The Worst Storyline Ever Contest 2.0
Guest Blogger: Chuck Sambuchino, editor and writer for Writer’s Digest, and host of the Guide To Literary Agents blog.
September 2015 sees the release of three of my new books, the 2016 Guide to Literary Agents, the 2016 Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market, and the anti-clown humor book When Clowns Attack: A Survival Guide.
To celebrate their release, we are bringing back a popular recurring contest: The “Worst Storyline Ever”—a competition that encourages terrible loglines. Winners get prizes.
The “Worst Storyline Ever” Contest 2.0
A logline is one sentence that explains what your story is about and shows the “hook” – the unique idea that makes people want to see more. You see loglines all the time on the back of DVD boxes. Here are some examples:
- “Three middle-aged men defeat their midlife crises by starting a college fraternity.” (Old School)
- “When a Roman general is betrayed and his family murdered by an evil emperor, he comes to Rome as a gladiator to seek revenge.” (Gladiator)
- “In a future where criminals are arrested before the crime occurs, a cop struggles on the lam to prove his innocence for a murder he has not yet committed.” (Minority Report)
But that’s all the examples I’m going to give you, because I’m not looking for good examples of a logline; I’m looking for bad examples. Terrible, stupid, “oh-my-gosh-that-idea-REEKS” examples.
Examples of Bad Loglines (Previous Winners/Finalists):
- “After an unidentified cow swallows an armed nuclear device in a botched Homeland Security raid, Agent Tom Anderson is thrust into an unlikely partnership with buxom organic farmer Daisy Jones to sift through three hundred cows and 10 barns full of manure as the clock runs down in a desperate quest to save Kansas City from a moo-clear disaster.”
- “A young woman discovers she is half unicorn after farting a rainbow at her bat mitzvah, and must go on a hijinx-filled voyage of self discovery to find her real father and fit as ‘one of the herd.’”
- “Leonard the narcoleptic snail sets out on his lifelong dream of running the Boston Marathon while humming ‘Macarena,’ and invites you to join the excitement in real time.”
Stick to the format, but have fun with the idea. Your logline must be one sentence, 60 words or fewer, and explain what the movie/book is about. It’s what you put in that one sentence that will win you this competition. The trick is to make your logline a terribly creative idea that’s pitched in a minimal, professional manner.
The contest will go until the end of the day, 11:59 p.m., PDT, Monday, October 19th, two weeks from today. Submissions received after that will not be considered.
Chuck will judge the contest, with some possible input from other WD and WD Books staffers.
To participate, simply leave a comment at the end of this post with your submission and your full name. Make sure we are able to reach you through your website or email. (If you’re reading this via email, comment by clicking: HERE.)
You can submit up to two (2) bad loglines. You can include both in the same comment if you wish.
The contest is open to everyone of all ages, save those employees, officers and directors of GLA’s publisher, F+W: A Content and eCommerce Company (formerly F+W Media).
If you have any questions about the contest, e-mail Chuck directly at email@example.com. Do not leave them in the comments and do not e-mail Rachelle.
You do not have to share news of this contest to enter, but if you want to share this fun contest with others, here is an easy tweet:
Create the worst storyline you can – and win writing prizes. http://bit.ly/1KClppO via @chucksambuchino and @rachellegardner. Click to Tweet
There will be 3 winners.
Each winner receives:
- A critique by Chuck Sambuchino of either your one-page query letter or one-page synopsis .
- Your pick of a free book from any of his 3 recent releases:
2016 Guide to Literary Agents
2016 Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market
When Clowns Attack: A Survival Guide.