The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest 2009

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Edward Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron LyttonImage via Wikipedia

The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest is an international literary parody contest in memory of novelist Edward George Earl Bulwer-Lytton (1803-1873) who is famous for the immortal opening line:
It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents–except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.”

This year the winner is David McKenzie of Federal Way, Washington who wrote:
“Folks say that if you listen real close at the height of the full moon, when the wind is blowin’ off Nantucket Sound from the nor’ east and the dogs are howlin’ for no earthly reason, you can hear the awful screams of the crew of the “Ellie May,” a sturdy whaler Captained by John McTavish; for it was on just such a night when the rum was flowin’ and, Davey Jones be damned, big John brought his men on deck for the first of several screaming contests.” It’s not the first time Mr McKenzie has entered the contest, he’s previously had wins in the Western and Children’s Literature categories. Congratulations David McKenzie!

As I often find with ‘literary’ awards and contests, I didn’t quite agree with the judges – here’s my favourite which earned a dishonourble mention in the Detective category:
Detective Pierson mentally reviewed the group of suspects milling around the recent crime scene – two young siblings eating gingerbread, a young girl in a red hoodie, a beautiful girl with narcolepsy, and seven little people with the profession of miners – then gave his statement of “it’s a grim tale” to the press. ~ Shannon Gray, Wichita, Kansas. Shades of Jasper Fforde or Winmalee High School plays (Into the Woods) there I think!

But read the Bulwer-Lytton winners, runners up and dishonourable mentions for yourseles and see if you agree or not. There’s a fair few hum-dingers and worth a giggle.

Read last year’s Bulwer-Lytton post

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