The First Line submission guidelines and market information

The First Line



The First Line Submission Guidelines

Submission Address

Send manuscripts via e-mail to

Editor: David LaBounty, editor

Submitting Your Work to The First Line

Before submitting to The First Line

The Market List recommends you verify the market is active and accepting submissions before sending your manuscript via regular mail. You may verify a market status by either visiting their website, calling their listed phone number, or confirming via regular mail that the market is still active before sending them your work.

To be sure your submission is appropriate for this market, we recommend you familiarize yourself with The First Line by reading a sample issue before submitting.

If you have recently submitted to The First Line or have experience with this market, please submit a comment below. Recent submission response times are always welcome and helpful to other writers.

From the The First Line guidelines:

Fiction: 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 story should be between 300 and 5,000 words (this is more like a guideline and not a hard-and-fast rule; going over or under the word count won't get your story tossed from the slush pile). The sentences can be found on the home page of The First Line's Web site, as well as in the prior issue. Note: We are open to all genres. We try to make TFL as eclectic as possible.

Non-Fiction: 500-800 word critical essays about your favorite first line from a literary work.

All Stories: Writers should include a two- to three-sentence biography of themselves that will appear in the magazine should their story run.

Multiple Submissions: We don't mind if you want to submit multiple stories for the same issue. However, it is unlikely we will use more than one of your stories in the same issue.

Submission Guidelines Details for The First Line

Market Type: Magazine

Contact: David LaBounty, editor

Accepts: Adventure, Ethnic, Experimental, Fantasy, Historical, Humor, Horror, Mainstream, Mystery, Romance, Science Fiction, Suspense, Western

Web Address:

Click Here for Complete Submission Guidelines

Updated October 19, 2020