For those writers well acquainted with the pain of reading a tortured sentence that’s made it into print while your beautiful prose languishes in a desk drawer . . . here is your chance to shine, and maybe even land an award. The annual Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest is accepting submission until April 15!
The rules to the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest are childishly simple:
Each entry must consist of a single sentence but you may submit as many entries as you wish. (One fellow once submitted over 3,000 entries.)
Sentences may be of any length BUT WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND THAT ENTRIES NOT GO BEYOND 50 OR 60 WORDS, and entries must be “original” (as it were) and previously unpublished.
Surface mail entries should be submitted on index cards, the sentence on one side and the entrant’s name, address, and phone number on the other.
E-mail entries should be in the body of the message, NOT IN AN ATTACHMENT (and it would be really swell if you submitted your entries in Arial 12 font). One e-mail may contain multiple entries.
Entries will be judged by categories, from “general” to detective, western, science fiction, romance, and so on. There will be overall winners as well as category winners.
The official deadline is April 15 (a date that Americans associate with painful submissions and making up bad stories). The actual deadline may be as late as early June.
The contest accepts submissions every day of the livelong year.
Wild Card Rule: Resist the temptation to work with puns like “It was a stark anddormy night.”
Finally, in keeping with the gravitas, high seriousness, and general bignitude of the contest, the grand prize winner will receive . . . a pittance.
Send your entries to:
Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest
Department of English
San Jose State University
San Jose, CA 95192-0090,