Deadline Approaches for the Ode to a Dead Salmon Bad Writing Contest!

Look at that face. What better muse could there be for your summer writing than this lovely guy? While the salmon fishing is in full swing, so is our third annual Ode to a Dead Salmon Bad Writing Contest! Whether this fish face evokes your warmest, deepest sentiments, or tinges of bitterness at your own lack of success out on the rivers this season—we think you should write about it! Vent your frustrations, soliloquize your admirations—whatever floats your boat! You have until this Sunday, August 7, to send your fishiest sonnets, sestinas, and such to

You can read up on the back-story for this tongue-in-cheek contest here. Last year we received bad writing in all genres from all over the world—even from countries that don’t have salmon!

All entries are posted on the Ode to a Dead Salmon blog. From there our esteemed judges will select the top three, and then you, the readers, will vote on the winner! Our champion writer will receive lots of good press, and best of all, a free Ray Troll t-shirt!

To help you catch the scent of this stinky writing business, here’s a look at last year’s fishy finalists:

by Alexia Gordon

There once was a salmon named Nod
Who had an incredible bod
Lean, swift, and scarlet
With butter and garlic
He tasted much better than cod


by J.J. Weicker

O Quasimodo of the silver waves,
In life’s renewal we are but brother slaves
From eternity’s pursuit to sandy shoal,
A slide from humpy love to husky’s roll.
O fishy Fate, undone desire writ large,
Your leaping skyward comes to nought but snarge;
Just like my PFD, too soon you’re spent
And form a fetid canine liniment.
In the pink of health and lust, who was the pinker?
We did not see our fall from stud to stinker
And perceived our path divine not biological,
Poor Icarus, now ick ichthyological!
Smeared on dog, your putrid truth will linger:
Time will come God bids me pull His finger.


by Jerry Juday

John: But soft! What splash from yonder stream I hear?
Mary: I know not, my handsome young bushwacker.
John (peering out of tent door): Hark! In the fresh-washed light of morn I do spy the
flashing glint of moistened flanks. (Now pointing.) Yes, there! And there! And there again!
Mary (exasperated): O, foolish man, burdened with wrongheaded desires. Let the wiser
head take control.
John (enthusiastically): Lo, how my bosom swells in anticipation of stealthily stalking the brushy banks, breathing deep the fecund air, then slipping softly on rubbered soles into the intoxicating channel.
Mary: Hush now, husband! Lie back down. My bosom swells for thee. Let us brew our own
intoxication here on this airy love shingle — my Thermarest. My loins warm it for thee.
hn: „Tis sockeye . . . sockeye! The great red swarm has returned to the natal waters to
spawn. Yes, to spawn and to die. Generation after generation, they come to nuzzle the
maternal gravel. Overcoming every obstacle, unrelenting, the throng pushes and thrusts its way home, and so forth and so on, etcetera.
Mary: Yi! The nuzzling sounds good just now.
(A noise is heard, stage left.)
John: What ho? Do I discern the heavy tread of the barbed biped? The anglers are
bestirring; the game is afoot. I must make haste. (He exits the tent.)
Mary: No! Pray sir, I beseech you: do not wet your fly just yet. Leave the salmon in peace to do their spawning. That precious moment of piscine passion is so short, a mere gossamer speck in the ever flowing river of life. Tarry thou by my side just a few minutes more. Think on it, my love, do not the wriggling and the spilling of milt and egg put a notion in your head?
John: Fie, woman! Heed the words of the poet writ here upon my garb: “Ain‟t no nookie
like Chinookie.” The salmon have arrived; the course of my destiny is laid. I am off now, with rod in hand. (He departs.)Mary (sighing): Alas, the mute salmon speak to him more eloquently than I. Still, the fish remember what he forgets. True beauty is a mate, and a mate is true beauty — that is all we doomed creatures really know on earth and all we need to know.


Here are the rules, and remember, entries are due August 7!

1. Entries must conform to our editorial policy.

2. We need your real name and real email address. If you want your entry to be posted under a pseudonym or left anonymous, make that clear in your email.

3. No more than three entries per person.

4. No more than 800 words per entry (shorter is just fine with us: limerick, haiku, opening lines).

5. Entries must be your own original work.

6. You keep the copyright, of course, but by entering you’re giving us permission to post.

7. This is our contest. We make the rules (that’s the beauty of blogging, folks), and the rules may change as we see fit. We’ll let you know if they do.

8. All entries must be emailed to by midnight on August 7.

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