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The 2020 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest

For months now, people have been comparing the year 2020 to a badly-written novel, but the concept of “badly written novel” can sink ever lower. The English Department at San Jose State University sponsors the annual Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest for the most confounding opening sentence to "the worst of all possible novels." The competition, now in its 37th year, is named for author Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, a popular producer of purple prose. The 2020 winners have been announced, and the grand prize goes to Lisa Kluber of San Francisco for this opening line:

Her Dear John missive flapped unambiguously in the windy breeze, hanging like a pizza menu on the doorknob of my mind.

The winners and “dishonorable mentions”in the various categories are a hoot as well. Julie Winspear is a winner in the Romance category for whatever this is:

In Gertrude’s experience lovemaking was always bittersweet, or at least it had been until one fateful night when Chaz, the seductive man behind the concession stand blessed her with the salty-sweet bliss reminiscent of both true romance and quality kettle corn.

While there’s plenty to read, you do not want to miss the category titled “vile puns.” See all the jaw-droppingly bad lines at the winner’s page. -via Fark


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