As promised, here are the entries in the first round of our Line-by-Line contest. Literary Agent Natalie Fischer is judging these now, and the top 75 entries will be announced on 6/24/10 and the lucky winners will be asked to submit the second line. In the meantime, please post your comments, encouragement, and suggestions for the following brave writers! And keep your comments kind, respectful, and snarkless.
#1 Kat Zhang
Adie and I were born into the same body, our souls’ ghostly fingers entwined before we gasped our very first breath.
#2 Creepy Query Girl
‘How do you punish someone who’s already dead?’
#3 Pam Harris
"It's not that I'm ugly or anything."
The shriek of my cell phone in the quiet classroom meant only one thing: the killer had found us again.
#5 Natalie Aguirre
“You don’t know what it’s like not knowing if you’re like your real mom or dad,” Jasmine said.
Mary Kate Stewart secretly hoped that her Calculus teacher would get hit by a taco truck.
#7 Hanna C. Howard
I am told it is wonderful to be beautiful.
#8 Stina Lindenblatt
It was like leaping off a ten-meter platform when you’re terrified of heights.
#9 Vicki Tremper
“All cockroaches step forward,” a voice barked.
#10 Robyn Campbell
Anna threw open the barn door and smiled at Fancy, who stamped her foot and stuck her head over the stall opening.
#11 L.J. Boldyrev
There’s a dead girl in the trunk and all I can think about is how white the trees are.
#12 Marquita Hockaday
I’m in hell.
#13 Sangay Glass
Yeah, it was gross, but with only seconds to spare Aleksandra really had no choice.
My hope of living a normal life in Lindenville faded faster than my fifteen dollar jeans the moment I got to the school bus stop.
#15 Dunnes in UK
Ellen’s forehead cracked painfully against the window as her Aunt’s ancient pick-up hit a huge hole in the questionable country road, waking her from the most bizarre dream.
Ann stood in the foyer, pulling off her gloves and then her coat, and considered how little the war had changed things at home.
#17 Courtney Lowe
"Screams ripped me from sleep."
#18 Jenn Fitzgerald
Madame Bhut’s Finishing School in the town of Whut was known across Amalthea as a respectable place to send your daughter if you were hoping to marry her to a gentleman; not for producing evil queens with ideas of world domination.
#19 Nicole Zoltack
My papers scattered everywhere, and my books fell with a loud thud.
Amidst the never-ending fires and screams of defiant terror, Abby collapsed to the ground, feet twisting inward, eyes unwilling to stay open, and desperately wishing to pass out.
#21 Buffy Andrews
I have a secret.
"I always knew my name would get me into trouble one day."
#23 Michele Shaw
It was a knock--the harmless rap of knuckles against wood--that broke open my wounds.
#24 Natalie C. Markey
Water churned all around like a water sprout encasing me in a prison.
#25 C David
The old van in the woods had been rooted in middle school lore since ages past.
My hands went numb as the officer gently told me the news.
The test began like all the rest, although the dead corpse look was different.
#28 Cambria Dillon
Whoever said cell phones made life easier was full of BS.
#29 Leah Odze Epstein
The day my parents tricked Rachel into signing herself into the "Program," they tricked me, too, bringing me with them as a decoy.
Ellyssa, a.k.a. Subject 62, sprinted through the dark alley after escaping from her long-term captors who she’d thought of as family for eighteen years.
#31 Holly Dodson
Mandy Samkirk had no warning of the life-changing events about to unfold; only the lingering worry from a recurring dream that nagged at her thoughts.
#32 Sue Ford
I can’t believe I found you!
#33 Heather Trent Beers
The last day of fifth grade should mark the beginning of a fun-filled summer for a girl.
Riding to school with Max Holden is only slightly less traumatizing than riding the big yellow bus.
#35 Kristi Helvig
I waited for her behind a large oak tree.
#36 A. Grey
Life is so much easier without underwear.
#37 Bonnie Staring
He just didn't get it.
#38 Julie Musil
This day is going to suck.
#39 Heather Kelly
Lucky had been living life just fine, until the universe threw him a curveball.
#40 Carol Riggs
I died before I was even born.
Unfortunately for the Fredalia Tigers, Regina Brinkwell chose a crucial moment during the last soccer game of the season to lick her lips.
#43 Angela Ackerman
When Mom and Dad started throwing around the D word, I never imagined an old folk’s home would become my Post Divorce Relocation.
Was he following her, or was she being paranoid?
My name is Rufus William Gunther Chase, but people who know me call me Spoon.
What kind of animal sounds like a woman singing?
#47 Margaret Nichols
The bonfire in the middle of the grand plaza of New Tikal sent sparks up to greet the low-hanging stars; the stars Mau B'ah-Pakal hoped were still speaking to him, because no one else was.
#48 Jillian Audrey
I was in the kitchen flipping blueberry pancakes on the griddle when I saw her for the first time.
"Cut it out," shouted Rett Adams, regretting the ridiculous decision to open his mouth.
#50 Traci Van Wagoner
My hand hovered over the latch, my stomach churning.
He stretched as far as he could, if he extended his chin up any higher he would pull a muscle or bust a blood vessel in his neck, he had heard of that happening once from someone on Facebook, or maybe it was MySpace, he wasn’t sure.
#52 Marilyn Hilton
If you're marked for trouble, it will trail you like a homeless dog, looking and acting like love but smelling like the shady bend of the river.
#53 Stephanie S.
Without a word, the guards brought her in, hard hands shoving her forward as they closed the door behind them.
There was no mistaking the darkness on the eastern horizon; they were coming.
#55 Melissa Gill
The truck hit Milo.
I picked up the scissors.
Jacob shook the bamboo bars of his cage, but they held fast against his skinny arms.
I know you’ve been wanting to know the latest gossip from this end of the underworld, but the truth is, that there hasn’t been much going on since his Evil Lordship succumbed to death by piano.
#59 JD Spikes
It wasn't the first time a good idea had come back to bite me in the ass, but i was afraid it might be the last.
The cries from a flight of ravens echoed through the forest as they struggled to escape from the trees behind me.
#61 Ara Burklund
"Homo sapiens sluttiwhen drunkus--the subspecies to which I apparently belong."
Freedom is feeling free, and separate ain’t equal, no matter what the law says.
If this were a movie, you'd be hearing Elvis music right now, the soundtrack to my life.
#64 Susan Bradley
All my crime books stated to never go inside and to call the police from a neighbor’s house, but I went in anyway.
#65 Suzanne Lilly
Jynx first found out about her father’s secret life by accident.
Dragons are actually more curious than cats.
"I'm never getting out of here."
"Butch Burd's pros and cons for buying the pony car."
#69 Natalie Hyde
Celia never meant to lie.
#70 Amanda P.
Whispers of an outsider’s arrival have been flying between the mouths and ears of the Forsaken all day.
For Lucy, it began with a package; a small, unobtrusive, brown-paper wrapped package.
We stood side by side in the dark, me holding a pack of matches, my best friend holding the gas can.
#73 Angela Ackerman
Not many people look down at a dead goldfish and wonder if that’s how they looked the day they died.
Artificial lights brightened beneath the protective red dome, giving the illusion of morning over the campus of Red Cloak School.
#75 Judi Gardiner
I looked down at my white knuckles that clutched the journal.
Crowded, loud, annoying.
#77 JD Spikes
There are concepts we believe in even though they can’t be seen because proof that they exist surrounds us every day.
#78 Kelly Hashway
I’d heard of signs of the apocalypse, but I didn’t know that one of them was a crazy guy wandering out of a forest and into my favorite hangout.
#79 Renee Pace
I am suffocating inside my plastic lined steel barred cage; dying with the thickening silence and quiet sobbing coming from the other room.
#80 Buffy Andrews
The man shook violently.
#81 Carol Riggs
Day #236: Status log…Dark Troy emerges from the rest station, yet finds himself still stranded in the High Desert with the zombie villagers.
Riley Razer has issues and they’re not minor.
Monday morning @ Dalton Middle School,
kids dart on their way to class or
bunch together with early gossip.
"Damn sanctions shot my schedule to hell.”
#85 Angela Townsend
Sassy Smit was seven years old the afternoon she found Leroy Jebber dead.
#86 Alison Wells
First off, I just want to say I did not invite the aliens to drop into my backyard.
#87 Angela Townsend
Gloomy shadows crept across the tired oak floor, stealing what little light peered in through a set of stained glass windows.
#88 Bonnie Staring
I stared at the smoke drifting up from Erika’s fingertips.
As we follow Jax in the dark up the wide stone steps to the library, I feel like the marble lions on either side are somehow watching and will keep us safe, no matter what.
#90 Emily Casey
Ghosts can be so rude sometimes
Don’t let them lock you in the closet, Nancy!
"Shit, I may as well be dead," my mother said the day I killed her.
Once Upon A Time, (notice the capital letters) there lived a king and queen of a quaint little country that used to be vast and plentiful, although much of it was sold off to cover the king’s gambling debts as well as the queen’s fondness for golden rosebushes.
#94 Melissa Hed
Angela Fortunata woke up with a thump and a whack.
The newspapers all said it was an accident.
The warm rain spattered Eric’s face and dripped from his eyebrows and nose.
#97 Annie McElfresh
Kate Raddish lived on an island and could not swim, which made her an anomaly from the start.
After high school, we were going to move to Austin.
In seventh grade math they taught us that a triangle is the sturdiest shape, stronger than rectangles or pentagons or anything else.