First Sentence Workshop: How to Hook Your Reader with Your Opening Line | 1-Day Seminar

Zainab Khadijah Karim Saturday, April 22
11am-2pm ET
8am-11am PT
10am-1pm CT
1 class session

By signing up for a class, you agree to our refund policy and code of conduct here.

“Ships at a distance have every man’s wish on board…” is one of the greatest first lines of a book ever written. With that first line, Zora Neale Hurston presents a metaphor that foreshadows the vast differences between what men and women need from one another.

First Sentence Workshop: How to Hook Your Reader with Your Opening Line will guide you into shaping your first sentence/and or paragraph to immediately hook your reader. Each story or personal essay you write must satisfy the reader's curiosity and make them wonder, “What will happen next?”

All writers—from legendary novelists like Toni Morrison and Octavia Butler to new authors self-publishing their work—must understand how to start a novel in a reliable, effective way.

All class meetings will be held via Zoom. The link to join your Zoom classroom will be provided on the morning of your class. Please check spam folders if you do not receive an email confirmation upon registration. For more information on how to download or use Zoom, please click here.

 Meet Your Instructor:
Zainab Khadijah Karim

Zainab Khadijah Karim is an Assistant Professor of English at National-Louis University and a published writer. She has written for Ebony,/Jet Magazine, MadameNoire, Revelist, and other online writing platforms. She created and edited a series called Shape of Pleasure during the summer of 2020 featuring personal essays and poetry that explored how Black women-centered pleasure in their lives.

Course Takeaways

  • How to use emotion to hook readers
  • How to use flashbacks, foreshadowing, and subplots to drive your opening
  • Diving into conflict immediately
  • Honing the skills of Cause and Effect

Course Expectations

  • Students can bring a first paragraph of a piece of fiction or non-fiction they are working on, but this isn't required. There will be plenty of time to write during the seminar!

Course Skeleton

  • Hour One: Emotion and Writing
  • Hour Two: Flashback, Foreshadowing and Subplots
  • Hour Three: Cause and Effect


**We offer full refunds for cancellation with written notice up until 7 days before your class start date. From 6 days to more than 24 hours before class begins, we offer a 25% refund. If you drop a class less than 24 hours before the class begins or after it has started, you are ineligible for a refund.