Wednesday, April 01, 2009

The Bulwer-Lytton Contest--give it a try!

The Bulwer-Lytton Contest

DEADLINE: April 15, 2009

GENRE: Short stories within a 50-60 word limit

DETAILS: Edward Bulwer-Lytton wrote "It was a dark and stormy night..." and this competition seeks the best (as in worst) opening lines in any genre of fiction. The line must be a single sentence as long as you wish, but a limit of 50 - 60 words is recommended.

You may enter as many times as you wish.

PRIZE: "a pittance"

Give it a try. Who knows where it could lead . . .

All the way back in 1996, I entered the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, and my piece was selected for inclusion in the Ol’ Blue Wasn’t Much of a Huntin’ Dog chapter.

I wasn’t really thinking, Oh, I think I’ll write a flash fiction piece for the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest. Back then, I had never even heard of flash fiction. And more importantly, my only writing credit to date had been a letter to the editor of the Vincent Bros. Review, but it wasn’t for lack of trying to get my work published. I tried. And tried. And tried. And then I tried some more.

Then I heard about the Bulwer contest, and I figured, why not. Why not try to get my work published—under the false pretense that I was trying to write something bad. When truly, at the time, I was beginning to think everything I wrote was destined to be bad.

And of course, with having my story placed in the Dark and Stormy Rides Again Anthology of 2006, I had the confirmation I needed . . . I could write badly, and more importantly with little to no effort!

This was my winning entry in 1996 . . .

On that dusty day when the Wild Thing Diner surrendered its access road to the new Route 9 interchange, Gus the cook, and Fritzy the waitress, got it on across the cigarette-scarred top of table 8, while the spoon and fork dials on the grease-splattered wall clock served up the noonday special—and afterwards they toasted to better times, and vowed to squeeze the juice out of life, and keep their smiles sunny-side up, while Ramos, the dishwasher, filled his jittery vein to the brim with a rich Columbian brew.

Geeze! That piece is even worse then I remembered it, but what followed after I entered the Bulwer contest, was a steady stream of additional contest wins and more publication of my work.

But why? Why do I keep getting my work published? Maybe it is because I am a writer—good or bad—who keeps trying. And trying. And trying. And trying some more!

So go ahead . . . TRY! I dare ya :-)