2011 Bulwer-Lytton Contest Winner

Sue Fondrie of Oshkosh, WI has won the 2011 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest with this truly fowl sentence:

Cheryl’s mind turned like the vanes of a wind-powered turbine, chopping her sparrow-like thoughts into bloody pieces that fell onto a growing pile of forgotten memories.

The Bulwer-Lytton Contest asks writers to submit the worst possible opening sentences to imaginary novels. The contest website describes winner Fondrie, an associate professor at UW Oshkosh, as a bit of a fan: “Out of school, she introduces two members of the next generation to the mysteries of Star Trek, Star Wars, and–of course–the art of the bad pun.”

Judges deemed additional selected entries as hideous examples of genre fiction. Unfortunately their choices for Sci-Fi and Fantasy honestly are too pathetic to bother quoting, but I liked the Adventure winner by Jack Barry:

From the limbs of ancient live oaks moccasins hung like fat black sausages — which are sometimes called boudin noir, black pudding or blood pudding, though why anyone would refer to a sausage as pudding is hard to understand and it is even more difficult to divine why a person would knowingly eat something made from dried blood in the first place — but be that as it may, our tale is of voodoo and foul murder, not disgusting food.  

A “Miscellaneous Dishonorable Mention” also went to Lawrence Person of Nova Express zine fame:

After five years as freelance writer, Greg finally managed to double his income, letting him add a processed cheese product slice to the baloney sandwiches he had for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Person is a past host of the Turkey City Writer’s Workshop which never tolerates any Bulwer-Lytton rated prose, as you can tell from their ferocious primer.

[Thanks to Andrew Porter for the story.]

3 thoughts on “2011 Bulwer-Lytton Contest Winner

  1. Thanks for the mention. Do you like this SF candidate any better? It’s a bit longish, but…

    Commander Sergio Kawakami knelt and studied the Xanthobian biorobot that had attacked him–six of it’s chitinous legs, if that’s what they were, shattered by his energy blaster, while it’s remaining four appendages scrabbled weakly in a vain attempt to convey the rapidly dying, if that’s what biorobots do, creature, which may or may not actually qualify as a “creature” since it had been fabricated in the bio-factories on Altair-6, away from the Earthman and his still-smoking blaster.

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