Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest 2016

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on August 9, 2016








*Results* of the 2016 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest have been announced. The the XXXIVth Lyttoniad is a bad writing contest, named for Edward George Earl Bulwer-Lytton. Every year, thousands of writers-who-shouldn’t 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 glow. Here are the two players. Which one was the overall winner? It doesn’t really matter.

Even from the hall, the overpowering stench told me the dingy caramel glow in his office would be from a ten-thousand-cigarette layer of nicotine baked on a naked bulb hanging from a frayed wire in the center of a likely cracked and water-stained ceiling, but I was broke, he was cheap, and I had to find her. —William “Barry” Brockett, Tallahassee, FL

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

A *value added feature* of this BLFC report is the contestants with funny names. Here are the writers, in search of a pen name: Andrew Caruso, Akron, OH, Barbara L. Pawley, Los Angeles, CA, Domingo Pestano, Caracas, Venezuela, Dorothy Harbeck, Fair Haven, NJ, Heather Fougere, Center Conway, NH, Henry Biggs, Sydney, Australia, James Siragusa, Lewiston, ME, Julie Crowley, Ballyphilibeen, Ireland, Kathryn El-Assal, Middleton, WI, Leslie Craven, Wellington, New Zealand, Neil T Godden, Nouméa, New Caledonia, Peter S. Bjorkman, Rocklin, CA, Rachel Nirenberg, Toronto, Canada, Raluca Murg, Paris, France, Randy Denker, Tallahassee, FL, Ted Downes, Cardiff, Wales, William Lattanzio, Boyertown, PA.

What follows is a sampling of the writers in the BLFC hall of shame. If you want to see more, use this link. This report is being divided into two parts, with the second half coming out soon. The blurbs are in alphabetical order, by the first word. Three entries begin was “As.” The last entry in part one begins with the phrase, “It was a dark and stormy night.” Pictures are from The Library of Congress.

“Penguins, damnable penguins,” Cooperman muttered bitterly, staring hard into the maelstrom of cheap gin and bargain-basement vermouth swirling hopelessly in the low ball glass he held in his pale, doughy hand, the shards of rapidly melting ice crystals cruelly reminding him of those endless winter nights in the Antarctic weather station, and of Kwakina, with her lithe, lubricious figure, and tuxedo-feathered form. — Stephen Lewis Davis, Sacramento, CA

A murder of crows, ravenous with hunger, alighted on the skeletal limbs of a desiccated oak tree, their cacophonous scolding admonishing the solitary figure, cloaked in black, who had entered the gloomy graveyard to pay tribute to Poe’s tombstone, just as a tintinnabulation of church bells began chiming a counterpoint to the avians’ caws-stick chorus. — Kathryn El-Assal, Middleton, WI

As its newly-incentivized next-gen thought leader, Li-Kwan Patel saw the handwriting on the wall: there was no kicking the can down the road because the paradigm shift at Synergex, Inc. necessitated him to hit the ground running, avoid low-hanging fruit like the plague, and strategize scalable core competencies to close the loop on feedback redundancy, for at the end of the day it all boiled down to boldly going where none had gone before. — Thomas Frohlich, Miami, FL

As Night fell with the finality of a Sycamore toppled in a windstorm, the neon-clogged Arteries of the great Metropolis came alive with the banshee shriek of asphalt-tortured tires, the ululation of yammering sirens, and the bellow of brazen-lunged air horns, Predator Calls of the insomnolent Urban Jungle. —Anna McDougald, Winnipeg, Manitoba

As she reclined, naked, on the chaise longue, Constance’s breasts looked like two mounds of creamy coleslaw served up on a fine porcelain plate—but the good kind of coleslaw, not the violent, neon-green stuff you get at KFC.— Lisa Liscoumb, Oshawa, Ontario

Detective Hammer Logan III woke with a start, images of the bizarre bayou murder still fresh in his mind’s eye—a dame in trouble, body covered with bloody toothprints and saliva—but as sleep lifted, the grizzled detective remembered that he was a dog and the dame a coyote, so he spun on the bed three times and slept the rest of the day. — Jacob Smith, Dallas, TX

Francine was intrigued by the idea of a threesome with a unicyle-riding circus clown, a zither-playing contortionist, and a milkman because she didn’t know that the latter still even existed.
Randy Denker, Tallahassee, FL

Her grandmother had mopped her brow with the same antique kerchief for twenty years whilst working in the barley fields, and now Anastasia was to wear it on her wedding night knotted into a baggy loose panty; while her lover Anatoly would wear his father’s ancient gray and tattered undershorts tied around his neck to honor the old village custom of marital odor-blending.
David S. Nelson, Falls Creek, VA

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

It was a dark and stormy night, and that translated into unchecked pandemonium among Los Angeles residents who hadn’t worn anything but open-toed shoes for five years, but tourist Alwyn Brewster was thankful for the scant traffic on Sunset Boulevard as he desperately accelerated his rental car through the tony neighborhoods, too preoccupied with the raging rivers of high-end, plastic patio-ware, which were making a break for the ocean, to notice the black Land Rover with diplomatic plates hot on his trail. — Barbara L. Pawley, Los Angeles, CA










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  1. […] is the rest of the published entries from the 2016 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest. Part one hit the ether yesterday. Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia […]

  2. […] 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 year […]

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