It was a dark and stormy post—
July 1, 2010

It's award season and the results are finally in!No, no, not those awards, which remind us that the people who create children's books are artists as well as craftspeople.No, I'm talking about the Bulwer-Lytton Awards for worst opening sentence. It is Edward George Bulwer-Lytton whose 1830 masterpiece Paul Clifford begins:

It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents—except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.

In his honor, each year hundreds of writers compete to write similarly overwrought and overextended sentences, and they are always a riot. Mere badness isn't enough; these entries are all hilariously awful. Check them out at the link above!