It was a dark and stormy night ...

Monday 2 November 2020

Since 1982, the English department at San Jose State University has sponsored a competition for literary types - but with a twist. Rather than promote the best in writing, the Bulwer Lytton Fiction Contest encourages people to enter the worst possible first line of a hypothetical novel. The results are appalling, and not to be missed. Mixed metaphors tango with overused expressions while nestling happily in a soup of sloppy syntax. 

Lisa Kluber of San Francisco, California won the 2020 competition with this alarming opener: 'Her Dear John missive flapped unambiguously in the windy breeze, hanging like a pizza menu on the doorknob of my mind.'

The competition was created in honour of nineteenth-century writer Edward Bulwer Lytton, one of many who have used the infamous first line 'It was a dark and stormy night' to start a story. Follow the link below to enjoy the best of the worst. 

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