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To the Winners of the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest…Congratulations?

The results are in for the 2011 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, and as anticipated, they’re nothing short of hilarious. If you’re not familiar, the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest challenges entrants to compose bad opening sentences to imaginary novels, and takes its name from the Victorian novelist Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, who began his book, Paul Clifford, with “It was a dark and stormy night.”

All of which would have made Snoopy–the aspiring novelist and lovable beagle from Charles Schulz’ cartoon, Peanuts–extraordinarily proud.

The winning entry?

Cheryl’s mind turned like the vanes of a wind-powered turbine, chopping her sparrow-like thoughts into bloody pieces that fell onto a growing pile of forgotten memories.

This overall winner was submitted by Sue Fondrie of Oshkosh, Wisconsin. She is an associate professor of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh who works groan-inducing wordplay into her teaching and administrative duties whenever possible. Out of school, she introduces two members of the next generation to the mysteries of Star Trek, Star Wars, and–of course–the art of the bad pun.

The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest awards winners and runners-up in genre categories as well, such as “Adventure,” “Fantasy,” and “Historical Fiction.” There are also separate awards for “Dishonorable Mentions.”

Between the runners-up and the winners, who hail from all over the world, eight authors make their home in North Carolina, or 16 percent. “The Writingest State” indeed!

To read all the finalists, click here.

One Comment

  1. She couldn’t decide which of these heartfelt writers’ attempts she enjoyed most, though she finally chose the slightly naughtier versions, her selective abilities possibly hindered (or helped) by the effects of a mild white zinfandel haze.

    Mary

    Sunday, August 14, 2011 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

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