It’s time of the granddaddy of them all, our sort-of-annual first paragraph challenge! Will your paragraph wow the masses? Do you have the first paragraph to end all first paragraphs?
We shall soon find out.
Let’s get to the good stuff. THE PRIZES!
The ULTIMATE GRAND PRIZE WINNER of the SUFPC will win:
1) The opportunity to have a partial manuscript considered by my utterly fantastic agent, Catherine Drayton of InkWell, whose clients include bestselling authors such as Markus Zusak (The Book Thief), John Flanagan (The Ranger’s Apprentice series) and Becca Fitzpatrick (Hush Hush), among others.
2) A signed advance copy of my novel, JACOB WONDERBAR AND THE COSMIC SPACE KAPOW, which is coming out in May:
3) The pride of knowing your paragraph was like the platonic ideal of first paragraphs it was so awesome.
The FABULOUS RUNNERS UP will receive the satisfaction of knowing that they were among the very best, as well as a query critique from yours truly.
There may also be honorable mentions, where still more satisfaction will be had.
So! Here’s how this works. Please read these rules carefully:
a) This is a for-fun contest. Rules may be adjusted without notice, but this one will always remain: please don’t take the contest overly seriously. This is for fun. Yes, the grand prize is awesome and I would have kidnapped a baby koala bear to have my manuscript considered by Catherine Drayton without so much as a query, but don’t let that detract from the for-funness of the contest. For fun. Seriously.
b) Please post the first paragraph of any work-in-progress in the comments section of THIS POST. Please 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…. sometime after that. (Possibly Friday, possibly the following Monday, possibly the year 2032 but probably not the year 2032). When the finalists are announced you will exercise your democratic rights to vote for a stupendously ultimate winner.
c) Please please check and double-check and triple-check your entry before posting. But if you spot an error after posting: please do not re-post your entry. I go through the entries sequentially and the repeated deja vu repeated deja vu from reading the same entry only slightly different makes my head spin. I’m not worried about typos, nor should you be.
d) You may enter once, once you may enter, and enter once you may. If you post anonymously, make sure you leave your name.
e) Spreading word about the contest is strongly encouraged.
f) I will be sole judge of the finalists. You the people will be the sole judge of the ultimate winner.
g) 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.
h) Please remember that the paragraph needs to be a paragraph, not multiple paragraphs masquerading as one paragraph.
i) You must be at least 14 years old and less than 147 years old to enter. No exceptions.
j) I’m on Twitter! You can find me at @nathanbransford and I may be posting updates about the contest.
That is all.
GOOD LUCK! May the best paragraph win and may it be rather awesome.