The 2014 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest Winners

The 2014 winner has been crowned in the annual Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, in which writers compete to construct the worst opening line for a novel. The winner is Elizabeth (Betsy) Dorfman of Bainbridge Island, Washington, for this gem:

When the dead moose floated into view the famished crew cheered – this had to mean land! – but Captain Walgrove, flinty-eyed and clear headed thanks to the starvation cleanse in progress, gave fateful orders to remain on the original course and await the appearance of a second and confirming moose.

Dorfman received “about $150” for her prize. The contest site has winning entries in various categories such as children’s literature, fantasy, and crime, as well as runners-ups that are all hilariously bad. The contest takes its name from Victorian novelist George Edward Bulwer-Lytton, who started a novel in 1830 with “It was a dark and stormy night,” a sentence that has come to be shorthand for a hack novel. -via Metafilter

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