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Bad Fiction: the winners

December 31, 2013


I’ll try and be quick with this as I have to go to a zine store in middle Taiwan soon…

Contest: Bad Fiction

Winner: Christian Slater

Runners up: Shannon Tweed and Mike TV.

Weirdest entry: Bela Tarr – ‘Horse on the run’


Let’s review a little before we announce the winners:

The Bad Fiction Contest had around 60 submissions, most of them far too good to qualify. I’m not sure if these subbers misread the rules, or if they just wanted the cash, but it was getting pretty bleak until Melissa Osburn and her werewolf came along.

To be fair, her story was also quite good in its own way…as were the other two selected entries…which doesn’t really meet the requirements of bad fiction, but they were probably the only ones who wrote ‘badly’ in an entertaining way.

No one really wrote the lit equivalent of ‘Samurai Cop’ like I was hoping for…maybe it’s just too hard to write something that bad when every atom in your body is telling you it’s wrong.

Maybe we did need the actual writer of ‘Samurai Cop’ to enter in order to achieve this.

I don’t know.

Probably the closest anyone came, and also the winner of the contest, was Russell Linton and ‘Grandpa in a box’.

I guess I should put that in bold:


Russell Linton – Grandpa in a box


This was the only submission we got where the plot made almost no sense and neither did the characters. It was ludicrous. If it were a movie, it would star David Arquette. Actually, if I were Russell, I would develop his proposed ‘box trilogy’, stick a pseudonym on it and try and flog it to publishers. If he can keep it dumb and funny then it could be quite popular.

As there were only three entries that were successful in the contest, Melissa and Wayne automatically become runners up. Not that that’s a bad thing, they still get £50 each. They also shouldn’t feel too bad because their stories both had shit writing on the same level as ‘Grandpa in a box’, just not the same ‘plot going off the rails’ part.


Melissa Osburn – A wolf in gentleman’s clothing

Wayne Scheer – The last slice of pizza

I guess that’s it then.

If you wanna read all three stories, scroll down the home page and you’ll come to them eventually. If you don’t know how you got here, just click on the ‘x’ in the top right corner.

One more thing…

I do wonder if some people didn’t enter the contest because they thought winning it might taint their reputation…that people would google them and see they’d written a piece of shit called ‘Alien Bikini gun’…but really, writing bad fiction is a lot harder than you think. In fact, it either takes a genuinely bad writer or a very secure, decent writer to really nail it. Obviously, our three winners are all the latter type.

Anyway, that’s what we’ve learnt from trying to push bad fiction into people’s faces.

Now for Taiwan and the zine store at the bottom of a snowy mountain…

8 Comments leave one →
  1. December 31, 2013 6:06 pm

    Congratulations to Russell and Wayne! I think the best (or is worst?) story won! 😀

  2. December 31, 2013 9:16 pm

    On behalf of Dirk Masters, I’d like to thank all of you for making Grandpa in a Box such a wonderful success. I know everyone is only joking when they say how bad it is. A bit of sarcasm, I think. You know, like when someone wins the Nobel Prize for Literature and people say “yeah, that really sucked.” Because, that happens… Actually, in many ways, I think the runners up are the true winners here. Dirk is off to watch Samurai Cop and get into some kind of zen wax-on wax-off state to prepare for more terrible writing – he’s got a title to defend.

  3. December 31, 2013 9:59 pm

    你們是在台灣呢? 好棒! And YAY RUSS! WOO-HOO!

    • zizekpress permalink
      January 4, 2014 4:47 am

      Was in Taiwan, back now. The zine store turned out to be in Tai Chung, not the bottom of the mountain, but still had a great concept – artists move in for free, do up the place and use it as exhibition space at the same time, then leave after 6 months or so…I’ll write about them soon-ish.

  4. Wayne Scheer permalink
    January 1, 2014 3:20 pm

    Congratulations to Russell and Melissa on their awful work.–Wayne

  5. January 2, 2014 2:58 pm

    Bad writing isn’t hard–take a stroll down the Amazon preview lane. But bad writing for GOOD writers is amazingly hard–and incredibly insightful. Congratulations, y’all!


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