Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest for horrendously bad opening lines

The winner of the 2010 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest is Molly Ringle of Seattle, Washington, who penned the following:

“For the first month of Ricardo and Felicity's affair, they greeted one another at every stolen rendezvous with a kiss a lengthy, ravenous kiss, Ricardo lapping and sucking at Felicity's mouth as if she were a giant cage-mounted water bottle and he were the world's thirstiest gerbil.”

The rules to the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest are childishly simple:

Each entry must consist of a single sentence but you may submit as many entries as you wish. (One fellow once submitted over 3,000 entries.)

Sentences may be of any length but we strongly recommend that entries not go beyond 50 or 60 words, and entries must be "original" (as it were) and previously unpublished.

E-mail entries should be in the body of the message, not in an attachment, )and it would be really swell if you submitted your entries in Arial 12 font). One e-mail may contain multiple entries.

Entries will be judged by categories, from "general" to detective, western, science fiction, romance, and so on. There will be overall winners as well as category winners.

The official deadline is April 15 (a date that Americans associate with painful submissions and making up bad stories). The actual deadline may be as late as May 30. The results will be released by mid-June.

The contest accepts submissions every day of the livelong year.

Wild Card Rule: Resist the temptation to work with puns like "It was a stark and dormy night."

Finally, in keeping with the gravitas, high seriousness, and general bignitude of the contest, the grand prize winner will receive . . . a pittance.

To inflict your entry electronically, email: srice@pacbell.net 

History and further info on the contest here: http://www.bulwer-lytton.com/

To keep up to date with all the annual writing contests in Canada, get the 2011 Canadian Writers' Contest Calendar – just $23 including tax and shipping (or $20 at any of Brian Henry's workshops or classes). To order your copy, email brianhenry@sympatico.ca  More details here.

For information about Brian Henry's writing workshops and creative writing courses, see here.

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