I love reading the entries in the annual Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, where entrants try to write the worst possible first line of an imaginary novel, and the 2009 winners were announced today. But I noticed that this year, no prize was given in the Children's Literature category, which seems a great loss, given past winners like these:
Hence I challenge all my blog readers -- writers, agents, editors, librarians, and critics alike -- to submit the worst possible opening sentence for an imaginary children's or YA novel in the comments here. We'll call this the Thomas Bowdler Fiction Contest, after that noble guardian of children's gentle sensibilities, and in keeping with Mr. Bowdler's delicate nerves, please try to make all entries rated PG-13 at most. Some other guidelines (after the BLFC's):
Jack planted the magic beans and in one night a giant beanstalk grew all the way from the earth up to the clouds--which sounds like a lie, but it can be done with genetic engineering, and although a few people are against eating gene-engineered foods like those beans it's a high-paying career to think about for when you grow up. (Frances Trimble, 2004)Danny, the little Grizzly cub, frolicked in the tall grass on this sunny Spring morning, his mother keeping a watchful eye as she chewed on a piece of a hiker they had encountered the day before. (Dave McKenzie, 2007)
- Each entry must consist of a single sentence. However, that sentence can be as long as you have space in the comment box (though beware of diminishing returns).
- You can submit up to three times.
- Please label each entry (C) for children's, (YA) for young adult, or (F) for Fantasy so it can be judged according to the proper standards.
- All entries must be original to their creators and will remain the copyright of their creators.
- Entries will be accepted until midnight Friday, July 17.
- The Celebrity Guest Judges have yet to be determined/invited, since I just conceived of this contest in the last hour; but their decisions will be final.
- In case this needs saying: The goal is hilarity through badness, not just plain badness. Identifying and puncturing cliches of both subject and language is strongly encouraged.