At last, it can be told.

As the proud runner-up of the 2015 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, I humbly repost the submission chosen by the judges as the (second) most awful for this, grandest of years:

“We can’t let the dastards win,” said Piper Bogdonovich to her fellow gardener, Mr. Sidney Beckworth Hammerstein, as she clenched her gloved hands into gnarly, furred fists, “because if I have to endure another year after which my Royal Puffin buttercups come in second place to Marsha Engelstrom’s Fainting Dove Tear Drop peonies, I will find a machine gun and leave my humanity card in the Volvo.”


Heh. I am deeply honored.

To read the winning entry, as well as the other astoundingly bad submissions selected, go to

Here are the entries I sent deemed not-quite-bad-enough to win:


“I want to drink your blood by the quarter ounce,” the vampire announced slowly at his victim, tied to the railroad tracks of East Lansing as wolves and the occasional rooster brayed profoundly.


(Children’s Literature)

“Your prince will be the most charming and handsome man you have ever met,” Her Royal Highness, Sincerity of Apple Snort, told her three daughters, “but you must make sure he has never paid taxes, nor done even the barest of kindnesses for any despicable commoners before he lays so much as a palm print across any of your bosoms.”


(Medical Thriller)

Dr. Jonas Halsterson, a stunning brain surgeon of unsurprising talent, knew that although he had begun his morning, and, thus, his first case, without his customary hand-sprinkled crueler and artificially flavored espresso concoction, he would persevere:  throughout his twelve-and-a-half thrilling years in practice, he had never failed to leave a patient alive.


(Science Fiction)

As their boots touched down on the fruitless, xenoforeign soil of the moon of Zanathron, the first planet Earth dwellers had found to sustain humanoid species, Captain Bram L. Chillingsworth was proud, but still focused enough to ask, “Ignore the majestic majesty, Houston, we have only one question that requires resolution—can we colonize this pebble, or what?”


(Detective Fiction)

Having promised his new client, Ms. Forsythia Crabapple, that he would recover her missing jewel encrusted engagement ring by sunset on Friday at the latest, Eli Porter “One-Eyed” Jackson put his prized bloodhound on the case, something he knew instinctively to do, because he was a private investigator.


(Historical Romance)

Just how James Cuthbert Cartwright IV, the son of a notary married to a textile heiress whose money came from goat farming, planned to get out of this mess he didn’t know–but he was certain his mistress, his other mistress, his concubine, her cousin or her cousin’s best friend would be instrumental in getting him out of it (or back into it once more.)


(Fantasy, Wanna-Be J.K. Rowling)

The Transnational Witches Conference had been rescheduled and relocated three times, forcing Phaedra Frogeater to rebook her flight thrice, get her broom polished more than once, make an extra bottle of potion as the freshest had expired, and buy new ear plugs because the conference had eventually wound up in the same hotel as the annual Collaborative Committee for Wizards Who Are Also Warlocks:  in short, she was irritated enough to consume an entire pond’s worth of warty amphibians.



Crazy Eye Slim would shoot fervently at anything–rattlesnakes, cacti, even the occasional bank robber; what he wouldn’t do was eat cornbread off a napkin, drink coffee in any cup less debonair than kiln fired porcelain, or let the shine wear off his armadillo skin boots even once (for it would be ungentlemanly.)


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