Sue Fondrie, associate professor of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, is the winner of the 2011 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest. The annual competition challenges entrants to compose bad opening sentences to imaginary novels.
Here’s Professor Fondrie’s winning entry:
Cheryl’s mind turned like the vanes of a wind-powered turbine, chopping her sparrow-like thoughts into bloody pieces that fell onto a growing pile of forgotten memories.
Brilliant, for sure—though I’m partial to the runner-up in the “Purple Prose” category:
The Los Angeles morning was heavy with smog, the word being a portmanteau of smoke and fog, though in LA the pollutants are typically vehicular emissions as opposed to actual smoke and fog, unlike 19th-century London where the smoke from countless small coal fires often combined with fog off the Thames to produce true smog, though back then they were not clever enough to call it that.
Complete results can be found here.