Contest: Is Your Hook a Gold Medalist?

Seriously! Didn’t I just draw a winner for my 400 Followers Contest just a week ago? And now here we are at 500. I am BLOWN AWAY! This is like Olympic Fever, only way cooler (and I should know–I live in Canada!)

So, in honor of this big milestone and the Olympics, I’m holding another contest for Followers only (Old and New). It’s easy–give me the first two sentences of your novel in the comment section along with book’s genre. If your hook pulls me in the most, here’s what waits for you on the winner’s podium:

Bronze Medalist: a 2 page in depth critique
Silver medalist: a 5 page in depth critique
Gold Medalist: a 10 page in depth critique

All genres welcome, except for Erotica. 🙂 Winners will be announced March 1st. The more the merrier, so please feel free to spread the word. Thanks and good luck!


Angela is a writing coach, international speaker, and bestselling author who loves to travel, teach, empower writers, and pay-it-forward. She also is a founder of One Stop For Writers, an online library packed with powerful tools to help writers elevate their storytelling.
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75 Responses to Contest: Is Your Hook a Gold Medalist?

  1. Brittani says:

    My YA Paranormal Romance

    I woke with sweat sheeted across my face. My hair was matted down to my neck in a heap of wild tangles that I was already begrudging.

  2. From my YA Urban Fantasy:

    They were tortured for seven days and seven nights before they died. When the last heartbeat went silent, the earth shuddered with a violent jolt as though the hand of the Almighty had struck it.

  3. Monique says:

    From my second Middle School novel:

    Simply West of Heaven:

    Gears spinning ferociously in her head, Ginnie West rushed to calculate the odds of success as she considered the ramifications of the adventure she was about to undertake. In a flash, she zipped around, trying to locate her twin brother, Toran, hoping he would come along with her, in spite of his natural aversion to disobeying authority figures.

  4. Monique says:

    From my middle school novel:
    Heart of the Wests:

    As days went, this one hadn’t started out so bad, but then it took a sharp turn for worse. Ginnie West found herself escorted to the principal’s office, next to the biggest bully in sixth grade, Charlie Owens.

  5. I hope I’m not too late! ^^

    Title: Forever February
    Genre: YA Contemporary

    When I moved out of my dad’s house, I peed my pants. I relieved myself while I was still clothed, and I didn’t care.

  6. Mike T. says:

    Thanks Angela,

    The blood red sun hung three fingers above the horizon, and the stifling midday heat was ebbing. “Click, click,” making the noise with his tongue against his teeth, “Down.”

  7. Derek Donais says:


    Here are the goods from my YA fantasy novel, MetalMagic: Talisman:

    Farther than the scouring winds traveled in a winter season, they had tracked Ravien. But no more; it would end here, today.

  8. Tzalaran says:

    Guess i’ll play along as well.

    “Time to set up our camp, cub.” My uncle’s voice broke the silence as we walked in morning calm, leading his tzarla herd through the countryside.

  9. lbdiamond says:

    Hi there! Great contest! Thank you for hosting it.

    From my YA paranormal adventure, AILURANTHROPE:

    How could the pastor deliver Dad’s eulogy when he knew the casket held no body? Missing didn’t mean dead.

  10. kimysworld says:

    Thanks for the contest! My entry:

    YA Paranormal Romance

    I froze in the doorway to homeroom and stared at the empty desk next to mine. How could I possibly go in there, knowing Amanda would never sit next to me again?

  11. Cool Contest! I can’t wait to see the winners! Here is mine from my YA Fantasy.

    Vitiosus raised the point of his weapon; the blade reflected the rays of the sun. His heart pounded, but he kept the tension in his muscles in check; he had to be ready for an attack.

  12. Taffy says:

    YA Sci/Fi:

    “He looked around, careful not to move his head. He was here again, closer to his escape away from the monsters that brought him here.”

    Thanks for the contest. I looked at the first sentences of some of my WIP and hopefully made them better!

  13. Ruth says:

    From my Paranormal (Time Travel) Romance:

    Lord Arik’s commanding presence made him easy to spot as he led the three riders and wagon speeding down the forest trail at a grueling pace. He kept a watchful eye on their surroundings unable to shake the ominous feeling that grew as they continued.

  14. This is great and really made me think about my hook!

    From my YA fantasy:

    Life never seems to work out the way you imagined it would. Then again, my mind could never have come up with what real life turned out to be.

  15. O.k I will try:) How fun!

    From my YA paranomal/scifi romance:

    The bitter air bit my cheeks and my body reacted with an uncontrollable shiver.
    Where was he? I just spoke to him on the phone and he said he was around the corner.


  16. Mikki says:

    From my historical fiction WIP…middle grade to YA:

    It was a good day for a funeral. The winter day wore her usual cloak of mind-numbing grey with a veil of fine mist that dripped down his collar and made him shiver.


  17. Great entries so far!

    From my YA paranormal Strings:

    Blinding smoke chokes me as I dash into our tiny bow-top wagon. Its wooden walls haven’t caught yet, but they will, sending my home to the hereafter.

  18. Abby Stevens says:

    From my YA fantasy.

    The mourners crowded around the grave, shoulders slumped and collars turned up against the blowing rain. The women stood with their heads bowed and hands clasped, holding in sobs as they watched the widow through their eyelashes, while the men stared stoically ahead, hats in hand.

  19. Tiffany Neal says:

    From my YA paranormal fantasy

    Turning the corner, I did my best to avoid running into anyone. I just wanted to be on my own because keeping my distance meant that I could keep the visions away.

  20. Lea says:

    From my YA fantasy novel:

    Charlie gaped stupidly at the girl on the other side of the window as two questions rang through her head. The first was how this girl could see her when no one else could and the second was how the little girl could be inside the deserted store when it had no door?

  21. laurel says:

    Congrats, Angela! Wonderful contest idea.

    My entry is literary YA

    Dad? Here in my room? No freaking way.

    I lean on one elbow and squint, brush mascara flakes from my eyelashes.

  22. Creative A says:

    Wow, 500 followers, way for you to go Angela!

    Intro to Mirrorpass, a YA:

    Aria fell. Once, a long time ago, she had dreamed that the sky could catch her.

  23. Maddie says:

    im game!

    my novel: Flora sometimes


    “Things diabolical are not necessarily of the devil. The music was too loud in Kate’s house…”

  24. Carol says:

    From a YA fiction called Off Edge:
    The question stung more than I thought it would—how did she think it felt to lose the gold medal? I wanted to throw my cup of hot cocoa at the reporter and yell, “It sucked to lose that medal. It was mine, and I earned it.”

  25. Kelly says:

    Wow, congrats on the superfast increasing numbers!!

    Chapter book:

    “Cause I’m back in black!” blasted from the family room. I walked into my room and closed the door for some peace and quiet.

  26. From my chicklit ms:

    Rowen snapped her cell phone shut, annoyed that Pete still wasn’t picking up. Today was their first anniversary, it was already 3:30 pm, and she hadn’t seen him or heard from him yet today.

  27. Dan Raymond says:

    Translated from norwegian.

    In his mind he could still hear her heartbreaking screams, and the image of her panicked agonized face as the knife went into her. Down at the riverbed, while the men held her down, she had looked up at him, straight into his eyes before she closed her own for the last time.

    Raymond, Norway

  28. Louise says:

    Love the blog’s new look! 🙂

    From my urban fantasy,

    Darkness can by your friend if you know how to use it. And I did, knowledge gained through pain, and blood, and loss.

  29. Andrea says:

    Great contest, Angela!

    Here’s the first two lines of my WIP, a MG novel:

    Lauren grabbed her valise, gathered up the skirt of her long calico dress and climbed out of the airplane. It was the last bit of modern technology she’d see for a couple of weeks, if the camp brochures were correct.

  30. Kevin says:

    Awesome! From my YA Fantasy manuscript:
    The Legend of Nicholaus & Co. A Creature Most Foul.

    The mountains of central Peru.
    Sometime in the near future when flying cars are common place, but white jumpsuits are still worn only biohazard teams and runway models.

  31. LOUD? says:

    From my contemp YA:

    Thank God for Art.

    Every other class this week has been a deja vu of practice exam papers, triggering a contagious wave of mild hysteria and feverish panic.

  32. dyockman says:

    From my historical romance:

    Renee stared out of her bedroom window, eyes unfocused,as tears coursed down her cheeks. Absently, her long supple fingers pleated the black sack cloth of her skirt.

  33. Congrats on reaching 500! Thanks for the contest. A lot of great entries so far. Here’s my entry.

    middle grade

    I hid in the shadows of the hallway outside our kitchen – the perfect place to do a little yoga before one of the hardest missions of my twelve-year-old life.

    I had to talk to my dad.

  34. Kristi Faith says:

    yay, I love this contest. :0)

    Sweat gathered at Moira’s temples as she kicked high and connected with her opponent’s ribs. He grunted and moved towards her.

  35. Sweet!

    From my commercial fiction manuscript:

    Daylight fought its way in around the edges of the window shades and the old, dust-covered box fan rattled in the corner of the room. Eleanor cracked an eye open, disorientated.

  36. ralfast says:

    Commercial Fiction:

    I checked the mailbox with a sense of dread. There was always a chance that among the stacks of junk mail, bills and unwanted invitations there would be one of with stamp that read: Royal Mail.

  37. CherylM says:

    How fun. This is for a Middle Grade

    For the record, the things you’ll hear about me are not true.


  38. Jenny Tonks says:

    From my YA, reality-based fantasy:

    I reached out to him, but I was thrown sideways as the truck lurched, careening violently toward the mountain wall.

  39. Lisa S says:

    Upper YA, “A Rocket to the Moon”:

    I’m not really sure how to start this. I don’t know anything about writing an autobiography – I’m just the girl who lived.

  40. Thank you for the contest!
    Mine is a YA Dystopian novel, working title: HAIR.

    I’m a thief.
    Though, I doubted the Omicron City Museum would miss the brush I swiped last week.

  41. from my YA romance/mystery:

    “Helen, your mom is a goddess,” I say, taking another bite of cookie. Helen smiles.

    Not exactly a hook, I admit. 🙂


  42. From my middle grade manuscript Who’s Special Now?

    “There’s no science lab?” Trevor had told his father that moving to this backwater town would ruin his life.

  43. Carol B. says:

    From my YA mainstream fiction, Discovering Kate:

    Way back in a corner of the closet and buried behind the Operation game and her used-to-be prized pink Barbie Corvette, Sami spotted an unfamiliar dusty brown box.
    “Samantha, it’s time to go!” her father yelled.

    I’m a new subscriber — thanks for doing this, Angela.

  44. From my paranormal YA, Guardian:

    Land swelled from the harbor like a deep breath, steepled with ancient towers and shiny glass office buildings, and shadows painted strokes of mystery between the walls. Alex peered at the narrow streets, which crawled with cars and buses, and resigned himself: none of this looked like it had in his books.

  45. YA Paranormal

    When I said I didn’t want to go to a strange school I had no idea Central High School would give new meaning to the word “strange.” Or did I?

  46. Honestly, I don’t think my first two sentences really real you in like some of these do, but I’ll try.
    Thanks, Angela!

    YA Historical Fantasy

    The small, crackling fire inside the rusted woodstove couldn’t ease the chill that lingered on my skin. Cold draughts wormed up through cracked floorboards and seeped through the skeletal walls of our shelter.

  47. Tanguera says:

    I’ll play too. From my Urban Fantasy Dark Streak:

    Three perfect drops of blood trickled into my coffee cup with a satisfying swirl. I licked my finger, sealing over the two puncture marks and turned around to watch the crowded dance floor.

  48. Abby Annis says:

    I found your blog via the YA Highway blog and Jill Corcoran’s blog, though I’m pretty sure I’ve been here before. I can’t believe I wasn’t already a follower. I’ve already spent hours going over old posts. Great blog! And no, I’m not just kissing up because you’re having a contest. 😉 I loved your Seven Deadly Sins posts.

    Here’s the first two lines from my YA SciFi, Embrol:

    Three seconds. That’s how long it took for my life to end.

    Cool contest! Thanks!

  49. GREAT contest!

    Non-fiction –
    We’re on the floor in my bedroom, shooting marbles. My 9-year-old is beyond glee as he teaches his mother the nuances of how best to aim, whether to use index finger or thumb to shoot, how to angle properly for the target.

  50. Fun! I’ll join in.

    From my YA fantasy working title: Digo Bait

    Among his people it was considered a bad sign to dream of Thunderbirds, a sign, his father would say, that someone was about to die. Jaeron did not care if he lived or died, it would probably be easier to be dead, but he did care about putting on a good show. That was the only reason he still lived.

  51. Lisa says:

    From our middle grade fantasy:

    Let me give you a little piece of advice: never try to eat a snithisser. I’ve had my share of adventures and they haven’t all been catnip and cream.

  52. Kelly Bryson says:

    This is from my urban fantasy ms., PULSE. Thanks!

    I imagined how my fall would appear to my sisters, my robes billowing out as I bounced from branch to branch, then crashed on the ground. I tightened my grip on the slender branch and let out a breath; fear would bruise the fruit as surely as a fall.

  53. Laura Davis says:

    From my YA WIP:

    The day they pulled old lady McGill’s body out of the Thames River, everyone in the town of Parrish turned out to watch. Mr. Jenkins, our town’s one and only barber, nearly had a heart attack the night he saw Claire McGill’s headlights disappear in front of him.

  54. Bish Denham says:

    I’m in. From my YA fantasy-satire Pandemonium Rules.

    There are no rules save those the coacervation has determined are needed. Over the millenia various constitutions, codes of law, rules and regulations, cannons, books of ethics, and a near infinite number of methods of governance have all been written, tried and scrapped.

  55. Erica says:

    Yay! 500 – Wow. Nice Job ;o) Kay, here we go – It’s from my YA Paranormal.

    I remember the day I stopped believing in God. It was one of those cold days between Fall and Winter.

    Thanks Angela! Good luck to the others ;o)

  56. JW says:

    From my YA ms:

    Between 12:20 PM and 12:25 PM, I, Kate Spillane, stole the top copy of the sophomore French II mid-year exam off Mrs. Grady’s desk, speed-walked to my locker, and hid the unmentionable in my book bag.

    By 12:35 PM, I was seated in the cafeteria eating my usual tuna sandwich and listening to my friend Joyce verbally punch me with questions.

  57. JW says:

    From my YA ms:

    Between 12:20 PM and 12:25 PM, I, Kate Spillane, stole the top copy of the sophomore French II mid-year exam off Mrs. Grady’s desk, speed-walked to my locker, and hid the unmentionable in my book bag.

    By 12:35 PM, I was seated in the cafeteria eating my usual tuna sandwich and listening to my friend Joyce verbally punch me with questions.

  58. Danyelle says:

    Congrats, Angela!

    YA fantasy:

    A story always begins with a wish.
    If it flames strong enough, and the conditions are right, that simple wish becomes magic.

  59. Iapetus999 says:

    From my Steampunk novel Steam Palace

    On most mornings, Prudencia Stratton hated the stench of cow. The beasts stared at her as she squeezed their nipples for her ignominious employment, drawing the warm milk from their udders into the pail between her leather boots.

  60. Aimee Laine says:

    From my Romance … Little White Lies

    Nothing good happens after midnight.

    The in-dash display of Charley’s burgundy roadster read eleven fifty; a straight shot would take at least eleven minutes.

    Thanks for a neat contest!

  61. Lisa Amowitz says:

    YA paranormal

    Outside the car window, barren trees veined the pale flesh of the horizon. I fingered the Blast Mahoney button on my jacket and tried not to think about how Sam Bernstein’s long slow kiss outside the stadium after the concert that night tasted of cotton candy and popcorn.

  62. What a great idea for a contest!

    from my YA ms. ICE DOGS

    I grip the handlebar of the dogsled and lean my body into the turn. We skid sideways, snow spraying out from the runners, tears squeezing out the corners of my eyes and freezing in lines across my temples.

  63. ginad says:

    Great contest!
    From my Fantasy/Romance novel.

    Isabella closed her eyes and memories of a year ago flooded her mind. Her life had been perfect back then, a lifetime ago.

  64. Brooke says:

    I’ll play. From my currently untitled WIP:

    Gisele gave the rusted van door a heave and jumped down into the debris-littered mud, holding her breath against the overpowering stench of decay. The humidity she could handle; the smell of death, she wasn’t so sure.

  65. Tiffany says:

    From my YA Fantasy ‘Keeper’:
    I’d heard my name too often lately, and for some odd reason it was always being yelled.

  66. jessjordan says:

    YA contemporary:

    Skylar leaned over the metal railing and kicked one foot against the cement. Wild curls blanketed her cheeks, hid her too-candid eyes.

    Thanks for the contest, and best of luck to all!

  67. Cool contest, and congratulations on your awesome growth.
    Here’s mine, from my comic crime caper:
    Sidestepping his way down the steps of the Santa Monica Courthouse, Ed Mustard didn’t allow himself a sneaky armpit sniff.
    Sweating, exhausted, he wondered when the feeling of triumph would arrive.

  68. Oh, great contest! Thanks!

    Denton knelt and laid a white rose on the fresh dirt of the tiny grave. Humid air pressed against his skin, as if the marbled clouds held back tears of grief.

  69. Ooh. I love contests 🙂

    From my paranormal YA:

    Mel saw him first. I could tell by the way she sat up a tiny bit straighter and started patting her curls into place that she had seen a male with mating potential.

  70. Scritch, MG:

    Blackstone Farmhouse was the dullest place on earth until about three in the morning, when the screaming started. It had been happening for weeks, but it never failed to surprise Lena

  71. “Chocolate, after God but before love, is the next best thing in life. That’s my motto, and I’m sticking to it!”

    Women’s fiction

    Cool contest!

  72. Matt says:

    Me first…

    This is middle grade adventure/with a twist of fantasy…

    Seasickness, it turned out, wasn’t widely tolerated by pirates. Something of a shame, then, that Skully spent most of the past week throwing up.

  73. Kat O'Keeffe says:

    Cool contest! I’ll play:

    From my YA fantasy The Temper:

    Connor Thomas had a twisting ache in his stomach which made him feel quite ill. He knew the sidekick audition was a bad idea, yet there he sat, nervously tapping his foot as he waited for his name to be called.

  74. 2KoP says:

    From my middle grade ms:

    Ian Bradley’s long, flexible fingers arched the cards into a perfect bridge, and he enjoyed the soft swishing sound they made as the two halves of the deck merged back into one. Steady and sure, he shuffled them again, not even glancing at his hands.

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