The pen is mightier than the sword.
-- Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton


The pen is mightier than the sword.

Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton

June 2020 Update

Inside much? We've fixed the links to the 2000 through 2007 winner pages and made a few other tweaks for your browsing delight (or disgust, as it were). Perhaps by the next pandemic we'll get all the archives online, but in meantime please enjoy our many ignominies from days of yore. Also, we don't have a precise date yet but plan to announce the 2020 winners in August!  

Since 1982 the Bulwer Lytton Fiction Contest has challenged man, woman, and (very precocious) child to write an atrocious opening sentence to a hypothetical bad novel. We're honored to receive thousands of odious entries from around the world each year.  

2019 Grand Prize Winner

Space Fleet Commander Brad Brad sat in silence, surrounded by a slowly dissipating cloud of smoke, maintaining the same forlorn frown that had been fixed upon his face since he’d accidentally destroyed the phenomenon known as time, thirteen inches ago.  

The winner of the XXXVIth Lytonniad is Maxwell Archer of Mt. Pleasant, Ontario. Max starts university this fall where he plans to emulate none other than Michelle Obama by majoring in sociology. (The Grand Panjandrum approves!) When he's not reading his favorite writer Brandon Sanderson's fantasy novels, Max enjoys slow-pitch baseball where he plays right field (the position for the least competent person in the outfield). We think our humble winner has a brilliant future ahead.


Congratulations, Max! See all the 2019 winners and dishonorable mentions.

Welcome, Noble Bulweriers!

The Best of the Worst

The contest has spawned four books featuring selections from the contest entries. The books are now out of print (such is the state of our country today), but you may be able to secure copies for yourself and your innumerable admirers from the links below. 

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night: The Best(?) from the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest
Son of "It Was a Dark and Stormy Night": More of the Best(?) from the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest
Bride of Dark and Stormy: Yet More of the Best(?) from the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest
Dark and Stormy Rides Again: The Best(?) from the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest

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