This is mainly for Mr H. and I was alerted to it by Helen over at Cast Iron Balcony. To paraphrase, the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest is an ‘international literary parody contest’ honouring the memory of the original dude to coin the phrase “It was a dark and stormy night…” (as well as writing The Last Days of Pompeii).

‘The contest began in 1982 as a quiet campus affair, attracting only three submissions. This response being a thunderous success by academic standards, the contest went public the following year and ever since has annually attracted thousands of entries from all over the world.’

Entrants have to submit BAD opening sentences to imaginary novels, and the winner this year was a pearler:

Detective Bart Lasiter was in his office studying the light from his one small window falling on his super burrito when the door swung open to reveal a woman whose body said you’ve had your last burrito for a while, whose face said angels did exist, and whose eyes said she could make you dig your own grave and lick the shovel clean.
Jim Guigli
Carmichael, CA

…and I did like this one (a runner up) because it blends two of my interests – crime fiction and cats.

Nick Stiletto, a three-inch ash hanging from his generic P&Q-brand cigarette, squinted through the wispy smoke across the nicked linoleum-covered table at the man in the blue suit, wondering why he had gone into private detection when he could have easily inherited his father’s cat-stretching business in Peoria.
Ed Buhrer
Louisa, VA

(Last years winner was printed in the Sydney Morning Herald, and it’s pretty funny too…)