The First Line

Genres Accepted: fiction, nonfiction

Medium: Print (4/year)

Established: 1999


Tagline: An eclectic journal that requires submissions to begin with a provided first line

Payment: $30 for fiction; $20 for nonfiction

About: The First Line is published four times throughout the year—one issue in the spring, summer, fall, and winter. The journal gives writers a first line to begin their story with in order to cultivate creativity and encourage writers to challenge themselves, the goal being to “see how many different directions we can take when we start from the same place.” They also allow submissions of four-part stories that incorporate each given line from the spring, summer, fall, and winter. All genres are accepted.

Analysis: The First Line does not seem to have a wide circulation, but its self-proclaimed eclectic nature makes it a viable option for submissions. Although you will not be able to look at a copy online or at Hekman, you can listen to one winning essay (mp3 format) online at their website. The fact that stories of all genres are encouraged, all beginning with the same first line, makes for an interesting collection of literary works.

Calvin Connection:

Hekman Availability: Not available

Submission Instructions

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