Editor’s Note: Fantastic First Sentences
Editor-in-chief Liz Vaccariello recalls the best first sentences to ever run in 'Reader's Digest.'
Steve Vaccariello for Reader's DigestOpeners are everything. As Stephen King famously remarked, “An opening line should say: Listen. Come in here. You want to know about this.”
I’ve long collected the first lines that move me. Here are a few of my favorites from Reader’s Digest over the past year.
• Just how bad a mother am I?
• It’s a good time to be a pessimist.
• Before they threw him in chains, he was a gutsy kid with wandering feet.
• Once great wrongs are done, it’s rarely possible to undo them.
Reader Bill Butler wrote my winner for this issue: When his story arrived in my mailbox, I flagged it as one of five selections for “Miraculous Christmas Stories.” (Mr. Butler keeps good company there with James Michener.)
I’d love for next year’s feature to include more stories by readers. Has something miraculous happened to you? Send your incredible story (a maximum of 500 words, please) to [email protected] We will pay $2 a word upon publication of your article, which we reserve the right to edit and fact-check (to the extent one can fact-check a miracle, that is).
Remember: Make that first sentence count.