Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Worst Writing Award 2011

The Bulwer-Litton Fiction Contest was started in 1982 at San Jose State University to celebrate bad writing. The contest is named after Victorian novelist and playwright Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, who started a book with “It was a dark and stormy night”. From the contest's website ( "The contest challenges entrants to compose bad opening sentences to imaginary novels".

The 2011 winner is Sue Fondrie, an associate professor at U of Wisconsin.
"Cheryl's mind turned like vanes of a wind-powered turbine, chopping her sparrow-like thoughts into bloody pieces that fell onto a growing pile of forgotten memories."

Don't you wish you could write like that?! Please send us submissions in that style--we like to torture our editors.

Runner-up is Rodney Reed.
"As I stood among the ransacked ruin that had been my home, surveying the aftermath of the senseless horrors and atrocities that had been perpetrated on my family and everything I hold dear, I swore to myself that no matter where I had to go, no matter what I had to do or endure, I would find the man who did this . . . and when I did, when I did, oh, there would be words."

Romance category winner is Ali Kawashima.
"As the dark and mysterious stranger approached, Angela bit her lip anxiously, hoping with every nerve, cell, and fiber of her being that this would be the one man who would understand—who would take her away from all this—and who would not just squeeze her boob and make a loud honking noise, as all the others had."

Winner in the Purple Prose category is Mike Pedersen.
"As his small boat scudded before a brisk breeze under a sapphire sky dappled with cerulean clouds with indigo bases, through cobalt seas that deepened to navy nearer the boat and faded to azure at the horizon, Ian was at a loss as to why he felt blue. "

There are winners in genre categories and various other classifications, including Dishonorable Mentions. They are all hysterical - go have a bit of reading fun.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

What Guys Think Women Want to Read

by Raelene Gorlinsky

This is from an article in Publishers Weekly, July 4, 2011. The article is by author William Dietrich, about his attempts to attract women readers to his books, which are usually labeled male action/adventure or male thriller.

"The question is: what do women readers want? I've asked this of book clubs I've visited (always exclusively female) and their answer is [...] relationships. Romance. Food. Cool places to hang out, like castles and palaces. And sex, if tastefully calibrated.

"Women like action, but they want stuff happening inside to people as well as outside to armies. Scientists report that women are hard-wired for empathy, probably because it was an evolutionary advantage in raising children and a disadvantage in spearing enemies.

"Twenty-first century ladies are also stern. No wimp women, they warn. No shrieking ninnies. They want authors who understand them."

I think Mr. Dietrich has developed a good insight into what women want to read. (Okay, especially the food and sex.)  What about you? Do you agree with him? What would you say to male authors trying to add women to their mainly male readership?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

EC for Men

Ellora's Cave is planning to launch a new line soon - EC For Men.

This will be erotica (not porn) for a male audience. Therefore, we are interested in hearing from men about their sexual fantasies, to help us target appropriate submissions and story types. Not what women think men want - we really want to hear directly from men. However, all you women reading this blog, feel free to pass this along to every adult male you know.

Men, give us your opinion. It's very easy, just send an email.
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Subject: Male fantasies

~ What are your sexual fantasies, what turns you on?
~ Would it matter to you whether the author name was male or female? If so, which would make you more inclined to buy the ebook.
~ Include "I was referred by Redlines and Deadlines blog."
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You don't have to include your name or any other personal info. However, if you are feeling very brave, cc on your message, and we'll put you in a drawing for free ebooks.

So, men, speak up about what you would read in erotica!