Thanks to inspiration from the Romance Divas and author Karin Tabke, Samhain Publishing is going to be holding a Best First Line contest on our blog (

Starting Monday, June 4th at 8am Eastern, authors are invited to leave the first line of a previously unpublished work (of 12,000 words or more) in the comments of the Best First Line blog post. The contest is open to published and unpublished authors not currently contracted with Samhain Publishing.

On Friday, June 8th at noon Eastern, we will close the comments and no more entrants will be admitted into the contest. Only those who enter by posting on our first line contest blog post between 8:00 a.m. EST, June 4th 2007 and 12:00 Noon EST, June 8th will be eligible to participate in the first line contest.

Samhain editors will choose a group of entrants for the next round and the “winning” first lines will be posted on Monday, June 11th. Winners of the first round will have until early noon Eastern on Friday to post their first and second lines (both must be posted together) in the comments of that blog post—we will not email those who move on to the next round, you must check back at the blog. The contest will run in a subsequent manner(with previous lines plus the new line, being posted), with editors paring down the entries and asking for the next line in the entry, for a total of 5 lines. The contest will end on July 6th and a minimum of three entrants will be invited to submit their manuscript (first three chapters and complete synopsis, minimum) to Samhain Publishing for consideration for publication on our 2008 schedule.

A few rules:
1) One line at a time only (a dialogue tag is allowed, but make sure you’re punctuating things correctly. We’re editors. We’ll know if you cheat and use an action tag, making it a second line, instead of one whole line)
2) If you move on to the second round, you cannot change that first line in any way. Each line posted must remain as written as you move through the rounds.
3) If we close the comments before you’ve had a chance to post your next line, we’re very sorry, but you will be eliminated from the competition. We must make this fair for everyone and still make it workable for us, and the only way to do that is to post a deadline.
4) This contest is for new material only. No previously published material
5) Samhain is a general publisher, you may enter material of any genre!
6) One entry per person, please.

This is an opportunity for everyone who’s been waiting for submissions to open. Submissions are due to remain closed until later in the summer, so we’re giving at least three people the chance to get their work in front of a Samhain editor before submissions re-open. If interest in the contest is high, we will give this opportunity to five authors.

*permission to forward granted*

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