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Thread: Announcing the 1st Annual OptiBoard Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest!

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    Forever Liz's Dad Steve Machol's Avatar
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    Announcing the 1st Annual OptiBoard Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest!

    The OptiBoard Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest


    "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."

    So begins the opening lines from what is generally considered one of the worst novels ever written - “Paul Clifford” by Lord Edward George Earle Bulwer-Lytton (1803-1873.) To commemorate this questionable contribution to the world of literature, San Jose State University sponsors the annual Bulwer-Lytton Fiction contest. The purpose of this contest is “to compose the worst possible opening sentence to a novel which hasn’t been written yet.”

    It is the firm belief of the OptiBoard Staff that Members of OptiBoard are capable of producing prose that rivals the absolute worst that the Bulwer-Lytton Contest has produced. Hence, we are announcing:

    The 1st Annual OptiBoard Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest!

    The contest rules are as follows:

    1. Each member will be allowed up to three entries. Any entry edited after the original submission (these will show the ‘Edited by…’ line) are ineligible, so make sure your entry is exactly like you want it when posting.

    2. The entry must be one sentence of up to 70 words – no more. Entries longer than this will be ineligible.

    3. Each entry will be in the form of an opening sentence to a novel and must make some mention of vision, eyewear or ophthalmic optics.

    4. The entries must be posted as replies in the OptiBoard Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest Entries thread. If you post it as a new thread by accident, tell one of the Moderators who can then move it for you.

    5. The deadline for all entries is 12:00pm Friday June 28, 2002.

    6. The entries will be judged by your peers on OptiBoard. Each OptiBoard member will be able to vote for the winners in each of the following categories:

    - Grand Prize - The Best Worst Overall Sentence
    - The Most Mind-Numbing Sentence
    - The Worst Pun
    - The Sentence from the Most Mentally Disturbed OptiBoarder

    7. After the close of new entries, the voting phase will start. Votes will be accepted for two weeks after the close of the contest. Please cast your votes for the favorties in each of the above categories and email this to smachol@optiboard.com. Only one set of votes per person please.

    8. There will be a separate winner in each category. If one entry wins the most votes in more than one category, then the OptiBoard Staff will choose which category this entry will win, and the runner-up of the other category will become the winner of that category.
    9. There will be prizes for the winners of each category. (Prizes to be announced later.)


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    Forever Liz's Dad Steve Machol's Avatar
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    You can check out previous winners of the original contest at this site:

    Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest

    Here are some previous winners:

    “A small assortment of astonishingly loud brass instruments raced each other lustily to the respective ends of their distinct musical choices as the gates flew open to release a torrent of tawny fur comprised of angry yapping bullets that nipped at Desdemona's ankles, causing her to reflect once again (as blood filled her sneakers and she fought her way through the panicking crowd) that the annual Running of the Pomeranians in Liechtenstein was a stupid idea.”
    --Sera Kirk,Vancouver, British Columbia (2001 winner)

    “The heather-encrusted Headlands, veiled in fog as thick as smoke in a crowded pub, hunched precariously over the moors, their rocky elbows slipping off land's end, their bulbous, craggy noses thrust into the thick foam of the North Sea like bearded old men falling asleep in their pints.”
    --Gary Dahl, Los Gatos, CA (2000 Winner)

    “Through the gathering gloom of a late-October afternoon, along the greasy, cracked paving-stones slick from the sputum of the sky, Stanley Ruddlethorp wearily trudged up the hill from the cemetery where his wife, sister, brother, and three children were all buried, and forced open the door of his decaying house, blissfully unaware of the catastrophe that was soon to devastate his life.”
    --Dr. David Chuter, Kingston, Surrey, ENGLAND (1999 Winner)

    “The corpse exuded the irresistible aroma of a piquant, ancho chili glaze enticingly enhanced with a hint of fresh cilantro as it lay before him, coyly garnished by a garland of variegated radicchio and caramelized onions, and impishly drizzled with glistening rivulets of vintage balsamic vinegar and roasted garlic oil; yes, as he surveyed the body of the slain food critic slumped on the floor of the cozy, but nearly empty, bistro, a quick inventory of his senses told corpulent Inspector Moreau that this was, in all likelihood, an inside job.”
    --Bob Perry, Milton, Massachusetts (1998 Winner)


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    OptiBoard has been proudly serving the Eyecare Community since 1995.

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