The First Line is a quarterly literary magazine featuring diverse stories and poems that all begin with the same sentence—or that’s usually how it works. But this year is the magazine’s twentieth anniversary, and the editors have decided to shake things up a bit.
For the Spring 2019 issue, authors may start their stories with any of the first lines used in the first five years of publication. Here they are:
- Vol. 1, Iss. 1: Just like his fifth grade teacher, Mr. Young, had always told him, Brian put on his thinking cap.
- Vol. 1, Iss. 2: The rules are clearly spelled out in the brochure.
- Vol. 1, Iss. 3: “Well, there’s ten minutes of my life I’ll never get back.”
- Vol. 1, Iss. 4: As the curtain rose, the scenario began to play itself out.
- Vol. 2, Iss. 1: The picture told the entire story.
- Vol. 2, Iss. 2: The person on the train kept saying, “I believe,” over and over and over.
- Vol. 2, Iss. 3: My father and I left on a Thursday.
- Vol. 2, Iss. 4: I remember the radio was playing the best song.
- Vol. 2, Iss. 5: Whitney Heather Yates knew she was in trouble from the moment she learned how to spell her name.
- Vol. 2, Iss. 6: It sounded like she said, “Every day when I get home, I find a naked body in the bed.”
- Vol. 3, Iss. 1: “It was the only thing he couldn’t do for her.”
- Vol. 3, Iss. 2: The party was only the beginning of what would happen tonight.
- Vol. 3, Iss. 3: Hal couldn’t sleep.
- Vol. 3, Iss. 4: “Step this way as our tour of Earth continues.”
- Vol. 3, Iss. 5: “Please state your name for the court.”
- Vol. 3, Iss. 6: “How did you end up with a nickname like that?”
- Vol. 4, Iss. 1: The first thing I saw when I woke was Chris’ face.
- Vol. 4, Iss. 2: “The incident on the island is the stuff of legend, but let me tell you the real story.”
- Vol. 4, Iss. 3: Jimmy Hanson was a sallow man who enjoyed little in life save for his _________. [Fill in the blank.]
- Vol. 4, Iss. 4: I can’t believe I just heard that.
- Vol. 5, Iss. 1: Paul Fischer was a graduate student studying biochemistry at Emory when he met my mother.
- Vol. 5, Iss. 2: The view from up here is incredible and makes me feel _________. [Fill in the blank]
- Vol. 5, Iss. 3: “So, all of it was just a lie?”
- Vol. 5, Iss. 4: I opened my e-mail with a mix of apprehension and excitement.
The editors like to have a representation from lots of different genres as well as literary fiction, so go wild!
Submitting to The First Line
- Publisher: Blue Cubicle Press
- Publication: The First Line
- Publication type: Literary magazine/periodical
- Word count: 300–5,000 words for stories, any length for poetry
- Payment: $25–$50/story, $5–$10/poem
- Deadline: Feb. 1, 2019
- Format: Microsoft Word or Word Perfect for electronic submissions; postal submissions are also accepted
- Will they take simultaneous submissions? No.
- Will they take multiple submissions? Yes. Read more about multiple and simultaneous submissions.
- simultaneous submissions, but they will consider multiple submissions. Read more about multiple and simultaneous submissions.
- Will they take reprints? No.
- Notes: Do not submit a story that you previously sent to The First Line unless you’ve made significant changes.
To learn more about The First Line and read the full submission guidelines, please visit The First Line—Submission Guidelines—and please let them know you found out about them here!The First Line is accepting submissions for winter issue. Due Feb. 1, pays $25–$50 Click To Tweet
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