Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest: The Worst Sentence of 2012

Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest: The Worst Sentence of 2012

Via Media Bistro:

Cathy Bryant of Manchester, England is the big winner, crafting the worst sentence of the year according to the The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest. This dubious honor is part of an annual bad writing competition that began thirty years ago at San Jose State University. It's named after Victorian novelist Edward George Earle Bulwer-Lytton, an author famous for writing the opening line: “It was a dark and stormy night.”

And here's the champion sentence:

As he told her that he loved her she gazed into his eyes, wondering, as she noted the infestation of eyelash mites, the tiny deodicids burrowing into his follicles to eat the greasy sebum therein, each female laying up to 25 eggs in a single follicle, causing inflammation, whether the eyes are truly the windows of the soul; and, if so, his soul needed regrouting.

As you can tell, it seems like the "worst" qualifies as most clunky and disgusting while still maintaining proper grammar. There are winners in nearly every genre of fiction; you can check them all out here here.

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Dino Parenti's picture
Dino Parenti from Los Angeles is reading Everything He Gets His Hands On August 13, 2012 - 7:05pm

To deliberately craft something that wonderfully awful may be the hardest thing to do in writing. My hat's off to Cathy.

DWoods's picture
DWoods from Melbourne is reading Rabbit Redux August 14, 2012 - 3:11am

By far my favourite: They still talk about that fateful afternoon in Abilene, when Dancing Dan DuPre moonwalked through the doors of Fat Suzy’s saloon, made a passable reverse-turn, pirouetted twice followed by a double box-step, somersaulted onto the bar, drew his twin silver-plated Colt-45s and put twelve bullets through the eyes of the McLuskey sextuplets, on account of them varmints burning down his ranch and lynching his prize steer. — Ted Downes, Cardiff, U.K.