Formula 500: First Lines

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Competition Details

We started with the short story, and now we’re moving onto the micro-story. The Shortbread Formula 500 is a competition where anything up to 500 words is your limit, so you have to ‘make every frame a Rembrandt’, as was the saying of film cameramen of old when describing the shooting of television adverts. This is a style of writing you can do anywhere, anytime – during your lunch break, in a bus or a train, or even stuck in one of those endless traffic jams. Choose your subject, choose your title, choose your plot – a beginning, middle, and end. We asked our Shortbreaders to send in some cracking "First Lines" and that's exactly what you all did! This fortnight's first line is from Shortbreader of the Year, Diane Dickson.


  • Prize: Friday Story Fame

  • 500 Words
  • Flash Fiction Competition
  • 40 Entries
  • Opened: 5 years ago
  • Deadline: Closed

Formula 500: First Lines

Published 5 years ago


We started with the short story, and now we’re moving onto the micro-story. The Shortbread Formula 500 is a competition where anything up to 500 words is your limit, so you have to ‘make every frame a Rembrandt’, as was the saying of film cameramen of old when describing the shooting of television adverts. This is a style of writing you can do anywhere, anytime – during your lunch break, in a bus or a train, or even stuck in one of those endless traffic jams. Choose your subject, choose your title, choose your plot – a beginning, middle, and end.

Shortbread wants to encourage everyone to have a go – writers and readers of all ages  - so now is the time to tune up your creative engine, psyche yourself up and hit that blank page at speed.

We asked our Shortbreaders to send in some cracking "First Lines" and that's exactly what you all did! This fortnight's first line is from Shortbreader of the Year, Diane Dickson.

It was the light that woke him, but it was terror that kept him awake.

To enter this fortnight's competition, simply start your story with the above sentence and use it for inspiration while writing the rest. Keep to the 500 word limit and submit it us before Monday the 3rd of September. Good luck!

As this competition will judged by the community be sure to vote for your favourite before the 6th of September.

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net



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