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Announcing the Meager Puddle of Limelight Award for Best Opening Line  

What's this about?
Everyone knows a great first line is an excellent way to pull someone into a story, but now it can bring you fame and fortune too!

Okay, maybe not 'Fame' (and to be honest, not fortune either), but it can win you a 
Meager Puddle of Limelight Award as well as an  I are a writer! mug/Fur-Face CD combo.

How can I enter?

If you'd like to take part, you can submit up to three opening lines (max 25 words each please). They can be from finished stories or WIPs of any length, but please note: they must be your own work. Put your entries in a comment below or send them to me within a separate message under the heading: 2010 PUDDLE FOR BEST OPENING LINE.  I'll screen all comments when the contest submission period closes.

What do I win?
Aside from the mug and CD, winners get to bask in the meager puddle of limelight which my journal can provide. I'll post an interview with the top three finalists here on An Englishman in New Jersey. In addition, the overall winner gets the opportunity to do a guest blog here if he/she wishes.

I don’t have a Live Journal account. Can I enter?
Sure, but you’ll need an LJ account to vote for anything. And don't forget to give your name and website/email address if you enter by anonymous comment so I can contact you if needed.

Do you plan to enter your own stuff, Jon?
As with the Best Title Awards I've excluded myself from the competition.

How will the winner be selected?
As with last year's contest
, entries will be voted on by your LJ peers in secret ballots. I'll explain the process in more detail later.

What’s the closing date for entries?

To be considered for the 2009 Meager Puddle of Limelight Awards for ‘Best Opening Line’ please submit your entries by noon on Friday, November 5th (US/Eastern time).

Sure, the Puddles may not be as prestigious as a Hugo or the like, but any award voted for by your peers is one worth having. Besides, just like those shiny diamonds people like to sing about, bragging rights are forever.

Good luck to all who take part, or as previous contestants might say:

Vene, vidi, puddli! 

ETA: Entries screened until after the winner is announced.

All five qualifying rounds in this year's
Meager Puddle of Limelight Award for Best Opening Line contest are now open.

If you haven't yet voted, you can find them here

Round one (click here
Round two (click here
Round three
(click here)
Round four (click here)
Round five (click here) 
Round six (click here)
Final round (click here

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( 57 comments — Leave a comment )
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Oct. 27th, 2010 01:24 pm (UTC)
I'll be looking forward to reading some of these! It's a great learning process, just seeing how many different people begin a story.
Oct. 27th, 2010 01:32 pm (UTC)
It is at that :)
Oct. 27th, 2010 01:38 pm (UTC)
My 3 opening lines
This is fun, and I'll have a shot at it:

1) Madness stalked the corridors of the sabership

2) Rali Ribhu slowly rolled the translucent golden sphere back and forth across the table before the eyes of the fascinated young farmer.

3) Here, beneath the damp evergreen branches, the morning was cold and so quiet that it seemed impossible so many Reichswehr troops could be camped nearby.

--A.L. Sirois
Oct. 27th, 2010 02:03 pm (UTC)
Re: My 3 opening lines
Excellent! Best of luck :)
Oct. 27th, 2010 01:45 pm (UTC)
Terry, of stupidlyhappy(dot)com
told me that I'd written the best opening line he'd ever read.
We had all been born Polish, but some of us were more Polish than others.

That's from "The Spaces Between the Breathing"
which is included in The Nothing That Is and Other Stories.
(Since a link might be construed as rude or even spamming, I'll just suggest googling the book title.)

In the story, Stacy Katczinsky learns that she is different from her sisters because her biological father is a rapist/serial killer on death row in Texas.
Oct. 27th, 2010 02:03 pm (UTC)
Best of luck, Stacy :)
Oct. 27th, 2010 01:49 pm (UTC)
Kate Jones, OTOH,
thought this was my best.
You don't have to be Fellini to know that a train should be like sex.

It's from "Why had Coronado Never Gone Back to Spain?"
which is included in The Bohemian Girl and Other Stories.
Oct. 27th, 2010 02:04 pm (UTC)
Ditto ;)
Oct. 27th, 2010 01:54 pm (UTC)
And when someone suggested that adding zombies to my cop stories might help, I came up with this.
“Zombies,” Drew said, placing his tiles.

It's from "The Dog Who Knew Too Much"
which is included in Your Stef's a Detective and Other Stories.
Oct. 27th, 2010 02:04 pm (UTC)
And best of luck with this one too :)
(no subject) - msstacy13 - Oct. 27th, 2010 02:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 27th, 2010 01:55 pm (UTC)
i think this is a hysterically awesome idea :)

my entries:

1. I measure damage by the milligram.

2. The sun rose wintry gold and grey, and the vampire did not die.

3. One day Lilith came home to Eden for a visit.
Oct. 27th, 2010 02:03 pm (UTC)
Thanks for taking part :)
(no subject) - lyonesse - Oct. 27th, 2010 02:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jongibbs - Oct. 27th, 2010 02:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - lyonesse - Oct. 27th, 2010 02:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - msstacy13 - Oct. 27th, 2010 02:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - lyonesse - Oct. 27th, 2010 02:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ladysaotome - Oct. 27th, 2010 04:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 27th, 2010 03:18 pm (UTC)

I love a good opening line...(I only wish mine qualified as such). My favorite is still from Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow: A screaming comes across the sky.

So, here goes:

1) When the devil first appeared on my right shoulder, he whispered suggestions into my ear that were, well, almost entirely unconscionable.

from "The Triple-Pierced Ear: A Cautionary Tale" - as yet unsold bit of flash.

2) The Evil Gazebo sits in the middle of an evil lawn by the side of an evil lake, in the shadow of a monstrous mansion.

from The Evil Gazebo

3) Dawn brings yet more bad news.

from "The Power of Her Position," which is going to out to the editor today or tomorrow.

In the interest of the PG-ness of a YA author's blog, I'll leave out the other one (which would have otherwise replaced one of the above).

Oct. 27th, 2010 03:43 pm (UTC)
Thanks for taking part, Bernie. Best of luck :)
Oct. 27th, 2010 03:53 pm (UTC)
These are always such fun. Thanks Jon.

The twin suns rose over carmine cliffs to Azriel's east, a red glow casting long shadows in the valley below.

Flames hissed through dry wood to lick at the slave chained to a stake.

You can come out from under your desk as I don’t have a sniper bead trained on you.
Oct. 27th, 2010 05:47 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Elizabeth. Best of luck in the contest :)
Oct. 27th, 2010 04:23 pm (UTC)
And here are mine:

1. The zombie philosopher came out of his cavern only when both the moons of Mars were below the horizon.

2. “A zombie’s being born tonight, that’s why.”

Different stories, similar theme. ;)
Oct. 27th, 2010 05:47 pm (UTC)
Excellent! Best of luck :)
Oct. 27th, 2010 04:44 pm (UTC)
The night sky was rags of midnight blue while lightning ripped across the horizon.

Cole's eyes widened at the sight of the maiden sprawled at his feet.

Princess Ida leaned back in her throne, her legs stretched before her most unladylike.
Oct. 27th, 2010 05:47 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Kat :)
Oct. 27th, 2010 05:54 pm (UTC)
Fun! Here's my entires:

1. The blood coursed through 14 other bodies before reaching the child in Rilad.

2. When I stole the newspaper, everything turned red.

3. She gave me peanut butter; then, she left.
Oct. 27th, 2010 08:53 pm (UTC)
Thanks for taking part, Misha :)
Oct. 27th, 2010 08:50 pm (UTC)
Is the F word acceptable for an entry? I have a great opening line from a short story of mine, but the character swears like the proverbial sailor.
Oct. 27th, 2010 08:59 pm (UTC)
I have no objections, Stephanie, but I think it might cost you some votes.

In any event, I certainly appreciate you letting me know :)

(no subject) - slweippert - Oct. 27th, 2010 09:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 27th, 2010 08:58 pm (UTC)
Fun! I'll play :)

1. On Tuesday, I went in front of the assembly and cracked open a hornet's nest.

2. Wallwalker could barely contain his anticipation.

3. It's morning on the outskirts of the largest garbage dump on the planet.
Oct. 27th, 2010 09:00 pm (UTC)
Best of luck, Kam :)
Oct. 27th, 2010 09:07 pm (UTC)
Gather up my courage and try it anyway
Apologies to those who are offended by swear words.

“Fucking alarms! They’re making me homicidal!!” I screamed at Jahna’s back.
Oct. 27th, 2010 09:16 pm (UTC)
Re: Gather up my courage and try it anyway
Best of luck, Stephanie. :)
Oct. 27th, 2010 09:25 pm (UTC)
What fun! I'll play :) I've posted opening lines from my 3 WIP's I'm working on right now. The third entry is in revision mode.

1.Savannah pulled up to the inn in the dark.

2.The phone rang. She looked at the clock. It was 4 AM!

3."Ryan I don't feel very well, just take me home. I'll explain everything to my parents later." I closed my eyes hoping my headache would subside.
Oct. 27th, 2010 09:32 pm (UTC)
Best of luck, Kate :)
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( 57 comments — Leave a comment )

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