Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Terrible … or Terrific?

It’s become a most pleasant tradition here at The Rap Sheet to announce each year’s winners of the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, which solicits the worst (e.g., funniest and most outlandish) opening sentences from never-to-be-finished books. As Neatorama explained in a post earlier today, this competition, “running 35 years now, was named in honor of Edward George Earl Bulwer-Lytton, who in 1830 began a novel with the phrase ‘It was a dark and stormy night,’ which has been parodied endlessly ever since.”

Twenty-six-year-old outdoor retailer Kat Russo of Loveland, Colorado, has been declared the overall winner of the 2017 Bulwer-Lytton competition, after submitting this start to a fantasy tale:
The elven city of Losstii faced towering sea cliffs and abutted rolling hills that in the summer were covered with blankets of flowers and in the winter were covered with blankets, because the elves wanted to keep the flowers warm and didn’t know much at all about gardening.

Novelist, playwright, and politician Edward Bulwer-Lytton

Moving on to the Crime/Detective category, we find that Doug Self of Brunswick, Maine, has nabbed top honors with this oddball entry:
Detective Sam Steel stood at the crime scene staring puzzled at the chalk outline of Ms. Mulgrave’s body which was really just a stick figure with a dress, curly hair, boobs, and a smiley face because the police chalk guy had the day off.
My personal favorite among the Crime/Detective contenders, though, comes from the Dishonorable Mention pile and was sent in by Beth Armogida of Sierra Madre, California:
“It’s a classic,” she muttered, as she flicked the hair from the old fur coat purchased from eBay for sixty-eight dollars plus overnight shipping for the purpose of this very moment when she stuck out her hip, pulled the trigger, and shot him in that stupid face of his.
Click here to find all of the 2017 winners, in 13 categories. The deadline for submissions to the 2018 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest is June 30 of next year.

(Hat tip to Bill Crider’s Pop Culture Magazine.)


J F Norris said...

The two by Anna McDougald of Winnipeg (who won Dishonorable Mentions for both) made me laugh out loud. Cheers to Anna!

Jodi said...

Terrific. Definitely terrific.