publication date: Monday, October 29, 2018 (part of Fall 2018)
clue: This English author's pen used to be mightier than the sword, but now his name is synonymous with bad fiction.
explanation: Bulwer-Lytton was a celebrated writer in his time, coining such common expressions as "the pen is mightier than the sword." However, the opening sentence of his novel Paul Clifford, "it was a dark and stormy night," has become so widely parodied that the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest is now held yearly in his name, challenging entrants to write the worst possible opening sentences. more…