To inject some fun into this year’s QuaranCon, we’ve decided to hold a competition for the worst opening lines, much like our very own Bulwer-Lytton contest. Edward George Bulwer-Lytton was a Victorian novelist and the man who penned Snoopy’s favorite opening line, “It was a dark and stormy night …”


Sure, you could enter the real Bulwer-Lytton competition (entries due by June 30), but before you do, share your best worst lines with us! Think of QuaranCon as your training ground for the big time.


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 Entries should be the first line of an unpublished work of speculative fiction, preferably made up on the spot.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. This is a family-friendly con.


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 2020 Bulwer-Lytton winners here: https://www.bulwer-lytton.com/2020.

And finally, how to enter:


  1. Send enter your submissions via the following form https://forms.gle/B4j4hDEZYxj2Gncf7

  2. Entries will only be accepted between 1st February 2021 and 1st April 2021.


The top openers will be read live during the con, culminating in kudos for our conquering wordsmith. Absurd prizes may include such things as a fabulous, engraved turd trophy, and bragging rights.


By entering this contest, you consent to your work being displayed on the QuaranCon2021 website. Entrants will retain all rights to their work. If you have any questions, please email info.quarancon2020@gmail.com or pam@pslivingstone.com.