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Chessiecon Turkey Award Contest


  1. Entries shall be imagined as the worst possible opening to the worst possible SF/F novel (n)ever written. Contestants may make as many entries as desired, but each submission should be clearly delineated from others. Only one dubious prize will be awarded per entrant regardless of number of entries.
  2. Each entry may consist of a single sentence or a paragraph not to exceed 80 words in length.
  3. Each entry must be original work, and not previously published or entered into The Turkey Awards.
  4. Entrants should strongly resist the temptation to work with puns based on Edward Bulwer-Lytton's famous opening to "Paul Clifford", ("It was a dark and stormy night...") or Jim Thies' "The Eye of Argon".
  5. Entries may be made by e-mail or by surface mail.
    • E-mail submissions should be made in the body of the message, not an attachment, and should be sent to: turkeys@chessiecon.org with the subject line of "Turkey Award Submission(s)".
    • Surface mail submissions should be sent by post card or letter to:
      TSFS, Inc.
      P.O. Box 83032
      Gaithersburg, MD 20883-3032
      Attn: Turkey Award Submission(s).
    • Entries should also be clearly marked with the entrant's name.
  6. Contest entries will be presented and judged during a panel at Chessiecon 2022.
  7. Contest judges are not eligible to win.
  8. Dubious prizes will be awarded for 3rd-Worst, 2nd-Worst and Worst Place.
  9. Deadline for entries will be 11/24/2022

2021 Winning Entries

Dishonorable Mention:

Mirabelle mounted her giant racing millepede and held tight to the harness straps as Millie reared up, twisting her twelve-foot length into a passable, if tottering, music clef. "Bravo girl!" Mirabelle whooped, a human tick on Millie's back as she unspooled her two-ton body. Millie's 240 pink silk pointe shoes flashed like pistons to music only the arthropod could hear as, like a glossy black Daimler semi-truck, she danced en pointe to the starting line of the Legs Up Challenge.

Entry by Katy Lewis

3rd-Worst Place:

"DEATH TO ALL WHO OPPOSE US!" bellowed Space Pirate Veqirhin as he boarded the orbital station, pre-splattered blood clinging to the blade of his laser cutlass. A grey-hued hologram abruptly appeared before him and declared, "Fleet Accounting now calculates a mere 7.39234 (repeating) % chance your raid will be profitable. We are accordingly revoking your oxygen supply, effective immediately. Goodbye." "NOOOOOO--" bellowed Vekkrin, but the rest of his words disappeared along with his breathable air.

Entry by Rodger Burns

2nd-Worst Place:

Caroline squinted at the stocky figures deliberating outside in the rain that gushed from the guacamole-colored sky like blood from a bad nosebleed. She whispered, "Are students really cutting class while tornado sirens wail?" As they stomped closer, Caroline realized, "Wait, that's a group of little men... wearing armor!" She watched in horror as a funnel cloud formed and the frantically flailing forms were sucked into the twister like hairballs into a vacuum.

-Thorin and Company Travel to Oz

Entry by Laura Wenham

Worst Place:

She was violently aware of all his golden blue eyes on her. And his lying tongue. And sharp ears. Because she had gouged them all out with her mind and now it was all a mess like a nebular swirl of stickiness and she regretted nothing and everything and none of it and all all at once. It all started when he had asked for her hand in marriage. But that's not where our story begins -- it begins in Prague.

Entry by Jo Hogan