Major Writing Awards Announced

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Ralph
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Major Writing Awards Announced

Post by Ralph » Thu Jul 28, 2005 8:19 pm

Best of worst writing is recognized
Prize for comparing breasts to carburetors

SAN FRANCISCO, California (AP) -- A man who compared a woman's anatomy to a carburetor won an annual contest that celebrates the worst writing in the English language.

Dan McKay, a computer analyst at Microsoft Great Plains in Fargo, North Dakota, bested thousands of entrants from North Pole, Alaska to Manchester, England to triumph Wednesday in San Jose State University's annual Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest.

"As he stared at her ample bosom, he daydreamed of the dual Stromberg carburetors in his vintage Triumph Spitfire," he wrote, comparing a woman's breasts to "small knurled caps of the oil dampeners."

The competition highlights literary achievements of the most dubious sort -- terrifyingly bad sentences that take their inspiration from minor writer Edward George Earl Bulwer-Lytton, whose 1830 novel "Paul Clifford" began, "It was a dark and stormy night."

"We want writers with a little talent, but no taste," San Jose State English Professor Scott Rice said. "And Dan's entry was just ludicrous."

McKay was is in China and could not be reached to comment about his status as a world-renowned wretched writer. He will receive $250.
Dishonorable mention

Rice said the challenge began as a worst paragraph contest, but judges soon realized no one should have to wade through so much putrid prose -- such as this zinger, which took a dishonorable mention.

"The rising sun crawled over the ridge and slithered across the hot barren terrain into every nook and cranny like grease on a Denny's grill in the morning rush, but only until eleven o'clock when they switch to the lunch menu," wrote Lester Guyse, a retired fraud investigator in Portland, Oregon.

"That was the least favorite of the five I entered, but you win any way you can," Guyse said.

Ken Aclin, of Shreveport, Louisiana, won the Grand Panjandrum's Award for his shocking similes and abusive use of adjectives. He wrote that India "hangs like a wet washcloth from the towel rack of Asia."

"I just saw that washcloth hanging in the shower and it looked like India," he said. "I'll be doggone."
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Post by Corlyss_D » Thu Jul 28, 2005 11:07 pm

Any fans of Mary Ann Madden's contest in the back of New York Magazine (not New Yorker)?

For all the years I subscribed to NYM, that was always the dessert.
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Ralph
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Post by Ralph » Fri Jul 29, 2005 5:54 am

Corlyss_D wrote:Any fans of Mary Ann Madden's contest in the back of New York Magazine (not New Yorker)?

For all the years I subscribed to NYM, that was always the dessert.
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You no longer read New York Magazine? I'm shocked.
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Albert Einstein

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Post by Corlyss_D » Fri Jul 29, 2005 10:34 am

Ralph wrote:You no longer read New York Magazine? I'm shocked.
Yeah, it was a long love affair, but when Alan Rich left for California, a place I had little interest in, and the political reporting grew more strident and less insightful, I quit. The last time I looked on the net, the PB copies of Madden's marvelous compilation Maybe He's Dead!, named for the winning entry of the first contest, were running something like $30. It was a keeper for sure. I used to copy pages from it and post them on a bulletin board I kept in my office where - curiously - anyone could post anything provocative to spark discussions or laughter. (Sounds like here, no? 8) )
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Ralph
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Post by Ralph » Fri Jul 29, 2005 10:49 am

Corlyss,

Surely you are a fan of The Darwin Awards.
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"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

Albert Einstein

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Post by Corlyss_D » Fri Jul 29, 2005 10:51 am

Ralph wrote:Corlyss,

Surely you are a fan of The Darwin Awards.
Yes, of course! Even Ruthlyss likes those!
Corlyss
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Ralph
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Post by Ralph » Fri Jul 29, 2005 10:53 am

Corlyss_D wrote:
Ralph wrote:Corlyss,

Surely you are a fan of The Darwin Awards.
Yes, of course! Even Ruthlyss likes those!
*****

What's a cyber-day without us finding at least some common ground. :)
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"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

Albert Einstein

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Post by Haydnseek » Fri Jul 29, 2005 2:12 pm

Poor Bulwer-Lytton. He apparently wrote some good stuff too. His verse drama "Richelieu" was once very popular and is reputed to be rather good. It contains his other most often quoted words:

True,—THIS!
Beneath the rule of men entirely great
The pen is mightier than the sword. Behold
The arch-enchanter's wand!—itself a nothing!—
But taking sorcery from the master-hand
To paralyse the Cæsars—and to strike
The loud earth breathless!—Take away the sword—
States can be saved without it!
"The law isn't justice. It's a very imperfect mechanism. If you press exactly the right buttons and are also lucky, justice may show up in the answer. A mechanism is all the law was ever intended to be." - Raymond Chandler

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