Fun fact: The person who thought of the last contest we had (Be an Agent for a Day), is now a client of mine: hello Jim Duncan! Also, the person who won the contest before that (The 2nd Semi-Annual Stupendously Ultimate First Paragraph Challenge), is also now a client: hello Natalie Whipple!
In other words: NO PRESSURE.
(Bonus fun fact: I didn’t actually call the inaugural first paragraph challenge “stupendously ultimate,” it was actually “largely indispensable,” which throws into doubt whether this could properly be called the “third sort-of-annual.” We’ll just agree to forget that part, hmm?)
It is time. Time to test your paragraph against… other first paragraphs. Time to see if your sentences can wage successful word combat in order to defeat other sentences and emerge victorious on a field of battle.
Oh, and there are prizes. Let’s start there.
The GRAND PRIZE STUPENDOUSLY ULTIMATE WINNER will receive….
1) Their choice of a partial critique, query critique, or phone consultation
2) A very-sought-after galley of THE SECRET YEAR by Jennifer Hubbard, which will be published by Viking in January:
3) A signed THE SECRET YEAR bookmark
4) The envy of their rivals
5) The pride of a job well done
6) I think you get the picture
The STUPENDOUSLY ULTIMATE FINALISTS will receive….
a) Query critiques
b) A signed THE SECRET YEAR bookmark (assuming you live in a place that is reached in a reasonably affordable fashion by the postal service no offense forraners)
c) Pride. Lots of pride.
On to the rules!!
I) This is a for-fun contest that I conduct in the free time. Rules may be adjusted without notice, as I see fit, in ways in which you might find capricious, arbitrary, and in a possibly not fully comprehensible fashion. Complainants will be sent to the Magister, and trust me, you don’t want to get sent to the Magister (who’s been watching True Blood? This guy)
II) Ya hear? Angst = prohibited.
III) Please post the first paragraph of any work-in-progress in the comments section of THIS POST. Do not e-mail me your submission. The deadline for entry is THURSDAY 4pm Pacific time, at which point entries will be closed. Finalists will be announced on Friday, at which time you will exercise your democratic rights to choose a stupendously ultimate winner.
IV) You may enter once, once you may enter, and enter once you may.
V) Spreading word about the contest is strongly encouraged.
VI) I will be sole judge. Unless I chicken out.
VII) I am not imposing a word count on the paragraphs. However, a paragraph that is overly long may lose points in the judge’s eyes. Use your own discretion.
VIII) Please remember that the paragraph needs to be a paragraph, not multiple paragraphs masquerading as one paragraph.
That is all.
And now I shall retreat to my stupendously ultimate bunker.
UPDATE: CONTEST IS CLOSED!! Thank you so much to everyone who entered.