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Following on from last year’s success, your favourite competition is back. QuaranCon2022 returns with the Best Worst Lines, our very own Bulwer-Lytton contest. Edward George Bulwer-Lytton was a Victorian novelist and the man who penned Snoopy’s favourite opening line, “It was a dark and stormy night …”


Sure, you could enter the real Bulwer-Lytton competition (entries due by June 30), but they don’t have the Golden Turd! Imagine your name engraved on that beautiful trophy.


And so, the rules:


  1. Entries should be a single sentence, written in English (because the judges won’t get your Dostoevsky or Borges pastiche).

  2. The sentence may be up to 200 words long (note: that’s a maximum of 200 words; shorter sentences are welcome and encouraged!).

  3. Entries should be the first line of an unpublished work of speculative fiction, preferably made up on the spot. (Our condolences if you already have a novel attached to your best worst line.)

  4. Winning openers will be those that make us laugh, groan, or both, the most.

  5. No erotica, but we don’t mind risqué or breasts bouncing boobily. We love swearing.


And now, some tips:


  1. Poor grammar does not a winning best worst line make! We’re looking for absurdity, not garbled English. 

  2. For examples and inspiration, check out the Bulwer-Lytton winners here:


And finally, how to enter:


  1. Send enter your submissions via the following form:

  2. Entries will only be accepted between 1st February 2022 and 1st April 202.


The top openers will be read live during the con, culminating in kudos for our conquering wordsmith. If you’re very lucky/good/bad/unlucky, we might just bring back the goats. If you don’t know what we mean, you haven’t lived!


By entering this contest, you consent to your work being displayed on the QuaranCon2022 website. Entrants will retain all rights to their work. If you have any questions, please email or

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