2021 Bulwer-Lytton
Contest Winners

By Soon Lee: The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest invites entries for the worst opening line to a novel. This year’s Grand Prize winner went to fellow New Zealander Stu Duval, which makes me unexpectedly proud.

2021 Grand Prize winner:

“A lecherous sunrise flaunted itself over a flatulent sea, ripping the obsidian bodice of night asunder with its rapacious fingers of gold, thus exposing her dusky bosom to the dawn’s ogling stare.”

Stu Duval, Auckland, New Zealand

The complete list of category winners & (dis)honorable mentions is here.

Of genre interest:

Winner: Science Fiction

“Believe it or not Ripley refrained from firing her laser at the alien creature lurking in the starship’s ceiling above the crew’s happy hour gathering, its dripping secretions burning through the titanium floor like it was made of cheap wet toilet paper, when she discovered by sheer accident that just one drop of the oozing substance reacted with the contents of her cocktail glass to produce a martini so perfect that 007 himself would have betrayed Queen and country for just one sip, as long as it was shaken and not stirred.”

Reinhold Friebertshauser, Chagrin Falls, OH

Winner: Fantasy & Horror

“Upon his death, Van Helsing wrote: ‘This Vexes me still to-day . . . with no Mirror able to cast his Curs’d Reflection, how did Dracula comb his hair so perfectly every time and achieve such a clean, close shave that brought the babes in truckloads??’”

Donald J. Hicks, Jr., Manchester, NJ

Note: The Dishonorable Mentions contain more quotes like these for each category.

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