Definition of penny-a-line in US English:

penny-a-line

adjective

historical
  • Of a writer: paid at the rate of a penny a line. Hence, of writing: long-winded, verbose; superficial, of little literary value.

Origin

Early 19th century; earliest use found in The Times. From penny + a + line.

Pronunciation

penny-a-line

/ˌpɛnɪəˈlʌɪn/