Think you can write the world’s worst opening sentence in 25 words or fewer? You should enter the free Lyyttle Lytton contest.
Readers can submit their own writing or nominate someone else at this link. You must enter your terrible sentence before April 15th.
The contest was inspired by the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, a famous challenge to write the worst opening to a novel. Many of these winning entries are quite long, so the Lyyttle Lytton contest limits entries to 25-words or fewer. Writer Judy Dean won the 2011 Lyttle Lytton contest with this smoldering sentence: “The red hot sun rose in the cold blue sky.”
Founder Adam Cadre explained why Dean won last year:
First, you’ve got the eyeroll that comes from the ham-handed contrast between ‘red hot’ and ‘cold blue’ — and then a second later you realize that ‘red hot’ actually means a temperature of about 1000 kelvin, and is therefore hilariously inadequate as a descriptor of the sun, a gigantic nuclear furnace with a core temperature of roughly ten million kelvin. Intentionally writing a sentence that seems unintentionally bad is hard; writing one that suggests an author going for hyperbole and accidentally winding up with woeful understatement is masterful.