Fortunately, our writing is much better than these contest winners! However, these provide a wonderful laugh.
Bulwer-Lytton Contest Winners
For all lovers of good writing, here are this year’s winners of the Bulwer-Lytton contest, (aka “It Was a dark and Stormy Night” Contest) run by the English Department of San Jose State University, wherein one writes only the first line of a bad novel.
10. As a scientist, Throckmorton knew that if he were ever to break wind in the echo chamber, he would never hear the end of it.
9. Just beyond the Narrows, the river widens.
8. With a curvaceous figure that Venus would have envied, a tanned unblemished oval face framed with lustrous thick brown hair, deep azure-blue eyes fringed with long black lashes, perfect teeth that vied for competition, and a small straight nose, Marilee had a beauty that defied description.
7. Andre, a simple peasant, had only one thing on his mind as he crept along the East wall: “Andre creep… Andre creep…Andre creep.”
6. Stanislaus Smedley, a man always on the cutting edge of narcissism, was about to give his body and soul to a back alley sex-change surgeon to become the woman he loved.
5. Although Sarah had an abnormal fear of mice, it did not keep her from eking out a living at a local pet store.
4. Stanley looked quite bored and somewhat detached, but then penguins often do.
3. Like an over-ripe beefsteak tomato rimmed with cottage cheese, the corpulent remains of Santa Claus lay dead on the hotel floor.
2. Mike Hardware was the kind of private eye who didn’t know the meaning of the word â€œfear;â€ a man who could laugh in the face of danger and spit in the eye of death — in short, a moron with suicidal tendencies.
AND THE WINNER IS…
1. The sun oozed over the horizon, shoved aside darkness, crept along the greensward, and, with sickly fingers, pushed through the castle window, revealing the pillaged princess, hand at throat, crown asunder, gaping in frenzied horror at the sated, sodden amphibian lying beside her, disbelieving the magnitude of the frog’s deception, screaming madly, “You lied!”
and these: The new 2009 crop of Bulwar-Lytton winners are pretty good, too. Here’s the winners in the Detective category:
She walked into my office on legs as long as one of those long-legged birds that you see in Florida – the pink ones, not the white ones – except that she was standing on both of them, not just one of them, like those birds, the pink ones, and she wasn’t wearing pink, but I knew right away that she was trouble, which those birds usually aren’t.
Sun Prairie, WI
The dame sauntered silently into Rocco’s office, but she didn’t need to speak; the blood-soaked gown hugging her ample curves said it all: “I am a shipping heiress whose second husband was just murdered by Albanian assassins trying to blackmail me for my rare opal collection,” or maybe, “Do you know a good dry cleaner?”
Los Angeles, CA
The appearance of a thin red beam of light under my office door and the sound of one, then two pair of feet meant my demise was near, that my journey from gum-shoe detective to international agent had gone horribly wrong, until I realized it was my secretary teasing her cat with a laser pointer.
My favorite from a few years ago is:
“Gee darling, it’s Darjeeling,” Earl Grey infused teasingly.