Hooking Your Reader: Writing A Killer First Line (Online)

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Most editors of both magazines and presses will say that they read the first, last and middle page of a story before deciding if they want to read more. Potential readers are even less forgiving. When I pick up a new book, if the first line doesn’t hook me, I probably won’t continue reading. So how do we snag our readers and make them want to read more? In this workshop, we’ll look at examples of powerful first lines and discuss strategies for selecting a powerful first line. Feel free to bring the first line of your story or novel for a mini first-line “workshop.”

Meg Eden is a 2020 Pitch Wars mentee, and her work is published or forthcoming in magazines including Prairie Schooner, Poetry Northwest, Crab Orchard Review, RHINO and CV2. She teaches creative writing at Anne Arundel Community College. She is the author of five poetry chapbooks, the novel "Post-High School Reality Quest” (2017), and the poetry collection “Drowning in the Floating World” (2020). She runs the Magfest MAGES Library blog, which posts accessible academic articles about video games (https://super.magfest.org/mages-blog). Find her online at www.megedenbooks.com or on Twitter at @ConfusedNarwhal.


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