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Worst novel opening wins award

Posted on 2008.08.14 at 00:47
Current Mood: amusedamused
Here's a copy of the AP news article about the winner of the Bulwer-Lytton award for "best" worst novel opening.

Top dishonors in writing go to Washington man

Thu Aug 14, 12:15 AM ET

SAN JOSE, Calif. - A grotesque comparison of a steamy love affair to a New York City street has won a Washington man this year's grand prize in an annual contest of bad writing.

Garrison Spik, a 41-year-old communications director and writer, took top honors in San Jose State University's 26th annual Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest with this opening sentence to a nonexistent novel:

"Theirs was a New York love, a checkered taxi ride burning rubber, and like the city their passion was open 24/7, steam rising from their bodies like slick streets exhaling warm, moist, white breath through manhole covers stamped 'Forged by DeLaney Bros., Piscataway, N.J.'"

The contest is named after Victorian novelist Edward George Earl Bulwer-Lytton, whose 1830 novel "Paul Clifford" famously begins "It was a dark and stormy night."

Entrants are asked to submit bad opening sentences to imaginary novels. Awards are given for many categories, including awards for "purple prose" and "vile puns." The top winner receives a $250 prize.

Other noteworthy submissions:

"'Toads of glory, slugs of joy,' sang Groin the dwarf as he trotted jovially down the path before a great dragon ate him because the author knew that this story was a train wreck after he typed the first few words."

• Alex Hall, Greeley, Colo.

"Like a mechanic who forgets to wipe his hands on a shop rag and then goes home, hugs his wife, and gets a grease stain on her favorite sweater — love touches you, and marks you forever."

• Beth Fand Incollingo, Haddon Heights, N.J.



ennorwen at 2008-08-14 11:48 (UTC) (Link)
Those always make me feel so much better about my own feeble attempts - and they crack me up - every damn time. Thanks for posting this year's "winners," Elfscribe!
elfscribe5 at 2008-08-14 15:52 (UTC) (Link)
So glad to have amused you, dearheart.
alexcat at 2008-08-14 12:56 (UTC) (Link)
I sort of liked 'toads of glory, slugs of joy'!
elfscribe5 at 2008-08-14 15:52 (UTC) (Link)
It does have a certain ring to it, doesn't it?
larienelengasse at 2008-08-14 13:42 (UTC) (Link)
The guy who runs that used to be my adviser when I went to San Jose State. His name is Scott Burns, and he is hilarious, and a Victorian scholar, I believe.
elfscribe5 at 2008-08-14 16:17 (UTC) (Link)
Very cool that you know him. It's a fun contest. I have a collection of them called, "It was a dark and stormy night" which has some amusing entries.
Here's one:
"The surface of the strange, forbidden planet was roughly textured and green, much like cottage cheese gets way after the date on the lid says it is all right to buy it."
-Scott Davis Jones

Some of them though are quite good and I'd love to see the rest of the novel. LOL.
larienelengasse at 2008-08-14 16:20 (UTC) (Link)
*snort* I love that contest - it's good for a giggle every year.

You know... the guy is named Scott Rice, not Scott Burns. duh. Scott Burns was a geologist at PSU. Got my Scotts mixed up.
keiliss at 2008-08-14 14:16 (UTC) (Link)
"'Toads of glory, slugs of joy,' sang Groin the dwarf...*

I'd read that one :D
elfscribe5 at 2008-08-14 16:19 (UTC) (Link)
Right, I thought it had a certain ring to it. "Groin" wasn't that a character in "Bored of the Rings"? That was a parody written quite some time ago, that I remember as being irreverent and occasionally hilarious.
Minuial Nuwing
minuial_nuwing at 2008-08-14 14:47 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for the chuckle!

I might read the dwarf one, though. **grin**

elfscribe5 at 2008-08-14 16:20 (UTC) (Link)
I certainly would. I hope he doesn't eat the toads of glory.
aglarien1 at 2008-08-15 02:43 (UTC) (Link)
LOL! Those are so bad they're good!
elfscribe5 at 2008-08-16 01:13 (UTC) (Link)
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