“Every day of the livelong year” you can submit entries to the annual Bulwer Lytton Contest run by San Jose State University. The contest is named in honor of Lytton who, arguably, wrote the worst Victorian Era novel ever, “Paul Clifford,” which began with the infamous opening, “It was a dark and stormy night.” The official deadline is April 15; the unofficial deadline is June 30, so it’s a casual contest with winners you just have to read. Each entry must consist of just one sentence and should be about 40-60 words. I like to challenge myself to participate each year. I’ve never won or even had the distinction of being acknowledged, but it’s fun to strive to write the quintessential bad sentence. Anyway, it is fun for me.
Here are my two entries for this year:
It was twilight, day and night arguing, jostling for superiority, greys vying with blues, as if a neurotic artist tasked with the work of filling his canvas with crazy color were rushing toward deadline breathless with effort, when Lana stood at the edge of the cliff and pondered the purpose of life.
Suddenly it was crystal clear to him, as clear as the icicles that hung from the roof of the bus stop; he was being followed, followed from the highly polished front door of his brownstone, and before that from the dismal grey-tiled airport terminal, and before that from the red-eye flight from Las Vegas, and before that from Loretta’s cheap motel room where he had found Loretta’s note but not Loretta.
Writing is fun!