Tis The Season… Fa-la-la-la-la, La-la-la-la

Happy NewYearAhhh, the jolly season of gift giving, sharing happy cheers, recognizing the best in everything by awarding prizes, announcing winners of various contests…  Ahhh, the joy of winning…
wwwThe Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest is named after Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, the author of the famous “It was a dark and stormy night” line. The entire sentence, written in 1830, reads:

It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents — except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.” 

The English Department at San Jose State University sponsors this contest to deliberately write the worst opening sentence to a novel. It’s not too awful to win this one, since it’s deliberate effort to write badly, unlike being celebrated by the Bad Sex in Fiction Award for writing seriously bad sex scenes.

The 2012 winner of Bulwer-Lytton Award was Cathy Bryant of Manchester, England, who wrote:

“As he told her that he loved her she gazed into his eyes, wondering, as she noted the infestation of eyelash mites, the tiny deodicids burrowing into his follicles to eat the greasy sebum therein, each female laying up to 25 eggs in a single follicle, causing inflammation, whether the eyes are truly the windows of the soul; and, if so, his soul needed regrouting.”

This is the winning sentence of 2013:

2013 Winner

Mark Watson got Dishonorable Mention for this brilliant, undeservedly dishonorably mentioned  entry:dishonorable mention
The Diagram prize
A literary award, The Bookseller’s Diagram Prize For Oddest Book Title Of The Year was awarded to Reginald Bakeley for his Goblinproofing One’s Chicken Coop: And Other Practical Advice In Our Campaign Against The Fairy Kingdom. (Help is on the way! In the tradition of Lemony Snicket and Roald Dahl, Goblinproofing One’s Chicken Coop shows how to banish those pesky dark Fairy creatures who are ready to thwart every last pleasure, be it gardening, country hikes, or even getting a good night’s sleep.–From the Amazon pitch.)

Runners up: The Life and Times of the Penis by Thomas Hickman. (It’s not the size of God’s Doodle that matters; it’s the inside that counts. The macabre and the bloodcurdling, the funny and the sad,  …when it comes to the penis everyone’s a critic. “When the prick stands up, the brains get buried in the ground.” –Yiddish Proverb. — From the Amazon pitch.) 

Loani Prior was recognized for How Tea Cosies Changed the World. (Be drawn into a world of creative passion with the vibrant designs featured in this follow-up to Really Wild Tea Cosies, Amazon urges.)

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