If you’re not familiar with the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, you obviously read only cereal boxes and TV Guide, so why am I bothering with you? They accept entries year-round, but it’s getting close to the deadline for the 2009 contest. (All quotes below taken from their website.)
The challenge: “compose the opening sentence to the worst of all possible novels.”
Entry fee: none
Maximum number of entries: unlimited
Prize: “a pittance,” and eternal glory
Deadline: “The official deadline is April 15 (a date that Americans associate with painful submissions and making up bad stories). The actual deadline may be as late as May 30.”
Disclaimer: I do no vetting of contests, markets or calls for submissions posted here; enter at your own risk.