Bulwer-Lytton is for anyone who can turn out a bad sentence, and I mean a really bad sentence. So, if you can't get anyone to recognize you for your great writing talent, try getting them to recognize you for your awful writing talent. Here are the rules according to their website http://www.bulwer-lytton.com/:
Each entry must consist of a single sentence but you may submit as many entries as you wish. Sentences may be of any length but they strongly recommend that entries not go beyond 50 or 60 words. Entries must be "original" and previously unpublished. Mailed-in entries should be submitted on index cards, the sentence on one side and the entrant's name, address, and phone number on the other.
E-mail entries should be in the body of the message, NOT IN AN ATTACHMENT (and they say it would be really swell if you submitted your entries in Arial 12 point font). One e-mail may contain multiple entries. E-mail address: srice (the at thingy) pacbell (and the dot thingy) net
Entries will be judged by categories, from "general" to detective, western, science fiction, romance, and so on. There will be overall winners as well as category winners. The official deadline is April 15th, but the deadline may be extended as late as early June. The contest accepts submissions every day of the year.
Wild Card Rule: "Resist the temptation to work with puns like "It was a stark and dormy night.""
And as they say at their site, "Finally, in keeping with the gravitas, high seriousness, and general bignitude of the contest, the grand prize winner will receive . . . a pittance." (Plus LOTS of media exposure.) So, send in those entries:
Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest Department of English San Jose State University San Jose, CA 95192-0090,
or If you send you entries electronically, don't do like me and forget to include your name, phone number, and addresses--(both home and e-mail). And they do mention that it is merely for contacting you and not passing on for public consumption). And though it might not seem like it, winning this is actually quite prestigious. Winners usually go on to be interviewed on TV, radio, and in newspapers. So, have fun and good luck in the competition.