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That First Page & Call Me Ishmael


by Heather Harris Brady

I’ve been doing a lot of writing lately, just not on this blog! Right now I’m preparing for #PitchWars (for more info see Brenda Drake’s fab blog here), with my new YA contemporary. Since I have to submit a query and the first chapter, I’ve been scouring the internet to keep up on what’s working and what’s going on. In the course of my online adventures I can across several spots I wanted to bring to your attention.

Any writer knows the first page has to be amazing, easier said than done of course, and way subjective but still. It seems like the more first pages you read the more you get an ear for them, a little like developing an ear for music I suppose. I was so happy to find the thatfirstpage tumblr!


You can browse through a wide selection of first pages, all streamlined for your reading pleasure. I really hope the author keeps up with this tumblr, because it’s such a great resource for writers.

Then, on Terri Eichholz’s Engage Their Minds she featured Call Me Ishmael.


The site features an 800 number that goes straight to voice mail. Readers are asked to leave the name of their favorite book and a message about what it means to them or how it’s changed their life. I have so many I could call the line every day for a year I think! But seriously, the site is a great way to renew your love of books and what makes them special to a reader. ‘Cause that’s why we’re all doing this right?

Top photo: Mark Knobil, via Flickr/Wikicommons CC license