Screaming Whalers Tale Wins Bulwer-Lytton Contest

Posted on July 2, 2009

David McKenzie has won the grand prize in San Jose State University's annual Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest. The international literary parody competition honors Victorian novelist Edward George Earl Bulwer-Lytton (1803-1873). Entrants are challenged to submit bad opening sentences to imaginary novels. Here is David McKenzie's bad opening to a fictional novel that won him the grand prize.

"Folks say that if you listen real close at the height of the full moon, when the wind is blowin' off Nantucket Sound from the nor' east and the dogs are howlin' for no earthly reason, you can hear the awful screams of the crew of the "Ellie May," a sturdy whaler Captained by John McTavish; for it was on just such a night when the rum was flowin' and, Davey Jones be damned, big John brought his men on deck for the first of several screaming contests."
You can read bad openings from the runner ups on the official Bulwer-Lytton website.


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