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The First Line

Literary Magazine





The purpose of The First Line is to help writers break through the block that is the blank page. Each issue contains short stories that stem from a common first line; it also provides a forum for discussing favorite first lines in literature.

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  • Vibe:Send us your best but less intimidating
  • Response time:
    four to five weeks*
    Editor reported data
    43 days*
    Chill Subs tracker stats
  • Acceptance rate:  / 
    Chill Subs tracker stats

Payssee Genres section for details

Find more details in the Genres section


  • Accepts simultaneous submissions

    What's that?

    When you can submit your work to multiple magazines at the same time

  • Accepts previously published

    What's that?

    When the magazine wants to publish your previously published work. Requirements vary

  • Nominates for prizes

  • Active on social media

  • Available in print

  • Provides contributor copies

    From the editors


  • Has examples online

  • Offers expedited response

    What's that?

    Expedited submission: When the magazine offers a faster response time for an extra fee

Fiction - 5000 words max

Max words: 300

Max words: 5000

Sub Genres: All / surprise us

Payment: $25-50

All stories must be written with the first line provided. The line cannot be altered in any way, unless otherwise noted by the editors. The sentences can be found on the home page of The First Line's website, as well as in the prior issue. Note: We are open to all genres.

Nonfiction - 800 words max

Max words: 500

Max words: 800

Payment: $ 25

Critical essays about your favorite first line from a literary work.


Payment: $ 10

All poems must begin with the first line provided. The line cannot be altered in any way. We have no restrictions on form or line count.

How to submit

  • Processs


  • Cover letter

    Make sure your name and contact information, as well as your bio, are part of the attachment.

  • Eligibility

    No specific eligibility requirements

  • Formatting

    We accept stories in MS Word or Word Perfect format (we prefer attachments).

  • Author's rights

    This magazine does not list any details on their website for this section.

  • Additional info

    Response time. We typically send notices four to five weeks after the issue's deadline to everyone who submitted.

Tracker statistics


Total submissions tracked

43 days

Average response time


Average acceptance rate

30 days

Fastest response time

213 days

Slowest response time

*Weird response times we excluded from calculations: 665 days

Сhill Subs is able to provide internal statistics because you use our tracker! You're the best!

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The Submissions Grinder Statistics


12-month average acceptance rate

43 days

12-month average response time

Submission calls









    Editor David LaBounty avatar

    David LaBounty