Friday, February 12, 2010

Writing Contest

As promised, here's the scoop on our next contest. It's a "Hook Me!" (Notice the ever-so-appropriate graphic on your left?)

Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to hook the reader in 200 words. I know that's less than you'd like. I want you to venture outside your comfort zone. If it was easy, anyone could do it. We've studied opening lines and the importance of grabbing the reader's attention from the start. This is such an important aspect of writing that I felt it would be beneficial if we revisited it often.

Feel free to write something entirely new. Or, if you have a completed manuscript or a WIP, you can use that instead. It's up to you. The whole objective is to write something so compelling that the reader simply must know more. Since our poll currently shows very little difference between our adult and juvenile writers, there is no limitation on the genre this time, but keep that pesky 200 word limit in mind.  

So, come on already. What do we do?

Patience, grasshopper. I'm about to tell you. Just write something fabulous and email it to me at In the subject line, type HOOK ME - TITLE - YOUR NAME. Then paste your masterpiece into the body of the email. That's it. Easy peasy. One entry per person.

I'm going to place a limit of 50 entries on this contest, simply because of the time involved in posting them to the site. The Entry Window opens at 8:00 a.m. CST on Friday, February 12th, 2010, and closes at 8:00 a.m. CST on Sunday, February 14th, 2010, or when we have 50 entries, whichever comes first. Entries received prior to the opening time or after the close will not be posted.

There will be a prize this time. (Yay!) Since this blog isn't a big cash cow, and we're still somewhat limited in our prize capabilities, we're going to do the $10 Barnes & Noble Gift Certificate again. So call your muse, get into your writing mode, and create something. I know you can do it.

Also, if you'd like to win an autographed copy of Nicola Marsh's new Harlequin Romance (her 29th novel!) scroll down and answer the question. It's simple and easy, and you just might win. The winner will be announced on February 14th, right after we post the transcript from the interview she gave us.

Good luck to each of you!


  1. Does it have to be a beginning or can it be from anywhere in your story that you think will hook the reader?

  2. MBee, Thanks for the question. Since you typically have one opportunity to hook the reader, and since that opportunity occurs at the beginning of the story, your sample should be the opening lines. You may have a great hook buried inside the book, but unless the reader gets that far, it's of no value. If that's the case, maybe that's where the story should begin.

  3. Makes sense. I do need to re-write my WIP opening so this may be a great opportunity. Thanks!


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