracikenworth
    Mar 15, 2012

    Congrats to the winners!!

  2. yoongz
    Mar 15, 2012

    Congrats to the winners!! i didn’t take part this time round but hope to do so the next time u run this again… i think the rounds are good just as they are. About requiring proof of 50 lines, i think we can trust people to do 50 lines – after all it is for their own benefit. Maybe round 2 should include using one of the chosen lines besides 4 of your own. Round 3 is good as it is… that’s my 2 cents 🙂

  3. Esther Jones
    Mar 15, 2012

    I loved this challenge. It stretched me in many new ways. As for feedback, I think it’s great the way it is.
    OMG! I won something! LOL 😀

  4. Lauryn
    Mar 15, 2012

    Thanks for the challenge! The one round I participated in was fun 😛 I liked following the other two rounds, though. I was going to participate in the first and third rounds, but homework got in the way… Congrats to the winners, though! 😀

  5. 4amWriter
    Mar 15, 2012

    Hello! First, I want to thank you so much for this challenge. I really, really stepped out of my comfort zone because of this–I never write science fiction/fantasy. So, I don’t have a clue how I came up with the idea, but I’m so glad I did because now I have a new story to write!

    I thought the first leg of the challenge was great. It was intriguing and tough enough to get me interested. Part of that was the fact I had to write not just 5, but 50 sentences. I responded to that because it was beyond anything I’d tried before in terms of coming up with story ideas. I am on the fence about whether or not you should have writers “prove” they wrote 50 sentences. In one respect it is up to them whether they want to really put themselves to the test–they’re only helping themselves. On the flip side, those who do write 50 might feel a little slighted if those who do only 5 still get a fair shot? Perhaps give a bonus point for those who write 50, that way they are rewarded but no one is penalized.

    For round 2, I guess in theory it should be increasingly tougher, right? I guess it depends on whether writing paragraphs based on someone else’s first line is more difficult than writing a paragraph based off your own first line. I would think it would be more difficult, but that’s just my opinion. Some writers might find it easier to build off of someone else’s first line.

    Luckily for me, one of my first lines went through so I was already in that “abandoned baby” mode which made it easier to keep the wheels turning rather than switching gears.

    Round 3 petrified me! But that’s because summarizing is not my strong suit. I am currently struggling with the query stage, and I much prefer writing 300 page novels!! That being said, however, I think this was my favorite round because I was forced to come up with a beginning, middle, and end. In just 10 sentences I put together something that shows promise and potential. Whoda thunk it? Typically, I avoid dealing with structure before I write an actual story (which is not the best way to put together a book, I realize, but it’s because I love creating the story too darn much!)

    So, I liked round 3 just the way it is.

    Yes! I would definitely play again. And I don’t know if I had a least favorite round. I found something useful in each round, honestly.

    Thanks again, Danika, Tod, Jennifer, Natalie, and Yvette. Have fun in Bologna, Danika! 🙂

  6. char
    Mar 15, 2012

    This was such a great contest! Each round was challenging, but brought such great fruits! I wouldn’t require proof of 50 lines written. I found your contest the night the 1st round was ending, so it would have been hard to have posted my 50 entries onto my blog for the next day (and my blog has a lot of non-writers that don’t want to read all my contest entries anyway). I like the bonus points being added if you show proof (either by emailing you or linking to your blog, etc).

    Round 2 was nice to use my own sentences rather than others. I felt it helped me flesh out my own idea more (rather than having to jump ship and go with someone else’s. I would keep it the same, and only have those who didn’t do 1st round have to use winning sentences from 1st round if they enter late.

    3rd round–I put this task off so long because it sounded so hard. I’m like Kathryn above (that’s not how I write my books). But I did it and loved how it made me think. I will definitely use this technique more from now on to map out quickly what a story is all about (it will help a lot in writing it, I think). I wouldn’t change this round–it was very challenging and rewarding. I like my final product (for ideas).

    Well done contest! I’d definitely do it again. In fact, I gave these 3 challenges out to my writing group for homework this month! I’m excited to see what they bring back in April. And I’m so excited to get your book, Danika (and to know your name isn’t just “Accidental Novelist”). I’ll email you my choice now! Thanks again for hosting such a fun contest! I’ll spread the word to others next time you plan on doing it.


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