Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The Worst Writing Winners

When does bad writing become good writing? It happens every year at the Bulwer-Lytton Contest as writers earnestly strive to create the worst opening sentence for a novel. In addition to an overall winner, there are also various category winners and "dishonorable mentions".

Overall winning worst sentence:

Detective Bart Lasiter was in his office studying the light from his one small window falling on his super burrito when the door swung open to reveal a woman whose body said you've had your last burrito for a while, whose face said angels did exist, and whose eyes said she could make you dig your own grave and lick the shovel clean."

Oh yeah, that's fine, especially that last part about the shovel. It's creator is Jim Guigli, who sent in 60 entries for this year's contest.

This entry is from a writer in Atlanta, GA:

Todd languished there, neck deep in the pumpkin-hued Amargosa Desert sand like a long forgotten cupcake in an Easy Bake Oven gone hellishly amok, and it finally made sense . . . "ooohhhh, DEATH Valley."

An entry from Quebec:

Her angry accusations burned Clyde like that first bite of a double cheese pizza, when the toppings slide off and sear that small elevation of the oral mucosa, just behind the front teeth, known as the incisive papilla, which is linked to the discriminatory function of the taste buds except, where Clyde was concerned, when it came to women."

The winner in the Romance Category hails from Alabama and writes:

Despite the vast differences it their ages, ethnicity, and religious upbringing, the sexual chemistry between Roberto and Heather was the most amazing he had ever experienced; and for the entirety of the Labor Day weekend they had sex like monkeys on espresso, not those monkeys in the zoo that fling their feces at you, but more like the monkeys in the wild that have those giant red butts, and access to an espresso machine."

All the winners and dishonorable mentions are here.

Bulwer-Lytton was a very popular novelist, and created the phrase "the pen is mightier than the sword." No definitive word on any reaction to a legacy as the titular head of a bad writing contest.


  1. MONKEYS!!!!

    Gotta love that last one...
    (just sayin...)

  2. hahahahahahahha... too good!