Best First Sentence Contest Number 2: Winner Announced
  • There were over 300 entries, the majority of which were very well written, and I’m a one-man outfit. I apologize for taking ten days to decide. But I gave each entry multiple and thorough readings — and the winner is:


    Here is Kayla’s sentence:

    When I recognized the face staring back at me with mocking familiarity, I decided by the end of this night one of us would be dead.

    I chose this sentence, after much heartache and deliberation, because I found it the most provocative, the most intriguing, the most profound — the one, in short, that would most compel me to keep reading. Which is saying a lot because so many of these sentences struck me that way. For instance:

    “There, there, there I unsteadily stood, under the stars that I hadn’t looked at yet tonight, but that I knew were there, boggling at the bourbon at the bottom of the glass I was barely holding, gazing at the slow-moving sad-faced visage of a God I didn’t believe in.”

    “Sirius Emerson knew he was seeing stars glinting off the lukewarm ice cubes hovering in his glass, or maybe a constellation of oak barrel particulates, he wasn’t sure, but twenty-three years of research wouldn’t allow this to be anything more than that.”

    “And then He disappeared, leaving my beliefs and my whiskey forever tainted.”

    “Night sky full of stars, belly full of whiskey, and a glass full of something I never believed in.”

    “He worshiped at the altar of atheism, only to be baptized at the bottom of a whiskey glass.”

    My thanks to you all.

    May 17th, 2012 | journalpulp | 6 Comments | Tags: , ,

About The Author

Ray Harvey

I was born and raised in the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado. I've worked as a short-order cook, construction laborer, crab fisherman, janitor, bartender, pedi-cab driver, copyeditor, and more. I've written and ghostwritten several published books and articles, but no matter where I've gone or what I've done to earn my living, there's always been literature and learning at the core of my life.

6 Responses and Counting...

  • Moment Matters 05.17.2012

    I know, there’s too many great entries. I would not want to be you that time when you have to choose one. Congrats to Kayla!

  • Thank you, Moment Matters.

  • that sentence sucked come on by the end of the nite one of us would be dead

  • Congratulations to Kayla and to you for taking the time to read the entries and select one that I agree would make me want to continue reading!

  • Thank you, SusanG. That’s exceptionally sweet of you (especially after reading Steve’s very sour grapes).

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