Hello to all our dear THF friends!
As we have been anticipating you for the last few weeks, this blog is getting close to a huge milestone. We have almost, but not quite, hit 20,000 followers. The number deserves a celebration, of course, and we’ve thought that the best way of doing it is by having a writing contest!
This time the contest will be inspired by the Bulwer-Lytton Prize, which is awarded every year to celebrate (and to mock) bad writing. Inspired by novelist and playwright Edward George Bulwer-Lytton’s famous "It was a dark and stormy night" opener, the contest asks writers to submit an opening sentence for the “worst of all possible novels”.
We have compiled a list of story openers that can be considered cheesy, overused, or just plain terrible. What this contest is about is taking one of those opening clichés and prove that you can turn it into something good. An original, funny, engaging story!
Some of them will be harder to work with, but all of them have the potential to grow into a good story. You must use one of the sentences, and only one of them, as an opening to your own fic, and you can have Tom or any of his characters as the protagonist. Most of the openers will work better with humor or parody fics, and we know everybody enjoys a good laugh, so this may be an opportunity to write your most outrageous and hilarious story. Of course, if you can make it work in a serious or angsty story, that’s also great!
You must use the following header in your submission:
NUMBER OF THE OPENING YOU’RE USING:
We’re trying to keep all the entries within a reasonable size, so minimum length is 500 words, and maximum is 3000 words. It can be a one-shot or the first chapter of a multi-part story, if you feel like continuing it after the contest.
To keep a fair playing field, all entries will be anonymous until the end of the event, and the stories will be posted with the name of the author edited out. The story that you submit must be new, meaning that it mustn’t have been published previously on Tumblr, Ao3, Fanfiction.net or any other online site; this is to ensure that a particular submission won’t be traceable back to its author. At the conclusion of the contest, we will announce the author of each entry, and update the writer’s name in the post and the THF directory. Once the contest is finished, the story can be posted wherever the author chooses, of course.
You can publicize the contest on your personal Tumblr, post links to it on your blog and announce that you’ve participated in the event, but you can’t disclose which one of the submissions is yours.
To avoid giving clues about the author of each story, on this occasion you can’t include pictures or graphics in your submission for the contest (sorry!).
Everybody can participate, old and new THFers alike. If you like reading fanfiction stories but you’ve never written or submitted one, this could be a great chance to break the ice and let the world know the amazing tales that dwell inside your mind! We also encourage those participating to read other entries and cast their vote on their favorites.
Every ‘like’ from one of our readers will count as one vote (if a reader likes and reblogs it generates two notes on the post, but it still counts as only one vote). When the voting period ends, the story with most ‘likes’ will be the winner, and there will also be two runner-ups.
The prizes will be:
- Winner: A one-shot of 3000 words maximum, written by one of the THF admins, starring Tom or any of his characters, and using a prompt sent by you. Also, a special promo post of your blog and your fanfiction.
- Runner-ups: A drabble of 1000 words, written by one of the THF admins, starring Tom or any of his characters, and using a prompt sent by you.
Here is the list of openings that you can use (remember, choose only one of them):
1. “It was a dark and stormy night.” (of course, we couldn’t have this contest without this classic line!)
2. “She had curves in all the right places.”
3. “The [adjective] [adjective] sun rose in the [adjective] [adjective] sky, shedding its [adjective] light across the [adjective] [adjective] [adjective] room.”
4. “She wasn’t like other girls. She wasn’t just special. She was The Chosen One.”
5. “She saw her walk along the hall. Her sworn enemy, the mean-spirited most popular girl in the class.”
6. “When she/he got out of bed that morning, she/he had no idea that the events of the next twenty-four hours would change her/his life.”
7. “Of all the bars in all the towns in all the countries in the world, he/she had to walk into mine…”
8. “BEEEP BEEP RIIIING RIIIING, the alarm clock sounded, waking me up. I groaned and buried my head deeper into the pillow.”
9. “Once upon a time, in a land far, far away…”
10. “She had eyes the color of a summer sky and long blonde hair that fell in luscious ringlets past her shoulders. Her petite nose was the perfect size for her heart-shaped face.”
11. “Welcome to my story. If you’re reading this, you might be wondering who I am.”
Submissions for the contest will be open for two weeks, which means that all stories must be in our inbox on
October 18, at 11:59pm ESTOctober 28th at 11:59pm.
Voting will end on
October 30, at 09:59pm ESTNovember 10, at 5:59pm EST. (Edited 10/10/14)
If you have any issues or questions about the rules of the contest, or your submission, please send us a message and we’ll try to clarify it as soon as possible.
On your marks… Ready! Set! Go! And, above all, have fun!
- THF Admin Team
PS - We may extend the deadline if two weeks isn’t long enough. Let us know! :-) Like/Reblog/Send us asks, help us get to 20,000, and talk to us and let us know that you’re excited about this. We have more plans on the horizon!
“Youth is wasted on the immortal.”