“It was a dark and stormy night”: The Elizabeth Crowne First Line Contest


Courtesy of the New York Public Library

How does the next Elizabeth Crowne story begin?

You decide.

This has been a big month for Elizabeth: “uncannology” was submitted to Urban Dictionary, a new story was accepted by Nebula Rift, and the Arcade Theater in Pittsburgh green-lit the first-ever Elizabeth Crowne radio drama. (See it live on Feb. 19!).

To celebrate these exciting advents, we’re hosting a “first line” contest: Write the opening sentence to an Elizabeth Crowne story—something eye-catching, something you yourself would want to read—and it could become a springboard for the next uncannological episode, which will appear on this very website.

The winner will receive a paperback copy of The Mysterious Tongue of Dr. Vermilion.

We will also publish the opening sentences we particularly like.

Rules in a Nutshell

  1. Send your opening sentence to elizabethcrowne@gmail.com.
  2. Type or paste your sentence into the body of the email.
  3. One line per submitter, please.
  4. For a subject, write “First Line Contest.”
  5. Submit your sentence by Feb. 12.
  6. By sending your submission to the First Line Contest, you are also giving permission to use your work.
  7. The winner will be announced on Feb. 20.

Think you have what it takes to write a slam-bang opening, but you haven’t yet read an Elizabeth Crowne story? You’re in luck! The Mysterious Tongue of Dr. Vermilion is now available in ebook format, and for the anachronistic price of $2.99.

Good luck, and happy writing!

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