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Dear winners of the 2011 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest:

Congratulations! By joining the ranks of those who have placed in this contest, you have officially become some of the funniest people in the entire world. That is, funniest by the standards of those of us with hobbies like submitting sentences to the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest.

Today I happily pass the crown on to this year's grand prize winner. (The crown is handcrafted from multicolored foil peeled from hundreds of different-flavored yogurt cups. It goes with any outfit.) Her tasteless and shudderingly evocative sentence will bring her global acclaim, and she has earned the right to bask in it. Well done!

All of you will likely hear from the media--journalists are writers too, so they love this contest. Also, you will quickly learn that the world is made up of two kinds of people: those who get the Bulwer-Lytton contest, and those who do not. The former will think you are freaking awesome. The latter will not understand why you're happy the world is picking on your writing, and they'll probably also think you actually wrote and published a novel that begins with your winning sentence. These people often have blogs or are authorized to write articles, in which they will grimly express loathing at the state of modern prose.

Yes, it's sad, and we've set up a charity, hoping to raise money so that with one simple operation, their damaged senses of humor can be fully restored. In the meantime, I recommend you put together a small army who can comment on such posts and defend your name so you don't have to do it all yourself.

Speaking of doing it all yourself, let's wrap this up by raising our glasses to Professor Scott Rice, who has graciously invited humankind to mail him terrible sentences, and has read through them pretty much every day for almost thirty years now. Through his efforts, a whole subset of literary humor has been born, and has made untold millions of people laugh. Thanks, Professor!

Today, winners, your sentences will make the world laugh too. I loved reading your creations--thanks for sending them in!

Molly Ringle
2010 grand prize winner (you know, with Ricardo and Felicity and the gerbil/water bottle analogy)
Yes, I got "award-winning author" put on the cover of an ebook lately because of the BLFC. You can henceforth do the same. All's fair in love and marketing.
No, none of my novels start with the gerbil sentence.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 27th, 2011 04:13 am (UTC)
Those are hilarious - thanks for sharing. I love your congratulatory intro, too.
Jul. 28th, 2011 01:51 am (UTC)
Thanks! I mostly just hope the winners find it and read it. It was likely going to be impossible to track them all down individually and email them. There were some definite LOL moments among them. (Aside from the grand prize winner, I really liked Ali Kawashima's "loud honking noise" entry in Romance, and Lisa Kluber's life-coach Western.)
Aug. 3rd, 2011 02:17 am (UTC)
I like those too, but this is my favorite:

Monroe Mills' innovative new fabric-dyeing technique was a huge improvement over stone-washing: denim apparel was soaked in color and cured in an 800-degree oven, and the company's valued young dye department supervisor was as skilled as they came; yes, no one could say Marilyn was a normal jean baker.
Aug. 4th, 2011 02:56 am (UTC)
Haha--I know; the "vile pun" entries took some dedicated work.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )