Suggestions and questions are welcome and encouraged.

The Society wishes to thank Russell Beland, Chris Doyle, Kyle Hendrickson, and Pat Myers for their help in assembling the archive that is linked to from this page.

On the right you will see links to some representation of that Week's appearance in the paper:
Text file
Downloadable Microsoft Word version
htmlWebpage made from a Word file
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EDownloadable PDF of the e-version of the SI page

THEME: LIT -- Literature

December 18, 199492 PLOTBOILERS Tell us what excerpts from celebrities' novels might look like. Robert Pack LIT  89   HTML   
April 9, 1995108 NEAR MISSES Come up with the first drafts of great lines in history, entertainment or literature. Joseph Romm HIS CUL LIT  105   HTML 
May 7, 1995112 POOP FICTION Come up with the opening lines of a book so bad it will compel you to stop reading immediately; maximum 50 words. Kevin Mellema LIT  109   HTML 
October 13, 1996187 RACE TO THE FINISH LINE In 75 words or fewer, continue in a productive fashion the story line of the provided real first lines of famous literary works. Jonathan Paul
Susan Reese 
LIT  184   HTML 
August 31, 1997233 SEEKING PARODY Take any paragraph appearing on Page A1 of today's Washington Post, and rewrite it in the style of any famous writer. Phil Frankenfeld WAS LIT  230   HTML 
July 5, 1998277 LIFE IN THE BLURBS Come up a simple plot summary to help attract the modern audience to any classic work of fiction. It must be literally true and defensible. Elden Carnahan LIT  274   HTML 
March 7, 1999312 BOOKS AND BOOKS Combine any two works of literature--no movies or TV--into one, give its title and describe it in a brief, appealing blurb that might appear in Publishers' WeeklyMike Long LIT  309   HTML 
April 30, 2000347
Capital Pun-ishment Take an expression, or a lyric for a song, or any recognizable line of prose, and make it the punchline of an awful pun. Bill Strider JOK LIT  343   HTML 
June 18, 2000354
Everyone's a Critic Adopt the style of a famous writer and review any of the provided dishes. Phil Frankenfeld LIT  350   HTML 
September 17, 2000367
Future Schlock Come up with a line that will surely not appear in an upcoming work. Chuck Smith LIT  363   HTML 
March 25, 2001394
Life in the Blurbs Come up with a blurb used to sell a real or imagined book or movie that would be likely to have the opposite of the intended effect. Christina Mach LIT MOV  390   HTML 
April 22, 2001398
Animal Magnetism Make great literature and/or a significant expression of the human condition out of the provided randomly-selected words. Use whatever punctuation you choose and any of the words, but only those words, and use them only once. Brian Foster LIT CUL WOR  394   
October 7, 2001422
Taught Language Come up with lessons learned from (1) the movies, (2) popular songs, (3) romance novels or (4) the comics page. Bob Sorensen MOV MUS LIT COM  418   HTML 
February 24, 2002442
Titletales Take any real book or movie, change one word slightly, and describe the resulting new product. Jeffrey Martin LIT MOV WOR  438   HTML 
June 30, 2002460
Pompous Assets Come up with the first paragraph of a review of a real book or movie, past or present, that is narcissistic, pretentious, and self-aggrandizing. Jonathan Paul LIT MOV  456   HTML 
July 21, 2002463
Retell Sales Give us the beginning of any well-known story as retold by any famous person, living or dead, except for Ronald ReaganJonathan Paul LIT  459   HTML 
October 27, 2002477
A Load of Bulwer Give us the beginning of incompetently written novel. Brian Barrett
Bob Dalton
Chuck Smith 
LIT  473   HTML   
January 5, 2003487
Eee! Rotica Come with a passage in a novel that ineptly describes hanky-panky. Marc Leibert LIT  483   HTML 
February 23, 2003494
Quote-idian Take any extremely banal piece of familiar writing and rewrite it in the style of a famous writer, poet or lyricist. Jeff Brechlin LIT POE  490   HTML 
September 21, 2003524 Around Things Moving Take the title of any book or movie, rearrange the words, and explain what the new book or movie is about. Russell Beland LIT MOV WOR  520   HTML   
February 1, 2004543 Read Our Leaps Fill any readers of The Washington Post on Sunday, Feb. 29, 2032, on: (a) the day's lead news story; (b) the highest-flying company and its business; (c) the best-selling self-help book; and/or (d) the day's winning Style Invitational entry. Chris Doyle WAS BUS LIT STY HIS  539   HTML 
July 25, 2004568 Tome Deftness Make a pun or similar wordplay on a book title. Wayne Rodgers WOR LIT  564   HTML 
August 29, 2004573 Thine Ad Goest Here Propose biblical and other literary passages, poems, etc., that could benefit from product placement. Peter Metrinko POE REL LIT BUS  569   HTML 
May 15, 2005610 MASH Find two well-known movies, plays, or TV shows whose title have a significant word in common, combine their titles, and describe the hybrid. Paul Whittemore MOV LIT TEL WOR  606   HTML 
November 20, 2005637 Full Steam Ahead Write a steamy passage of a novel that's ostensibly by some well-known person who isn't a novelist. Jeff Brechlin LIT  633    
February 19, 2006650 King Us Give us a scenario for a horror novel based on an everyday item. Russell Beland LIT  646    
February 26, 2006651 Show Us Some Character Add a character to a book or movie and tell us what happens in it. Jay Shuck LIT MOV  647    
October 8, 2006683 What a Piece of Work String together words in a single scene, or two consecutive scenes, of "Hamlet" to produce one or more funny sentences, preferably unrelated to the original content. The words must appear in the order in which they appear in the play. Dennis Lindsay LIT WOR  679   
November 12, 2006688 Making Short Work Write a humorous six-word story. Michael Levy LIT WOR  684   
December 24, 2006694 Hopelessly Ever After Offer up a gloomy interpretation of any ungloomy piece of writing. Cy Gardner LIT  690   
February 11, 2007701 Untitlement Here are the covers for what just might be Bob Staake's next four books. What are they called and what are they about? Andrea Kelly CAR ART LIT  697   
April 1, 2007707 What Would YOU Do? Use only the words appearing in "The Cat in the Hat" to create your own work of "literature" of no more than 75 words. Chris Doyle WOR LIT  703, 702   
July 29, 2007724 Abridged Too Far Sum up a book, play or movie in a humorous rhyming verse of two to four lines. Ellen Raphaeli POE LIT MOV  720   HTML 
June 21, 2008770 A Knack for Anachronism Take a famous historical moment, literary passage, or movie scene and place it in an entirely different age. Rick Haynes
Peter Metrinko 
HIS LIT MOV  766    
July 5, 2008772 Make It Simile, Stupid Translate a sentence or two of literature or other good writing so that "Los Angeles residents under 40" can appreciate it. Mike Ostapiej LAN LIT CUL  768    
October 25, 2008788 The Back End of a Bulwer Give us a comically terrible ending of a novel. LuAnn Bishop LIT  784    
August 22, 2009831 A Big To-Do Name a "bucket list" item for a well-known real or fictional character. Rick Haynes LIT  827    E 
November 14, 2009843 Prefrains Provide a sentence or two of lead-in to the first line of a well-known book, poem, or song. Stephen Dudzik LIT MUS POE  839    
December 5, 2009846 Season's gratings Write a brief (50 words or fewer) holiday letter from a personage from past or present, or from fiction. Peter Metrinko HIS LIT  842    
January 9, 2010851 Going to the shrink Downsize the title of a book, movie or play to make it smaller or less momentous and describe it. Adam Beland
Russell Beland 
LIT MOV  847    html 
February 13, 2010856 Titled Puerility Here are some untitled book covers. For any of them, tell us a title and synopsis of a book that will never be published. Jeffrey Contompasis ART LIT  852    html 
September 18, 2011937 Staake it to him Write a caption for any of the five pages or details pictured from some of Bob's more than 50 picture books. Stephen Dudzik CAP ART LIT  933    html 
November 13, 2011945 Laugh-baked ideas Cleverly depict a person, event or phenomenon of the 21st century real history as well as scenes from movies, books, videos, etc. using edible materials, and send us a photo of your creation. Alethea Dopart
Kevin Dopart 
PIX HIS MOV LIT  941    html  
May 6, 2012970 Couple it Take a line from any well-known poem and pair it with your own second line to make a humorous couplet. Brendan Beary POE LIT  966    html E 
May 13, 2012971 Double booking Come up with a double book with a humorous connection; the first title must be an actual book, while the other may be your own fictitious title or a second real book. Jeff Brechlin LIT  967    html   
June 3, 2012974 Eat our dust! Write a limerick humorously describing a book, play, movie, or TV show. Chris Doyle LIM LIT TEL MOV  970    html   E 
August 23, 20151137 Be a published author! Give us a spicy title for a boring book, real or imagined. Amy Harris LIT  1134    E 
April 15, 20181275 That is the question Choose a line from Shakespeare (or a significant part of a line) and pair it with a question that the line could humorously answer. (Conversational textBrendan Beary LIT QUE  1271    E 
March 24, 20191324 Chapter and worse Tell or describe a Bible story, or another classical or folk tale, very briefly (75 words would be lengthy) in the voice of a particular author or other person. Frank Osen LIT  1320     E 
April 21, 20191328 Hooked on 'classic': a do-over Summarize a book or play by any author, or retell a scene (or even a moment) from one, in the style of some other person. Mark Raffman LIT  1324     E 
April 28, 20191329 Shakespeare + Thee: Tailgaters Select any line from a work by Shakespeare (poetry or prose) and pair it with your own line to create a humorous rhyming couplet. Marni Penning Coleman LIT  1325     E