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13 February 2008 @ 09:54 pm
best contest ever  
It is not yet quite too late to enter the contest to win a copy of Maureen Johnson's new book Suite Scarlett, over on Inside A Dog. The contest is called the Insert a Zombie, Win a Prize contest, and proceeds on the basic theory that all scenes in literature would be better with a zombie in them. Maureen leads with an scene from Pride and Prejudice that I think we can all agree is an improvement on the original:

What think you of books?” said he, smiling.
“Books? Oh! No, I am sure we never read the same, or not with the same feelings.”
“I am sorry you think so; but if that be the case, there can at least be no want of subject. We may compare our different opinions.”
“No. I cannot talk of books in a ballroom; my head is always full of something else.”
Hearing this, a nearby zombie turned, lured by the prospect of whatever was contained within Elizabeth’s head. He was within striking distance of her when the other dancers caught him up and swept him away by accident.

There is more, and I highly recommend reading it.

The rules are:

1) Keep it to one paragraph. (250 words or less. Less is better.)
2) Make sure to give the title and author, so we can know whose work is being zombified. If these are not given, the zombified work will not be considered!
3) E-mail the entry to maureen@maureenjohnsonbooks.com. Please use the subject line: ZOMBIE INSIDE! You may enter as many times as you like. (So, if you want to zombify 30 stories, you can! But they must be different ones each time.) The deadline is February 14th. You can go right up to midnight (US, east coast time).
4) All of these wonderful entries will be read by Maureen and the other celebrity judges: Meg Cabot, John Green, E. Lockhart, and Justine Larbalestier, all excellent writers and true zombie experts.

I wrote an entry just to give an example, though I am not entering the contest as I have my own ways of weaseling copies of Suite Scarlett out of Maureen, mostly by threatening Simon. I also recommend Scott's entry as well as Justine's adding of zombies to Ulysses.

I myself decided why not go for the truly bizarre, and added zombies to the To Be or Not to Be speech from Hamlet. I am sorry, William Shakespeare. But at least your work is out of copyright.

To be, or not to be: a zombie.
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
Having your brains munched by a walking corpse,
Or to take arms against the ravening undead,
And by opposing end them? To die: to get right back up;
and eat your way through the employees of the local Costco;
To come eventually to the realization
That flesh is pretty tasty, 'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to be dined *on*;
Possibly by a neighbor: perchance even your own mom; aye, there's the rub;
For once the toxic zombie virus has taken over
And you have shuffled off to the local mall
You'd better hope those plate glass windows hold.

ETA: Zombie contest now extended into multiple rounds!

ETA #2: Holly enters the zombie contest. A win for Team Zombie!
Sherwood Smithsartorias on February 14th, 2008 03:56 am (UTC)
Hwh! I wrenched a couple of hours yesterday and got zombies into a letter from Jane Austen (critiquing Anna Lefroy's novel); a love poem from Robespierre to another guy, a few years before the Revolution; one of Nietzsche's lyrics, Proust (English translation, but I did Robespierre in French), Virginia Woolf's diary (a creepy entry about a huge hole left by a bomb in 1917--perfect for zombies) Stalky & Co, and Psmith and Mike. Oh, and of course Whose Body by Sayers.

Hoo, maybe I should try to do some others, despite this pile of work, in the hour left. Hah! Like...could I fit zombies into Mumford's History of the City?
Cassie Clarecassandraclare on February 14th, 2008 04:02 am (UTC)
Wow, French zombies! I am impressed.
Sherwood Smithsartorias on February 14th, 2008 04:04 am (UTC)
German ones, too! I even got an internal rhyme in when I changed the poem to get that good zombie action in!
Holly Blackblackholly on February 14th, 2008 05:05 am (UTC)
Okay, maybe everything is actually better with zombies.

But I still think the addition of unicorns could really take Hamlet to the next level.
Jynxgoddesskhepri on February 14th, 2008 08:06 am (UTC)
On behalf of zombies everywhere, I am insulted. We would never stoop so low as to invade the amazing works of William Shakespeare!!

Well, except, there was that one time, with the shrew...her brain was awfully tasty....

I don't fully recall...did Poe ever address the topic of zombies? If not I feel I may have to rectify that.

Oh, you know what book (author) needs a good zombie?? Hemingway. Specifically A Farewell to Arms. If only to put poor Henry out of his misery. GODS that book was depressing....
Harry_Markovdaydreammuse on February 14th, 2008 02:02 pm (UTC)
Freakish! I love it! The pride and Prejudice scene was ultra funny and the Hamlet speechg priceless. I will read the other entries! Definitely! Thanks for sharing.
Sera Zaneserafina_zane on February 14th, 2008 09:35 pm (UTC)
all these are so impossibly hilarious---i think this and the Tale of Two Cities ones are my favorites, so far. i can't wait to see the official Zombie Idol finalists.

i entered four times...so far. one of which was Romeo and Juliet, the prolouge i was forced to memorize.
hmmm...i wonder what my english teacher would do if i recited the zombie version instead...
as he didn't blink at the reenactment of Mercutio's death scene with lightsabers, new soundtrack and the inserted line "Tybalt, i am your COUSIN-IN-LAW!"
oh, we walk all over him.
Sarah Rees Brennansarahtales on February 15th, 2008 02:39 pm (UTC)
Simon! *cry of anguish from over the sea*

I am saddened to see that no entries so far seem to involve the hot zombies that literature is crying out for.
(Anonymous) on February 29th, 2008 10:44 pm (UTC)
The fact that you just zombified my favorite Shakespeare play of all time, makes my heart smile.


(Anonymous) on March 9th, 2008 01:54 am (UTC)
You know, I really forget, but I'm almost certain that on one of your journal entries, there was an ongoing discussion about Philip Pullman and whether or not he really ended the trilogy with an underage sex scene. I think it was either yours or Sarah's--all I remember is "awesome", "red-haired", and "great fanfic author turned writer" and also, "explosive love of literature". Easy to get confused. Was that you, or her? And if it was you, d'you think you could direct me to the entry? Thanks. (:

Cassie Clarecassandraclare on March 9th, 2008 05:30 am (UTC)
Re: Ah!
I suppose Sarah and I do have many things in common, eh. I think you may be thinking of this post:

lenno_cornishlenno_cornish on March 13th, 2008 08:35 am (UTC)
Where are the mortal instruments here? :)
Redcrestredcrest on September 30th, 2010 05:28 pm (UTC)
This is way, way late, but I think that zombie-enhanced Hamlet soliloquy is truly THE FUNNIEST THING I HAVE EVER READ. The Pride & Prejudice one too--when I heard the rules of this contest, I never would have thought of adding zombies so gracefully/seamlessly into an existing scene. I'm seriously dying of internal laughter (I'm at the office) right now... Thank you so much for this! XD