Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest

Occasionally I like to browse the present and past winners of this contest. The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest is an annual contest of bad writing, with the entries consisting of single sentences of some of the most horrible writing...

I don't usually mention my perverse love for reading these entries, but I just had to share a statement made by Michael Quinion, editor of one of my truly favorite websites, World Wide Words. I subscribe to his wonderful newsletter on language and in the July 22 issue, he had this to say about the contest:

I've always been ambivalent about the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest for Bad Writing. He wasn't that awful a writer and doesn't deserve such mockery. Admittedly, he wrote floridly, as did many authors of the nineteenth century, but we don't point the finger of accusation at Dickens, whose pages are often at least as enpurpled. To mock decidedly bad writing, it should be renamed the Dan Brown Da Vinci Code Bad Fiction Contest. Trying to outdo him really would be a challenge.

Heh. I guess I'm not the only one who is still mystified why Dan Brown is so popular.

Oh... and I highly recommend subscribing to the newsletter, especially if you love the English language.

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