Hooking Readers: The Power Of The First Line


Online Seminar:
Hooking Readers: The Power Of The First Line

September, 25, 2020 
1:00 – 3:00 p.m. PST
Please be logged into the webinar at 12:50 if possible.
IWOSC members: $15
Non-members: $35
Jump down to register

This month we continue online, presenting our monthly Seminar on Zoom.


Why put so much effort into a first line? Think of your own experience. How often have you opened a book, turned to the first page, and cast it aside after reading the first line? Conversely, are there some books whose first lines remain engraved in your mind, long after you’ve read them? 

Have you thought about why this happens? And how you can write your own winning opening lines?

In this interactive seminar we’ll be discovering the secrets of how you can hook readers, wooing them to go beyond the first line, and in fact turn the page, and then the next page, and on and on until they get to The End.

  • We’ll compare unforgettable lines of classics, some offbeat openers that are favorites of the seminar leader, alternatives the authors could have used, and what it is about the winning line that works so well.
  • For those who care to share, we’ll also talk about your own opening lines and provide feedback on what’s working and what might spice up those lines.
  • Depending upon time, we’ll do exercises to devise first lines that would compel readers to stay with a book.
  • We’ll also discuss how and whether the first line rules are different for novels, memoir, and other forms of books.

Please feel free to use the Quick share form on our homepage to let Ina know about a line from a book that you find compelling, and we’ll use as many as possible in our discussion.


About our seminar leader, Ina Hillebrandt:

Ina Hillebrandt, Book Coach

Ina Hillebrandt, The Memoir Coach

Ina Hillebrandt is a nationally known writer, speaker, writing coach and editor/publisher with 20+ years of experience in memoir, fiction, mystery, comedy and self-help.

Her own books include the classic How to Write Your Memoirs…Fun Prompts To Make Reading…And Writing…Your Life Stories A Pleasure! Look for The Toolbox Edition in 2022.

Her first book, Amazon bestseller Pawprints, grew into a literacy program after Ina created a module for a Jane Goodall Institute Educators Workshop. You Are Who You Eat, The Revolutionary New Cannibal Diet, lives in OSU’s Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum, the UK’s and USA’s finest bathrooms.

Ina’s now escaping COVID nerves by patting her cat while writing her first novel, MiceCapades, editing/coaching, appearing on video and radio.

You can learn more about her at: InaTheMemoirCoach.com 

Registration info

Reservations Required
Reservation deadline: noon the day before the seminar.
Because this is online, there is no pay-at-the-door option. You must register and pay before the deadline.

Payment options (detailed again on the next page):

  • You can pay online by credit/debit card or PayPal balance. You’ll be taken to PayPal.com, then returned to this site.

RSVP for this webinar

Reservations are now closed for this event.