The Bulwer-Lytton short prose contest has announced its 2013 winners! The contest is named for Edward Bulwer-Lytton, the author of Snoopy’s famous line, “It was a dark and stormy night,” and the rules are simple: write the opening sentence for the worst novel ever written.
Surprisingly, Bulwer-Lytton’s prose is still in use today, in popular phrases like, “the pen is mightier than the sword,” “the great unwashed,” and “the almighty dollar”. The entries in the contest, however, should be doomed to quick extinction – they are truly awful.
Categories range from adventure to crime, fantasy to romance. My favorite: The Grand Panjandrum’s Special Award. This year’s winner: “Don’t know no tunnels hereabout,” said the old-timer, “unless you mean the abandoned subway line that runs from Hanging Hill, under that weird ruined church, beneath the Indian burial ground, past the dilapidated Usher mansion, and out to the old abandoned asylum for the criminally insane where they had all those murders.” (submitted by Lawrence Person, Austin, TX)