And apropos of atrocious writing, this week Bulwer-Lytton.com announced the winners of the annual Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest. The contest, held by San Jose State University in California, awards $250 to the person who can "compose the opening sentence to the worst of all possible novels". Just the most deliberately bad and purple thing anyone can come up with. This year's pretty astonishing winner comes from Molly Ringle of Seattle, WA:
For the first month of Ricardo and Felicity's affair, they greeted one another at every stolen rendezvous with a kiss--a lengthy, ravenous kiss, Ricardo lapping and sucking at Felicity's mouth as if she were a giant cage-mounted water bottle and he were the world's thirstiest gerbil.
The award is named for Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton, the novelist who first wrote the sentence "It was a dark and stormy night" (it was the opening sentence of his 1830 novel Paul Clifford), but also coined some surprisingly enduring phrases like "the pen is mightier than the sword", "the great unwashed", and the "in pursuit of the almighty dollar".