Portrait of Edward George Bulwer-Lytton by Henry William Pickersgill

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


Welcome, Noble Bulweriers!

Since 1982 the Bulwer Lytton Fiction Contest has challenged participants to write an atrocious opening sentence to the worst novel never written. The whimsical literary competition honors Sir Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, whose 1830 novel Paul Clifford begins with “It was a dark and stormy night.”


The contest receives thousands of entries each year, and every summer our Panel of Undistinguished Judges convenes to select winners and dishonorable mentions for such categories as Purpose Prose and Vile Puns. 

Learn more about the contest.

2021 Grand Prize Winner

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"A lecherous sunrise flaunted itself over a flatulent sea, ripping the obsidian bodice of night asunder with its rapacious fingers of gold, thus exposing her dusky bosom to the dawn’s ogling stare."

Chosen from over 4500 entries, the winner of the XXXIXth Lyttoniad is Stu Duval of Auckland, New Zealand.

A true renaissance man, Stu has been a graphic artist, radio broadcaster, cartoonist, motivational speaker, art teacher, preacher, mural painter, and creative director on his way to becoming a beloved children's author today. He may have 20 books under his belt, but surely the BLFC Grand Prize is the feather in his cap.
Congratulations, Stu!

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.