We have a winner! Congrats to Don Sutton, the winner of the first ever *Writing Bad* competition! (See the Comments section below for the other 2 entries in full. They’re good too.)
I enlisted three writing professors (who also like fun stuff) to judge the entries without any names attached, so it was all as above-board as a contest can get this side of PriceWaterhouseCoopers!
Thanks to all of you who submitted entries! I hope you will join us again for the next installment. In the meantime, here is the winning entry of *Writing Bad* #1: The Clam Before the Storm:
Passage writers were required to work with: “Back then, it was illegal to burn someone else’s barn down, even if you were trying to disintegrate your mother.”
“Dull, Liquid Eyes” — By Don Sutton
She was a stupid cow, and I hated her. Every time I went near her, she just looked at me with her dull, liquid eyes. And chewed her food. Loudly.
I wanted to get rid of her, and I would have done anything to make it happen. As luck would have it, her daughter felt the same way. I couldn’t do it, but she could.
Back then, it was illegal to burn someone else’s barn down, even if you were trying to disintegrate your mother.
But not if you were a cow. Not even if you also burned down Chicago.
Here are the other two entries, in case anyone wants to read them. I thought they were also well done and worth seeing:
By Charles Hall:
“Back then it was illegal to burn someone else’s barn down, even if you were trying to disintegrate your mother…but that bitch’s time has come,” mumbled the O’Leary boy to no one in particular. The grass was particularly good on this property and he could not help but graze from time to time along the way.
Having to follow the winding, well worn path through the field to the barn took him 5 miles out his way, and he knew better, but he had no choice, really. Add to that the occasional chewing of the cud and the trip was unbearable in all respects. If that wasn’t enough, the already lit lantern that he carried had to be covered at all times or his planning would be for naught.
At last the profile of the darkened barn rose out of the darkness before him and familiar sounds tickled his ears.
Rage boiling in his veins, he crashed through the stall door and, throwing the burning lantern at the moon-lit silhouettes, burned Chicago to the ground.
By Keith Brock:
“Son of a bitch plans to set that barn on fire and ain’t even gonna bother to tear it down first.” Uncle Bob just sat there in his antiquated rocker on his dilapidated porch, watching as his neighbor’s son-in-law toiled away.
He pinched some sawdust from his coffee can spittoon and tossed it to the wind. “Goddamn idiot! Wind’s blowing right toward the house. You know, things ain’t like they used to be. People ain’t like they used to be. Back then, it was illegal to burn someone else’s barn down, even if you were trying to disintegrate your mother.”