Editors Blog

Writing challenge! Can you write an opening sentence to a story incorporating these 3 words? (Winners will be published in WD)

Your Story ContestLooking for a little Friday procrastination in the form of a writing challenge? Close that Excel spreadsheet you’re working on, minimize your boss’ emails or postpone your daily chores (come on, nobody would rather change a litter box than write, right?). Take five: It’s time for our Your Story contest.

Basically, in every issue we give our readers a chance to get  published in Writer’s Digest by responding to a writing prompt. Here’s the latest, from our November/December issue (featuring an interview with the awesome George RR Martin, I might add):


In 25 words or fewer, write the opening sentence to a story incorporating these three words: fresh, hair and tangled.


Want in? Post your entry in the Comments section below, and it’ll automatically be entered in the competition.

The rules:

  • Your sentence (just one, only one!) must be 25 words or fewer, no exceptions.
  • The deadline is Nov. 26, 2012.
  • One entry per person, please.
  • How it all works: We’ll select the top 10 entries and post them on our forum. In early December, readers will vote for their favorites to help rank the winners.
  • This is a free writing competition. The prize is publication in WD.
  • You can also submit your sentence via the form here.
  • Finally, as we say about this contest in the magazine: “You can be funny, poignant, witty, etc. It is, after all, your story.”

Good luck! One of the most fun things we get to do around here every issue is read the entries, and we appreciate every single word that comes in.

Now, to return to our Excel spreadsheets and litter boxes …

Happy Friday.

—Zachary Petit is an award-winning journalist, and the senior managing editor of Writer’s Digest magazine.
 Like what you read from WD online? Check us out in print, or on your favorite mobile device


Need help brainstorming story ideas for fiction or nonfiction? On the hunt for some great writing  exercises? 

Where Do You Get Your Ideas? explores the processes professional writers use in turning raw ideas into marketable books. This new manual from author Fred White (currently on sale!) is designed to help writers both generate story ideas as well as understand where they come from, how they are developed and how to separate the good from the bad.


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186 thoughts on “Writing challenge! Can you write an opening sentence to a story incorporating these 3 words? (Winners will be published in WD)

  1. NobleWarrior

    I stepped in fresh bear excrement and the leaves, twigs, and moss were tangled in my hair making this camping trip a catastrophe not adventurous.

  2. NobleWarrior

    I stepped in fresh bear excrement and the leaves, twigs, and moss were tangled in my hair, making this camping trip a catastrophe not adventurous!

  3. Achyut_Seth22

    The fresh, divine smell of richly pure blood suffocated the human, tangling her into the midst of immortality. Her hair shadowed her bloody mouth, as she left the sight; the blood still flowing in rivulets through the ice. It was a matter of time before the blood would dry up and the police wouldn’t find a single drop of her murderous and heinous crime. She would continue her search.

  4. scribe53

    Fresh air told Ning that he was outside the walls; and while this breath of freedom fortified his heart, his hands were shredded and his forehead pulsed as he comprehended that there was still a 20 foot fall from the end of his lifeline of hoarded hair, shreds of cloth and tangled barbed wire to the start of his race for home.

  5. kristend228

    I know I missed the deadline so this is more for me…

    “Don’t you get fresh with me, mutt,” Ty erupted, grabbing his daughter’s hair into a tangled rope of rage.

  6. TheLionKing2

    Her unbrushed hair smelled fresh, and her stolen fruits felt tangled, she thought, as she jolted down the streets, leaving her pursuers far behind her.

  7. KelseyZabc

    Tangled in her thoughts of the past month’s happenings, Jenna brushed her daughter’s hair, realizing just how fresh her father’s death still was.

  8. fykes heathcliff

    I don’t see my entry do I post it here as well.
    I could not say anything intelligent to Linda; the scent of fresh lavender from her long hair tangled my senses rendering me speechless.

  9. thoughtfulsunflower

    Tangled hair hung in her face, soaking up fresh tears as she made the call “It happened again -worse-, I’m driving, lost and…I’m naked!”

  10. Jyl

    Randy smiled, determined not to insult his new wife’s cooking ability, but the zombie’s hair, fresh and undercooked, tangled with his tongue for mouth space.

  11. soham.writing@gmail.com

    Tsami picked up the tangled mass of what looked like wet seaweed from the pot, and put it in her mouth; it tasted like hair, fresh hair soaked in coconut oil.

  12. Dragon Lord

    “The trail is fresh,” muttered a cloaked figure as he ran his fingers through his tangled hair, while he contemplated his standing with his employer.

  13. bgengler

    Fresh roadkill would not have warranted the rubbernecking now thwarting my morning commute were it not for the tangled mass sporting Tagg’s punk pink hair.

  14. StephanieJo

    Even while showering I’m in despair – the latest treatments mean his thick hair shall never tangle again after the use of our fresh peppermint shampoo.

  15. aaron_hawkins15

    Fresh air poured across the hood, up the windshield, and flooded the convertible’s interior; her tangled brown hair undulating against a sea of autumn wind.

  16. RoseCl

    “How am I going to survive Montana?” Kayla wondered as she tried to pull her boot from the tangled barbed wire without falling into the fresh cow pie and horse hair.

    1. RoseCl

      Too many words. I can’t count that late at night. Sorry. Here’s the rewrite:
      Kayla tried to pull her boot from the tangled barbed wire without falling into the fresh cow pie and horse hair.

  17. Velle

    Teen’s in crowds seem tangled, tightly twined by the tail of a single hair resembling chandeliers, exchange fresh idea’s, the future hangs in the balance.

  18. jkap1

    Frenzied hounds following her fresh scent led investigators to the murky river, where they discovered strands of silken hair tangled in an overhanging branch.

  19. hollylorincz@gmail.com

    “What fresh hell is this?” she growled, stuttery under the tender mahogany gaze, egg-eyes peering out from the beast’s tangled mass of eyebrow hair.

  20. JR MacBeth

    Alyssa struggled desperately with her long hair, now hopelessly tangled into the grate, as the sharks, frenzied with fresh blood, smashed into it, only inches from her bleeding head.

  21. missB

    Fresh coming from him, bastard, his eyes bloodshot – tangled with little red veins – his dirty greasy hair sticking to his forehead, he shouldn’t have…