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Following the success of our Ten-word Story Competition that ran back in April alongside our SelfPubMiniCon, we're running a First Line Competition in association with the Alliance of Independent Authors, alongside our upcoming Reach More Readers conference.

Kindly sponsored by Kobo Writing Life. Three prize winners will win a 1-1 meeting with a member of the Kobo Writing Life team, a copy of Creative Self-Publishing by Orna Ross, and a 1-1 online mentoring session on ‘Publishing to Audio' with Raconteurs Audio. The overall grand-prize winner will win a Kobo Elipsa eReader pack, a 1-1 meeting with KWL, full audiobook production of a novella or short-story collection by Raconteurs Audio, and an all new “Get It Published” package, kindly donated by ALLi partner members.

The first line of any book, be it non-fiction, fiction, memoir, or poetry, should spark curiosity. It should hook the reader, showcase your writing style, and entice the reader to keep going.

To win this competition, you'll need to deliver a striking first line, something that grips the reader and drives them to want to find out more, to continue reading.

Your first line can be dialogue, action, description. It can be from fiction, poetry or memoir, but it must be a single line only to avoid disqualification. See below for further terms and conditions.

First Line Competition: How to Enter

Entry to the First Line Competition couldn't be easier. There is no entry fee. We just need your name, email address, and your opening line.

Entry to the First Line Competition is now OPEN. We will announce the winners live during our Reach More Readers Conference (#SelfPubCon22). Register here for free 3-day access.

Here are the steps:

  1. Craft your first line or use a first line from one of your books.
  2. Submit your first line here.
  3. The closing date is Midnight Pacific Time on October 13th 2022.
  4. The winner will be announced online, across Facebook, Twitter and YouTube by Tara Cremin, Director of Kobo Writing Life, at our upcoming SelfPubCon.
  5. Help us spread the word - we have ready made tweets and graphics you can use here!

SelfPubCon First Line Competition: Prizes

Three prize winners will win a 1-1 virtual meeting with a member of the Kobo Writing Life team and a copy of Creative Self-Publishing by Orna Ross.

An overall grand-prize winner will win a 1-1 meeting with KWL, a Kobo Elipsa eReader pack (value £349.99), and a choice of ten ALLi self-publishing guidebooks to upload to the eReader. This grand prize winner will also receive a “Get It Published” self-publishing services package. A variety of approved ALLi Partner Members are offering free products and services, across the seven stages of publishing, for the grand prize winner to choose from.

More information on the grand prize publishing package here (more prizes added daily).

SelfPubCon First Line Competition: Terms and Conditions

  • The First Line Competition is being run by the Self-Publishing Advice Conference (SelfPubCon), in association with the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi) and is sponsored by Kobo Writing Life (KWL).
  • The Competition is open to working or aspiring independent authors aged 18 and over. No purchase or entry fee is necessary.
  • Employees, consultants or agencies of SelfPubCon, Kobo, ALLi or their family members, or anyone else connected with the competition, may not enter.
  • Only one entry per person.
  • You are permitted to submit work you have previously published.
  • Stories that are one line will be disqualified.
  • The competition is open for entry at 00.01 hours (UK Time) on October 1st 2022 and closes at midnight (Pacific Time) on Thursday, October 13th 2022. Entries received after this date will not be read.
  • The judging panel is Orna Ross, ALLi Director, Kayleigh Brindley, SelfPubCon Manager, and Tara Cremin, Director, Kobo Writing Life. Winners will be announced by Tara Cremin on October 30th live at SelfPubCon.
  • Competition entrants are automatically registered for SelfPubCon so they can attend the celebration and prize-giving.
  • Three (3) winners will be announced from all entries received in accordance with these Terms and Conditions, and one additional grand-prize winner.
  • Winners will be announced on the ALLi and SelfPubCon websites, The Indie Author ALLi's member magazine and in member and subscriber emails.
  • The winner may be required to take part in promotional activity related to the First Line Competition and the winner shall participate in such activity on SelfPubCon's reasonable request. The winner consents to the use by ALLi, Kobo and SelfPubCon, both before and after the closing date for an unlimited time, of the winner's voice, image, photograph and name for publicity purposes (in any medium, including still photographs and films, and on the internet, and in advertising, marketing or promotional material.

Legal T&Cs

  • All entrants agree to receive emails from SelfPubCon containing news and offers, and updates of interest. You can unsubscribe from these emails any time by clicking the link in the email footer.
  • By entering the First Line Competition, you agree to the collection, retention, usage and distribution of your personal information in order to process your entry and that we may contact you about your First Line Competition entry.
  • SelfPubCon/ KWL / ALLi do not accept responsibility for any damage, loss, liabilities, injury or disappointment incurred or suffered by you as a result of entering or accepting either the top prize or the book offered to every entrant; for any injury or damage to your or any other person's computer relating to or resulting from participation in or downloading any materials in connection with the First Line Competition.
  • SelfPubCon/ KWL / ALLi reserve the right at any time and from time to time to modify or discontinue, temporarily or permanently, this First Line Competition with or without prior notice due to reasons outside its control (including, without limitation, in the case of anticipated, suspected or actual fraud). The decision of SelfPubCon/ KWL / ALLi in all matters under its control is final and binding and no correspondence will be entered into.
  • SelfPubCon/ KWL / ALLi shall not be liable for any failure to comply with its obligations where the failure is caused by something outside its reasonable control. Such circumstances shall include, but not be limited to, weather conditions, fire, flood, hurricane, strike, industrial dispute, war, hostilities, political unrest, riots, civil commotion, inevitable accidents, supervening legislation or any other circumstances amounting to force majeure.
  • SelfPubCon/ KWL / ALLi accept no responsibility for entries that are misdirected or incomplete or cannot be delivered or entered for any technical or other reason.
  • The prizes are non-exchangeable, non-transferable, and not redeemable for cash or other prizes.
  • Entrants into the First Line Competition shall be deemed to have accepted these Terms and Conditions.
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