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The First Line 217

A project of Blue Cubicle Press (see other related projects)

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About

The purpose of The First Line is to jump start the imagination-to help writers break through the block that is the blank page. Each issue contains short stories that stem from a common first line; it also provides a forum for discussing favorite first lines in literature. The First Line is an exercise in creativity for writers and a chance for readers to see how many different directions we can take when we start from the same place.

Country of Publication & Year Established

United States Established in 1999

Audience

Open to a broad Audience.

Publication Medium & Frequency

Print Publication Print PublicationPublished 4 x per year.

Fiction Open

All stories must be written with the first line provided. The line cannot be altered in any way, unless otherwise noted by the editors.

Dates:
Rolling Deadlines: Check cut-off dates.
Genres:
General General
Open to all/most Genres Open to all/most Genres
Styles:
Open to all/most Styles, including: Literary.
Topics:
Other (May vary, See guidelines).
Theme(s):
ThemeDeadlineTrack
First line: "Loud music filled the room, making it hard to hear anything else."01 Nov 202027
Types/Lengths:
TypeLength Details
Flash Fiction Flash Fiction300 - 1,000 words; Unknown number of pieces.
Short Story Short Story1,000 - 5,000 words; Unknown number of pieces.
Payscale:
We list broad pay categories rather than payment specifics. Check with the publisher for details.
Semi-pro payment (1-4.9 US cents per word) Semi-pro payment (1-4.9 US cents per word).
Submissions:
ElectronicPostalReprintsSimultaneousMedia
OK OK No NoText format submissions
Always check guidelines for details and restrictions. If you aren't familiar with these terms, see our glossary.

Nonfiction Open

Critical essays about your favorite first line from a literary work.

Dates:
Rolling Deadlines: Check cut-off dates.
Styles:
Critical.
Topics:
Literature/Books (Theory/Analysis/Criticism, See guidelines).
Types/Lengths:
TypeLength Details
Essay Essay500 - 800 words; Unknown number of pieces.
Payscale:
We list broad pay categories rather than payment specifics. Check with the publisher for details.
Semi-pro payment (1-4.9 US cents per word) Semi-pro payment (1-4.9 US cents per word).
Submissions:
ElectronicPostalReprintsSimultaneousMedia
OK OK No NoText format submissions
Always check guidelines for details and restrictions. If you aren't familiar with these terms, see our glossary.

The First Line Submission Statistics

More Information is Available to Members: Only the basic information for this listing is currently visible. If you want to learn more about this listing, including submission statistics (average response time, rejection percentage, acceptance percentage, etc.), you need to subscribe. See a sample of what you're missing.

Dates

Last Updated: 25 Jul 2020
Last Checked: 13 Aug 2020 We check each active listing's guidelines page for changes once a month (if compliant).
Last Audited: 01 Jun 2020 We audit each active listing twice a year.
Date Added: 25 Jul 2005

Before Submitting

We cannot guarantee that the information on this page is correct. It is not unusual for publications to evolve or close without notice. We do our best to keep up, but it isn't always possible. Just remember…

  • Always read the full guidelines provided by the publisher.
  • Try to read at least one previous publication to get a better idea of what the editor would like to see.
  • Unless the publisher's guidelines state otherwise, always use industry standard manuscript formatting.
  • Include a SASE with all mailed submissions, queries, and requests for guidelines, unless the editor replies via email or guidelines state otherwise.
  • Be professional, patient, and persistent.