Thursday, December 13, 2007

It was the Worst of Openers

When I was a wee lass, we subscribed to Games Magazine. Well, I use the word subscribe to mean, poured over, tore pages out of, fought over, scribbled upon and basically defaced each issue into an unrecognizable pulp of paper. Inside each magazine were hours of word, logic and visual puzzles that would make your hair stand on end. And (very often) in December there was also the results of the world's best-known bad-writing contest, the "Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest".

The name of the contest hails from author Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, whose 1830 novel "Paul Clifford" opens with the sentence, "It was a dark and stormy night". The contest's founder acknowledges that writing badly on purpose is hard work, something like "impersonating a drunk on ice skates." That's why BLFC winners make world headlines each summer with such overworked sentences as:

She resolved to end the love affair with Ramon tonight . . . summarily, like Martha Stewart ripping the sand vein out of a shrimp's tail . . .though the term "love affair" now struck her as a ridiculous euphemism . . . not unlike "sand vein," which is after all an intestine, not a vein . . . and that tarry substance inside certainly isn't sand . . . and that brought her back to Ramon. (2004 Winner)


The heather-encrusted Headlands, veiled in fog as thick as smoke in a crowded pub, hunched precariously over the moors, their rocky elbows slipping off land's end, their bulbous, craggy noses thrust into the thick foam of the North Sea like bearded old men falling asleep in their
pints. (2000 Winner)

To view the 2007 contest winners, runner-up and dishonorable mentions visit the 2007 winners circle at their homepage. To try your hand at attainable foulness, you can also check out the
contest rules.

0 sugar rushes:

Post a Comment