Best Opening Scene Contest

By Gina Welborn

On Monday, November 21th, we’ll begin our We All Win
Best Beginning Scene Contest.


DEADLINE TO SEND IN ENTRY: Sunday November 20th,

PM or email me the first scene in your ms. Your entry can reach a MAXIMUM of 15 manuscript pages, so remember this isn’t about submitting the most number of pages that you can. It’s about giving readers a chance to evaluate your opening scene as a whole. So if your opening scene is only 8 pages, then just send in the 8 pages. If your opening scene is 5 pages, then you may want to consider submitting a different manuscript, although sending in 5 pages is just fine.

If your opening scene has a POV shift that’s signaled with a ***, then go ahead and included the second POV…up to 15 pages total.

If your opening scene is longer than 15 pages, then please find a hooky spot to end because this contest has a MAXIMUM of 15 manuscript pages. I’ve rarely had to trim entries in the past, but with this one, I will be a stickler. Call it coordinator priviledge. Oh, the power!

But if you do have to end mid-scene, then please let me know when you enter so I can post that information on your entry.

Winner will receive her choice of either Fiction First Aid by Raymond Obstfeld or Writing Dialogue by Tom Chiarella.

To enter send me ([email protected] or [email protected]) your entry in the body of your email:

*no more than 15 pages of your opening scene
* title of manuscript
*word count (or guestimated word count if ms isn’t finished)
*target publisher

For our spicy hot authors, email Laura Bacchi ( [email protected] [the first letter is a lowercase “L”]). Laura is fine with attachments.

And if you want to be really helpful (hint hint hint), put it in this format:


Chapter One

“Of all the people to show up at my bachelorette party in a chicken suit. Hot damn!”

I turned around to see who my best friend Betty Lou was talking about. Oh crap. Without listening to Betty Lou’s next words, I ducked under the table.

My boss was the last person I wanted to see.

Especially after that lipstick-stained RSVP I accidentally left on his desk. Stupid me didn’t think the gloss of the Cherry Red lipstick would be so sticky.

“Turn on the music,” Betty Lou screamed. “My future cousin-in-law’s gonna show us just what the Sanders line is famous for. Booyeah!”

While the whoopin’ and hollerin’ filled the air, I crawled around Betty Lou’s bridal party on my path to the exit. Seeing Jack Sanders naked chest–not to mention his butt–was not my idea of a cracklin’ evening.



contest coordinator