The Bulwar-Lytton Awards, Reworked for Replay Poker

“It was a dark and stormy night” has become the tongue-in-cheek opening for spoof mysteries. Since 1982, San Jose State University in California has run a contest they refer to as the Bulwar-Lytton Awards for opening sentences to novels that should never be published. Their motto is "Wretched Writers Welcome–or WWW.

Shall we play, with poker as the theme for our wretched novels? We’ll look for gritty scenes from poker venues world wide. (Keep 'em clean!) Maybe we’ll get some winners for the actual competition.

Simple Rules:

  • Your effort must consist of a single sentence (but you may post as many individual efforts as you wish).
  • Sentences may be of any length but we strongly recommend they not go beyond 50 or 60 words.
  • Your efforts must be “original” (as it were) and previously unpublished.

I know our Replay Poker community members have amazing gifts in this direction. Here’s my opening sentence sample, which you can easily best with an opening sentence of your very own:

“Poker ace Sabrina Sibilant slowly oozed into the dark and smokey private poker den, bracelets jingling, ringlets a-flutter, eyes hidden beneath a pair of sequined sunglasses, her evening gown clinging to her frame like a silk negligee, barely concealing the pair of illicit aces she had tucked into the waist-band of her Spanx.”

Have fun!


Silence: Six men gathered round the table, the flickering of the candles casting an unearthly glow, distorting the impassive faces into grotesque caricatures and reflecting pools of menace in their eyes, each intent on achieving victory, by fair means or foul…


Oh my–sounds JUST like my initial table in Bust the Staff today, especially the grotesque caricatures and the menace! lol
Well done!

AA in the pocket, my life savings in the pot, this was sure to be my luckiest day ever…


Oh man, I feel the foreshadowing in that last phrase!

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