It’s back!!! The 49 Writers Ode to a Dead Salmon bad writing contest

Summer’s in full swing, the fish are running, and you know what that means: our hugely popular “Ode to a Dead Salmon” bad writing contest is back. Take a look at last year’s finalists, sharpen your pencils and follow that smell. We want your best worst writing.

The idea for the contest came from our interview with Alaska’s Writer Laureate Nancy Lord. When Andromeda asked why she didn’t immediately write about her Alaskan experiences, Nancy said, “I think I was scared off, years ago, by something John Haines wrote in “The Writer as Alaskan”: a kind of condemnation that new-comers to Alaska always mined the same myths, ‘odes to dead salmon,’ and that it would take generations to develop a worthy Alaskan literature. I’d written a few odes to dead salmon and knew that I needed to get beyond the obvious.”

Last year we got bad writing from all over the world. We posted it all and let our readers vote. Our winner got some great press, including a write-up in Alaska Magazine.

Now it’s time to do it all over again. We want your best tongue-in-cheek “Ode to a Dead Salmon” bad Alaskan writing, poetry or prose, fiction or non. We’ll publish all entries at so the world can read them, and we’ll post the finalists here at 49 Writers. And yes, famed and fishy Alaskan artist Ray Troll has once again offered an autographed T-shirt of choice to our winner. But the main goal, of course, is to have fun.

The rules:

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 15.

1 thought on “It’s back!!! The 49 Writers Ode to a Dead Salmon bad writing contest”

  1. Andromeda Romano-Lax

    Hooray! "TRADITION!" (sing in Broadwayesque voice).

    Let the smelly writing begin.

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