Monday, July 26, 2004

Bad Writing Winner

Phil at Brandywine Books has a post pointing out the winner of this year's Bulwer-Lytton contest for bad writing run by the English Department at San Jose State University .

The contest is named after19th century writer Edward Bulwer-Lytton, who opened his 1830 novel, "Paul Clifford", with this sentence: ""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."

The contest asks participants to submit a single terrible sentence and judges then pick the best of the worst.

This year's winner is a 42-year-old softeware developer named Dave Zobel.

This garbled prose nabbed him the grand prize.

""She resolved to end the love affair with Ramon tonight ... summarily, like Martha Stewart ripping the sand vein out of a shrimp's tail ... though the term 'love affair' now struck her as a ridiculous euphemism ... not unlike 'sand vein,' which is after all an intestine, not a vein ... and that tarry substance inside certainly isn't sand ... and that brought her back to Ramon."

If you want to enter, the deadline is in mid-April, so start cranking out those stinkers!

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