Time for the annual awarding of the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, given to the best of the worst writing. (And if you think it’s easy to write badly, you should give this contest a try. A friend of mine, Wendy Lawton, won the prize in the children’s category one year–I’m so proud of her.)
This year’s winner was Jim Gleeson, 47, of Madison, Wisconsin. His entry:
“Gerald began–but was interrupted by a piercing whistle which cost him ten percent of his hearing permanently, as it did everyone else in a ten-mile radius of the eruption, not that it mattered much because for them ‘permanently’ meant the next ten minutes or so until buried by searing lava or suffocated by choking ash–to pee.”
ROFLOL! Gleeson’s prize was $250.
The contest, in case you didn’t know, takes its name from Victorian novelist Edward George Earl Bulwer-Lytton, whose 1830 novel “Paul Clifford” famously begins, “It was a dark and stormy night.” Entrants are asked to submit bad opening sentences to imaginary novels. Citations are handed out for several categories, including “dishonorable mention” awards for “purple prose” and “vile puns.”
Want to try your hand at it? Leave YOUR entry for the contest below–and I’ll work on mine. (If this is Thursday, I’m at the Philadelphia writer’s conference, so I’m running to and fro. And guess what? It’s even hotter here than in Florida!)