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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Lyttle Lytton Contest

The 2008 Lyttle Lytton Contest winners are posted! Once again, this is a shorter version of the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, which challenges entrants to write the worst possible introductory sentence to a novel. Adam Cadre's Lyttle Lytton contest offers the same challenge, but the sentence must be 30 words or less. Here is the winning entry this year:

Because they had not repented, the angel stabbed the unrepentant couple thirteen times, with its sword.

- Graham Swanson

Cadre also cites some examples that were too good to win:

It seemed the stifling summer heat would never end, and it would not, for Bob was in Hell.

It hadn't been a very good week for me: I'd developed a mysterious rash that wouldn't go away, and also existential angst.

It was only fitting that was allowed in the fitting room, the Macy's security guard told Brad.

Cadre explains, "I can imagine all of these lines appearing in different sorts of genuinely good comedic novels. The problem is that I'm laughing with the imaginary authors rather than at them, meaning that they're not right for this contest." Fair enough. The Museum of Bad Art curators use similar criteria. So does New Yorker Cartoon Anti-Caption Contest host Daniel Radosh.

Click here for the rest of the winners. The 2009 contest is already underway!

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