Saturday, October 07, 2006

What's Your Line? Winners

Let me say that What's Your Line? was the hardest contest I've ever had to judge, period. The talent you folks hit me with was mind-boggling, and it took me a full day to narrow it down to the finalists. Then I couldn't decide between two writers for one category, so we have a tie.

But there must be winners, so here we go:

Winners for the Most Intriguing Line (Tie):

"While the most powerful nation in the world guarded its borders against dark men with explosives hidden on their bodies, death arrived in the form of a little girl with big brown eyes - and a slight cough." -- Samantha Gossett, Twilight

Samantha, your line was beautifully written, well-balanced, lyrical, timely -- and absolutely chilling. As I hit those last four words, I swear the hair on the back of my neck stood on end. You've also created a line to grab the attention of any type of reader, which makes editors drool. Go hug your kid, she was right on the money with this one.

"Being a mortician meant my relationship with each client lasted approximately 3 days, they didn't communicate with me during their stay in my establishment and they didn't come back to visit once our business was concluded." -- Claudia Moore

I liked the sophistication of your line, Claudia, as well as your word choices. It's exactly the sort of language I'd expect a dignified mortician to use, and it delivers the hook with a elegant wallop. I've even got a mental picture of the narrator, which given the total lack of descriptive words makes you something of a magician.

Winner for the Most Humorous Line:

"There are two types of people living in North Hampton; those who believe Andy Vick is guilty of murder, and Andy Vick."-- Arthur

Arthur, you've got a lot going here with this one: a strong intro to your story, a friendly, conversational tone, and a stand-up comedian zinger of a punchline. I also laughed out loud reading it, the litmus test of all humorous lines.

And the Winner for the Best Line in Contest:

"Now that I was actually in a dungeon with a dragon, the whole idea seemed a lot less appealing." -- Birthday Pirate

Above all, a great opening line should make me want to read the story, and even as anti-dragon as I am at the moment, Birthday Pirate grabbed and owned my attention with this line. It's simple, intriguing, and laugh-out-loud funny. It's also a rock-solid hook; of all the lines in the contest, this was the one I kept coming back to read. Well done.

Our four winners should e-mail with your book wish, your full name and ship-to address so I can get your prizes out to you. My thanks to Gabriele for coming up with the idea for this contest, and to all the talented writers who participated.


  1. Excellent lines, all. Congrats, everyone

  2. Thank you for this lovely opportunity. Kudos to our winners.

  3. Wonderful choices. Congratulations everyone.

  4. Congrats everyone. It was a fun contest.

  5. Those were some of my picks! :) Congrats.

  6. Congrats everyone! I absolutely loved Birthday Pirate's line. It was classic. :D

  7. Congrats everyone.

    Great fun.

  8. And I wonder if any of the winners will choose The Historian as their prize? ;)

  9. that was a great contest! and I'm glad that Andy Vicks one won.

  10. i liked the dragon one.


  11. Anonymous12:48 AM

    Congratulations to all the winners and my sympathies to our contest judge -- there were a lot of good entries!

  12. Great Winners! They were all good, but I absolutely loved Samantha's!!

  13. Anonymous2:03 PM

    I'm late to the party but LOVED reading the first line winners!!! Wow, talk about delivering a punch in a few words!!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.