Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest 2015

Posted in Book Reports, Library of Congress, Undogegorized, Writing Contest by chamblee54 on August 15, 2015









It is August. Tomorrow is the anniversary of the day Elvis allegedly died, and the day Madonna was allegedly born. But that is tomorrow. Today is part one of the annual chamblee54 celebration of the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest. This is a celebration of bad writing, coordinated through the English department at San Jose State University, San Jose, CA 95192-0090.

BLFC is named for Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, a 19th century perpetrator of bad fiction. Mr. Bulwer-Lytton is blamed for starting a novel with the phrase “It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents.” As an added bonus, there is a quiz, Dickens or Bulwer? People with too much free time can read a quote, and choose to blame it on either Mr. Bulwer-Lytton or Charles Dickens.

Here are the funny names for 2015. No winners will be chosen. They are presented in the order in which they appeared in the BLFC post. Laura Ruth Loomis, Pittsburg, CA, gets special notice for being having two entries in the swinging 74. The 11 funny names: David Laatsch, Baton Rouge, LA, Myriam Nys, Mechelen, Belgium, Hwei Oh, Sydney, Australia, Rahul Kak, Ann Arbor, MI, Yap Tee Giut, Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia, Austin Stollhaus, Louisville, KY, James Pokines, Boston, MA, Kathy Minicozzi, Bronx, NYC, Anna Sagstetter, Fort Wayne, IN, Laura Ruth Loomis, Pittsburg, CA, Joseph Pramuk, Napa, CA, Susie Gawriluk, Presque Isle, WI, Clark Snodgrass, Huntington Beach, CA.

One of the value added features of this report is the list of funny names. Many of the contestants have names that make you wonder what their parents were thinking. Surprisingly, many of these odd names produced really bad prose. One of the chamblee54 value added services is to read all 74 entries (4137 words) in the 2015 “winners.” Out of all that punctuation, 26 entries, and a list of names, were chosen. Here is the first installment of the chosen entries. The first one recieves special notice for using the name Caitlin, and spelling it the same way as Miss Teenage South Carolina. The other Caitlyn receives enough publicity. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.

Caitlin was a Pop Tart kind of girl, but Kyle always ate four Aunt Jemima pancakes with Land o’ Lakes unsalted butter and Mrs. Butterworth’s maple syrup, so they knew they would never marry because of their differences, but they could still fool around. — Kathy Minicozzi, Bronx, NYC

After weeks at sea, Captain Fetherstonhaugh and his hardy crew had at last crossed the halfway point, and he mused that the closest dry land now lay in the Americas, assuming of course that it was not raining there. — David Laatsch, Baton Rouge, LA

Walking through the northernmost souk of Marrakech, that storied and cosmopolitan city so beloved of voyagers wishing to shake the desert dust off their feet, Peter bought a French-language newspaper and realized, with dizzying dismay, that “Camille” can be a man’s name.
Myriam Nys, Mechelen, Belgium

The doctors all agreed the inside of Charlie’s intestinal tract looked like some dark, dank subway system in a decaying inner city, blackened polyps hanging from every corner like tiny ticking terrorist time bombs, waiting to burst forth in cancerous activity; however, to Timmy the Tapeworm this was home. — E. David Moulton, Summerville, SC

Shortly after that interfering do-gooder Snow White had introduced Sneezy to non-drowsy antihistamines, he had to change his name to Brian, where he then left the mines with Ray (formerly Sleepy) who was now a caffeine addict and Bob (formerly Grumpy) who was on 100 milligrams of Prozac a day, and Doc whom Snow pointed out had never actually graduated from medical school and was being sued for malpractice–oh how he despised that high and mighty ho.
Hwei Oh, Sydney, Australia

As Granny sewed the bloody wolf pelt onto the stained red cape, Little Red downed another shot, reminding herself that even alcohol has a better taste than the gastric acid of a wolf.
Rahul Kak, Ann Arbor, MI

When the corpse showed up in the swimming pool, her dead bosoms bobbing up and down like twin poached eggs in hollandaise sauce, Randy decided to call the police as soon as he finished taking pictures of his breakfast and posting them to his Facebook wall. — Laura Ruth Loomis, Pittsburg, CA

When private detective Flip Merlot spotted the statuesque brunette seated at the bar of his favorite watering hole, he was drawn to her like a yellow cat to navy blue pants, and when he sidled up next to her he felt fuzzy all over, kind of like dark blue corduroys get when they’re matted with yellow cat hair.
James M. Vanes, La Porte, IN

With his lamp giving off a dull yellow glow General Washington sat up late into the night contemplating his problems: Not enough food, not enough clothing, not enough men, and that idiot Private Doodle who kept putting feathers in his cap and calling it macaroni.
Dan Leyde, Shoreline, WA

If Vicky Walters had known that ordering an extra shot of espresso in her grande non-fat sugar free one pump raspberry syrup two pumps vanilla syrup soy latte that Wednesday would lead to her death and subsequent rebirth as a vampire, she probably would have at least gotten whipped cream.
Margo Coffman, Corinth MS

He typed like a ninja with no arms, and the text flowed like a drop of blood down a katana blade sharpened with one of those automatic kitchen things you can buy on late-night television when you’re drunk but not too drunk to read off your 16-digit credit card number and security code.
Alex Dering, Brooklyn, NY

I never did see the last thing I saw, the truck and the red light, the last thing I saw was a plus-size girl in a petite ensemble, giving her the appearance of a marshmallow tightly wrapped in dental floss.
Ted Wise, Hanover, PA











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  1. […] submit a first sentence, to a terrible novel. Chamblee54 wrote about BLFC in 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015. The *winner,* and one other featured player, establish a new category this year: the dingy yellow […]

  2. […] submit a first sentence, to a terrible novel. Chamblee54 wrote about BLFC in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016. Part two of 2017 is forthcoming. As a value added service to the BLFC community, every […]

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