“It was a dark and stormy night…” It’s time for the Best Worst Sentence Contest, a whimsical literary competition that challenges entrants to compose the opening sentence to the worst of all possible novels. Since 1982 the English Department at San Jose State University has sponsored the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest. The contest was the brainchild of Professor Scott Rice, whose graduate school excavations unearthed the source of the line “It was a dark and stormy night.”
Write a horrible sentence and submit it to the contest!
- Each entry must consist of a single sentence. One entry per person.
- School appropriate.
- Sentences may be of any length but we strongly recommend that entries not go beyond 50 or 60 words.
- Sentences will be anonymous during voting.
- Check out our blog archives for more examples and last year’s bracket voting.
- Sentence Submission Deadline: November 20
- Bracket Voting Begins November 26
“It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents — except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.” — Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, Paul Clifford (1830)