Bulwer Lytton Fiction Contest 2018

Posted in GSU photo archive, Undogegorized, Writing Contest by chamblee54 on August 31, 2018

The Bulwer Lytton Fiction Contest for 2018 has finally been relaeased. It usually appears the first week of August, but for some reason was late this time. “Since 1982 the Bulwer Lytton Fiction Contest has challenged man, woman, and (precocious) child to write an atrocious opening sentence to a hypothetical bad novel.” It is named for Sir Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, a Victorian novelist of some note. This year, we learn that EGBL wrote the phrase, “The pen is mightier than the sword.” Rumor has it that the space after pen was a post mortem bowlderization.

PG has been writing about the BLFC for many years, and was anxious about the late arrival this year. The contest web page has a new look, which is appreciated. Sir Bulwer-Lytton cleaned up good when it was time to paint his portrait. Unfortunately, the overall contest winner is presented as a .jpg, which means the text cannot be pasted. Here is the 2018 winner.

As a value added feature of BLFC coverage, PG compiles a list of contestants with funny names. Inclusion on this list is not an indication of being a bad writer, or a good writer of bad prose. Here is the cheat sheet: Shelley Siddall, West Kelowna, BC, Canada, Bridget Parmenter, Katy, TX, Mark Wisnewski, Flanders, NJ, Aasha Sankpal, Monroe, CT, Thomas Purdy, Roseville, CA, Ralph Cutting, Kingston Upon Thames, England, Jay Dardenne, Baton Rouge LA, Talha bin Hamid, Karachi, Pakistan, Peter Seakat, Rochester, NY, Shea Charkowsky, Santa Clara, CA, Hwei Oh, North Balgowlah, Sydney, Australia, Marsha Engelbrecht, Lafayette, LA, Sylvi Warshaver-Stein, New York, NY, Ava Zaleski, Lisle, IL, Brent Guernsey, Springfield, VA, Ben Handy, Philadelphia, PA.

Two of the writers this year are from Georgia. One of them is somebody. They are given special status in the Chamblee54 BLFC report. This year, the C54BLFC confab is posted over Labor Day weekend, along with Dragon Con, The Dickhater Book Festival, Burning Man, and more fabulicity than most people can process.The pictures for the post today are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.

Phoebe sighed happily as she read the text from Mark asking her to be “friends with benefits,” as she thought maybe, just maybe, she would finally get that 401k and dental insurance.
Amber Burns, Calhoun, GA

In preparation for visits by African dignitaries, we had redecorated the West Wing of the White House in an African motif with numerous artificial plants and animals, but the President asked that we remove the papier-mache wildebeests, saying he was “tired of fake gnus.”
Wm. “Buddy” Ocheltree, Snellville, GA

Dreaded Pirate Larry was somewhat worried, as he looked down at his boot, where his first mate was stretched out, making whooshing sounds, attempting to blow him over, that despite having the fastest ship, the most eye patches, and the prettiest parrots, his crew may need a few lessons on the difference between literal and figurative, as evidenced by the rest of the crew applying ice to the timbers. Shelley Siddall, West Kelowna, BC, Canada

I knew that dame was trouble as soon as I set eyes on her, see: there was a stain on her clingy dress, wine, difficult to get out (you notice these things when you’ve been in the business as long as I have); there was a piece of gum stuck to the bottom of her high heel, cherry, that would leave a gristly pink trail following her every step (you pick up on these things when you are as experienced as I); and when she coolly asked me directions to the detective’s office, I pointed her down the hall and went back to mopping the floor. Bridget Parmenter, Katy, TX

Nothing looked familiar to Travis, who, recalling a favorite line from Tolkien — “Not all those who wander are lost” — reckoned the “not all” part implied that most who wander, like himself, are in fact lost, yet buzzards would pick his bones before he would think to ask for directions.
Dr Joel Phillips, West Trenton, NJ

My escape from heavily-guarded Cochon Island, a Hungarian penal colony founded by the Gabor sisters, would have to be well-planned and faultlessly executed, I thought to myself, “and I’m just not the right man for it,” so I stayed and lived out my days there, because having a Gabor slap you around wasn’t that bad, especially when they said “dahling” afterwards. Kevin M. Kinzer, Spokane, WA

“Pooh,” said Piglet inquisitively, “I don’t believe the quantum interplay of dark energy and black holes allows for the anti-matter superposition of a Higgs-Boson vector that you are postulating transported you thru an n-dimensional carbon lattice and got you stuck in the hunny tree . . . just sayin’.”
Tim Metz, Kokomo, IN

For rookie detective Lara Stinson, the hardest aspect of her most recent case was not discovering that the adolescent victim had been thrown from the tenth story of the apartment building by his own grandmother, but rather trying to spell “defenestration by octogenarian” in her subsequent report. Thomas Purdy, Roseville, CA

Inspecteur Rollin of the Paris murder squad lit a cigarette as he stood over the body of la prostituée engorgée (to those readers who don’t know French, a prostitute with her throat cut and, indeed, how else would one describe her — la pute, la fille de joie, la vendeuse de sexe, la travailliste de la rue?) which lay on the Voie Georges Pompidou under the arches of le Pont Neuf on the rive droite of la Seine which flows through the most beautiful city in the world.
Ralph Cutting, Kingston Upon Thames, England

Who knew what answers the elongated, odd-shaped gray trunk would reveal, but there was no doubt that in solving the mysterious homicide at the zoo the great weight of evidence pointed to the elephant in the room. Jay Dardenne, Baton Rouge LA

2 Responses

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  1. Bulwer Lytton Part Two | Chamblee54 said, on September 2, 2018 at 7:05 am

    […] over pilsner. Linda J. Ashmore, Lynnwood, WA Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. Part one was published […]

  2. Bulwer Lytton Part Three | Chamblee54 said, on September 4, 2018 at 5:54 am

    […] stiff competition. Phillip Davies, Cardiff, Wales Pictures are from The Library of Congress. Parts one and two are […]

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