“It was a dark and stormy night…”

The winners of the annual Bulwer-Lytton Fiction contest have been announced!



“What the heck is that?” You may ask yourself. The contest is a fiction parody contest inspired by novelist Edward George Earl Bulwer-Lytton (1803-1873). Bulwer-Lytton was famous for The Last Days of Pompeii and the opening line of Paul Clifford: “It was a dark and stormy night…”

Writers are challenged to produce extremely cheesy, bad opening sentences, with or without puns, for fictional novels. Winners are named for every genre. My personal favorite was from David G. La France in Burbank, CA, who received a miscellaneous “Dishonorable Mention” for this genius opener:

It was a dark and stormy night, dark like the inside of a spare tire in the trunk of a 1957 Chevy sitting up on blocks in a tumbledown barn somewhere in rural Ohio, and stormy like the romance of Pete Kimball and his girlfriend Betty Lou, who used to make out in the back seat of that Chevy when it was new and shiny and the Dell-Vikings were singing “Come Go With Me”; but this is not their story, it just starts out dark and stormy like that.

I have to participate next year.

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