Library holds Bulwer-Lytton Bad Fiction Writing Contest

Library holds Bulwer-Lytton Bad Fiction Writing Contest

“It was a dark and stormy night….” Those words from Edward Bulwer-Lytton came to be what is known as the worst opening to any novel. In honor of this terrible opening the Thompson-Nicola Regional District Library System is hosting its own Bulwer-Lytton Bad Fiction Writing Contest.

“The town of Lytton was actually named after Bulwer-Lytton when he was the secretary of state for the colonies,” said Andrée Beauchemin, TNRD reader’s advisor. “He is perhaps best known for that opening sentence of his 1830 novel Paul Clifford, which is the genesis for this contest.”

TNRD Library is putting the call out to you, to see if you can do any worse at penning the worst possible opening sentence to a novel. Since 1982, San Jose State University has sponsored a Bulwer-Lytton Fiction contest and the library system has permission from the founder of that contest to hold its own competition again this year.

See for all things Lytton as well as past and present winners of the San Jose contest. The entries there will give you an idea of what the judges looking for.

The contest is open to any resident of the region aged 13 and over. You can enter as many times as you like. No profanity please, and each entry must only contain a single sentence (60 words maximum).

Submissions can be dropped off at any branch or email, and please include your name, address and phone number. Deadline for entries is 4 p.m. on April 15. Guest judge is Thompson Rivers University English professor George Johnson. The winner will be announced April 30.

TNRD Library System covers 11 municipalities, including Clearwater and Barriere, plus 10 electoral areas, including “A” (Wells Gray Country), “B” (Thompson Headwaters), and “O” (Lower North Thompson).