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MASTER LIST OF ALL STYLE INVITATIONAL CONTESTS

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.

THEMES: Below are links to subsets of these contests, which I call "themes". Most of the contests have been assigned one or more themes, which are indicated with trigraphs. It was not easy going through more than a thousand synposes to make these subjective assignments, so please let me know of any adjustments that should be made.

THEME: POL

PUB DATE WEEK TITLE SYNOPSIS THEMES LINKS TO THIS CONTEST WINNER LINKS TO RESULTS OF THIS CONTEST (usually published 2-4 Weeks later)
March 14, 1993 WRITE A MOTTO. WIN A MONSTROSITY.  Maryland needs a new motto, a multi-purpose slogan suitable for placement on a state seal or a license plate. Something grand, something that embodies the full bodacious majesty of the state.   SLO POL   Text file | Post PDF  "Oslo"  Text file | Post PDF 
June 27, 1993 17  REDUCTIO AD ABSURDUM  Come up with an easy way to reduce the federal deficit, in 20 words or fewer.  POL   Text file | Post PDF  Steven King  Text file | Post PDF 
August 1, 1993 22  STUMP US  Come up with slogans for the 1996 presidential campaign.  POL   Text file | Post PDF  R. Sharp  Text file | Post PDF 
August 29, 1993 26  CASTING ABOUT FOR AN IDEA  Name a political person (past or present) and the TV or movie role in which he or she could have been cast.  MOV POL TEL   Text file | Post PDF  John Mazza  Text file | Post PDF 
September 12, 1993 28  MOTHERS-IN-LAW OF INVENTION  Propose some drastic change in government to help the economy or otherwise improve the quality of life in America.  POL   Text file | Post PDF  E. Gaston  Text file | Post PDF 
October 31, 1993 35  LIGHT AT THE END?  Tell the federal government what it should do with the 14-mile-long, 15-foot-diameter sausage-shaped tunnel it dug near Waxahachie, Tex., for the Superconducting Super Collider project that was scrapped by Congress last week.  POL   Text file | Post PDF  Michael Sweet  Text file | Post PDF 
November 13, 1994 87  WEST EASY, ANN  Come up with good things about West Virginia, in 50 words of fewer.  POL   Text file | Post e-version  Dave Zarrow  Text file | Post e-version 
November 20, 1994 88  GIVE US SOME GOOD NEWS  Come up with ways things are going to be different now that Republicans have ascended to power.  POL   Text file  Arthur Adams  Text file 
January 22, 1995 97  NEWTONIAN PHILOSOPHY  Come up with more Newt Gingrich philosophy to explain the differences between men and women, Democrats and Republicans, dogs and cats, whatever needs explaining.  POL   Text file  Greg Arnold  Text file 
September 10, 1995 130  NICELY STATED  Create a fictional city to be humorously paired with a real state abbreviation.  POL   Text file  Tommy Litz  Text file 
February 18, 1996 153  STUMP US  Complete this sentence, "I should be elected President of the United States because…" and launch your campaign.  POL   Text file  Dan Kravitz  Text file 
May 5, 1996 164  MEAN MEANINGS  Translate things politicians say into what they really mean.  POL   Text file  M. Schmidtman
Tom Witte 
Text file 
December 29, 1996 198  YOU MUST BE MAD II  Come up with proposals designed to infuriate special interest groups.  POL CUL   Text file  Bob Sorensen  Text file 
March 9, 1997 208  SEND IN THE CLONES  Suggest questions a commission to investigate the moral, legal and practical question raised by cloning might consider.  POL REL SCI   Text file  Joan Schloo  Text file 
April 13, 1997 213  A SIN OF THE TIMES  Submit campaign or other political practices that would be illegal and/or unethical.  POL   Text file  Bill Moulden  Text file 
November 2, 1997 242  SACRED COW PIES  Take cheap shots at sacred institutions only, places and things that are so noble and wholesome they are beyond reproach, from among the items provided.  POL CUL REL   Text file  Charlie Steinhice  Text file 
December 21, 1997 249  BAD NEWS, GOOD NEWS  Supply a silver lining for any scourge or social ill facing America or the world.  CUL POL   Text file  Tom Witte  Text file 
February 1, 1998 255  SCANDAL IN THE WIND  Each of the provided items is somehow related to the current presidential scandal. Tell us how.  POL   Text file  Drew Knoblauch  Text file 
March 1, 1998 259  SPARE EXCHANGE, BUDDY?  Take any phone number of any business or government office in the Washington area, translate the first two digits into their constituent letters and propose any appropriate one-word exchange.  LET POL BUS   Text file  Elden Carnahan  Text file 
March 22, 1998 262  CAMPAIGN FOR ONE  Design a line for Niels Hoven to deliver in his campaign for a student government office that will wake up a snoozing audience.  POL   Text file  Jonathan Paul  Text file 
May 10, 1998 269  SIGNS, AND THE TIMES  Come up with new, helpful signage for downtown streets. You must state the problem, and propose the sign to rectify it.  CUL POL   Text file  David Litman  Text file 
October 18, 1998 292  PAYING THE BILL  Propose appropriate punishments for President Clinton.  POL   Text file  Art Grinath  Text file 
November 22, 1998 297  FREE FOR OIL  Take any article in today's paper, and write an outraged letter to the editor about it that totally misses the point, either by misreading a word or misunderstanding the topic.  WAS CUL POL REL   Text file  David Genser  Text file 
January 10, 1999 304  TIME OF THE SIGNS  Come up with appropriate signage to appear outside any business or retail establishment in the Washington area, including government offices.  WAS BUS POL   Text file  David Genser  Text file 
February 28, 1999 311  A JERRY-BUILT CONTEST  Find cleverly disguised threats to public morality or hallowed American values that may be secretly lurking out there in our culture.  CUL POL   Text file  Joseph Romm  Text file 
March 5, 2000 339
(VI) 
Campaignful Developments  Come up with signs that a presidential campaign might be in trouble.  POL   Text file  Kelli Midgley  Text file 
May 28, 2000 351
(XVIII) 
Dubya Fun  Take any well-known statement, expression, slogan, etc., and rewrite it the way Dubya might have said it.  POL   Text file  Jonathan Paul  Text file 
July 23, 2000 359
(XXVI) 
It's No Party  Come up with a new political party and its main political tenet.  POL   Text file  Jonathan Paul  Text file 
July 1, 2001 408
(LXXV) 
What's In a Name?  Take the name of any politician, living or dead, and construct an appropriate message from the letters of the name. You may use any letter as many times as you wish, and you may insert punctuation.  LET POL   Text file  Chris Doyle  Text file 
May 12, 2002 453
(CXX) 
Haiku 2 U2  Write a haiku summarizing the career of any American politician, living or dead. A haiku is generally defined as a nonrhyming poem, of three lines. The first and last lines are five syllables; the middle line is seven.  POE POL   Text file  Daniel Horner  Text file 
February 9, 2003 492
(CLIX) 
Cheap Tricks  Come up with extreme cost-conserving measures for these difficult economic times.  POL   Text file  Lindsay Lacy  Text file 
March 2, 2003 495
(CLXII) 
Words of One Syl- … Um, Just Short Words  Take some complex issue of any sort and explain it to all us morons entirely in words of one syllable.  POL   Text file  R. N. Oerter  Text file 
August 3, 2003 517  Insert Joke Here  Slip a single bogus sentence into next year's State of the Union address, figuring the Prez will probably just read it right off the teleprompter.  POL   Text file  Craig Zimmerman  Text file 
February 22, 2004 546  A Nice Pair of Cities  Choose any two or more real U.S. towns and come up with a joint endeavor they would undertake.  POL   Text file  Dudley Thompson  Text file 
October 17, 2004 580  United Nations  Combine the names of any two countries in the world and describe the new hybrid country.  POL   Text file  Brendan Beary  Text file 
November 14, 2004 584  Deliver Us a Post  Come up with some new Cabinet or other positions that the president could establish, and describe the job responsibilities.  POL   Text file  Russell Beland  Text file 
August 7, 2005 622  Our Sunday Constitutional  Write a new article or amendment to the Constitution, using on the words contained in the existing document (including amendments).  POL WOR   Text file  Marty McCullen  Text file 
December 11, 2005 640  Whassa Motto Wid You?  Give us a slogan or motto for any of the states, the District or the U.S. Territories.  SLO POL   Text file  Phil Frankenfeld  Text file 
July 2, 2006 669  Huddled Messes  Suggest some bad advice for new arrivals to this country (legal or illegal).  POL   Text file  Gordon Labow  Text file 
September 24, 2006 681  Ticket to Write  Write a jingle for a business (or its product), organization or government agency, set to a Beatles song.  POE BUS POL MUS   Text file  Jay Shuck  Text file 
February 4, 2007 700  Stump Us  Come up with someone's slogan for the 2008 presidential campaign.  POL   Text file  Ira Allen  Text file 
April 15, 2007 709  A Return Engagement  Come up with some novel change to the tax code: a tax on something ought to be taxed, a credit for something that should be rewarded, what the $3 should go to instead of presidential campaigns, etc.  POL   Text file  Ernie Staples  Text file 
September 22, 2007 732  The Chain Gang  Supply a chain of 25 names -- they may be names of people, places, organizations, products, etc., but they must be names -- beginning and ending with "George W. Bush."  POL   Text file  Danny Bravman  Text file 
November 10, 2007 739  Lies, All Lies  Give us some humorous fictional revelation about a current or past political figure.  HIS POL TRI   Text file  Joel Knanishu  Text file 
December 29, 2007 746  We Err The World  Give us a motto or short slogan for any country in the world.  SLO POL   Text file | Post e-version  Thomas Murphy  Text file | Post e-version 
May 17, 2008 765  It's Doo-Dah Day  Write humorous lyrics commemorating any of the 50 states of the District, set to any of these Stephen Foster songs.  POE POL   Text file  Barry Koch  Text file 
September 13, 2008 782  That's the Ticket!  Explain why any of the items on the list below is qualified to be President of the United States.  POL   Text file  Rick Wood  Text file 
October 4, 2008 785  The Ballad Box  Write a short, humorous song somehow relating to the presidential campaign, set to a familiar tune.  POE POL   Text file  Andy Pike
Barb Sarshik 
Text file 
November 1, 2008 789  Doctrine in The House?  State a humorous, original "doctrine" for a person or other entity.  POL   Text file  Kevin Mellema  Text file 
November 8, 2008 790  If Only!  Explain how the world would be different had some event not occurred.  POL HIS CUL   Text file | Post PDF  Chris Doyle  Text file | Post PDF 
December 13, 2008 795  Stimulate Us  Tell us what the government ought to be spending our money on.  POL   Text file  Russ Taylor  Text file 
December 27, 2008 797  Be Resolute  Make a humorous resolution for some particular person or institution to accomplish next year.  POL BUS   Text file  Christopher Lamora  Text file 
July 4, 2009 824  Jestinations  Give us a slogan for any city or town.  SLO POL   Text file | Post PDF | Post e-version  Jay Shuck  Text file | Post PDF | Post e-version 
September 26, 2009 836  Other People's Business  Describe what might happen if any of the above institutions (a) were run by an institution of your choice or (b) ran an institution of your choice.  POL BUS REL   Text file | Post PDF  Bruce Alter  Text file | Post PDF 
July 17, 2010 878  Safety in blunders  Tell us a way to make the nation more secure.  SCI POL   Text file  Jon Graft  Text file 
August 7, 2010 881  What's in a name?  Take the name of a person or institution. Find within it a hidden message.  LET BUS POL   Text file  Russell Beland  Text file 
November 27, 2010 896  Other people's business  Describe what might happen if any of the above institutions (a) were run by an institution of your choice or (b) ran an institution of your choice.  BUS REL POL   Text file  Larry Yungk  Text file 
November 25, 2012 998  Set the law on us  Suggest an odd law for a particular place in the world.  POL   Text file | Post PDF  Beverley Sharp  Text file | Post PDF 
December 30, 2012 1003  Just do it  Use a well-known advertising slogan for a different company, organization or product to humorous effect.  SLO BUS POL   Text file | Post e-version  Brendan Beary  Text file | Post e-version 
June 30, 2013 1027  Built for two  Give humorous related names for any pair of features in a given building, organization, etc.  BUS POL   Text file | Post PDF | Post e-version  Phil Frankenfeld  Text file | Post PDF | Post e-version (pub 7-28-13) 
September 29, 2013 1040  IRS my case  Schedule A: Suggest a novel way for the government to determine taxes.

Schedule B: Suggest a deduction that you'd like to take, or that some real or fictional person past or present might like to take.

Schedule C: Suggest a cause you'd rather check off $3 for. 

POL   Text file | Post PDF | Post e-version  Edmund Conti  Text file | Post PDF | Post e-version 
February 7, 2016 1161  Give us four Pinocchios  Tell us some false "facts" about politicians, present or past. (Conversational textHIS POL   Text file | Post PDF | Post e-version  Jeff Shirley  Text file | Post PDF | Post e-version 
May 29, 2016 1177  The ballad box  Write a song related to this year's elections, set to a familiar tune.  MUS POL   Text file | Post PDF | Post e-version  Matt Monitto  Text file | Post PDF | Post e-version 
July 17, 2016 1184  Plan C -- a third candidate?  Explain why some novel person (or thing) should be president; you could also suggest a president-veep ticket. (Conversational textPOL   Text file | Post PDF | Post e-version  Annette Green  Text file | Post PDF | Post e-version 
December 4, 2016 1204  Well, at least …  Note some good news for the coming year to comfort -- or "comfort" -- those who are depressed about the change of presidential administration. (Conversational textPOL   Text file | Post PDF | Post e-version  Kevin Dopart  Text file | Post PDF | Post e-version 
February 12, 2017 1214  The alternaugural address  Write a humorous passage — a “quote,” an observation, a joke, a dialogue, a poem, anything — using only words that appear in Trump’s inaugural address. (Conversational textWOR POL   Text file | Post PDF | Post e-version  Frank Osen  Text file | Post PDF | Post e-version 
September 3, 2017 1243  We bid you: No T-R-U-M-P  Coin a new term, or choose an existing one, whose letters do not include a T, R, U, M, or P, and write a humorous definition. (Conversational textWOR POL   Text file | Post PDF | Post e-version  Mark Raffman  Text file | Post PDF | Post e-version 
April 1, 2018 1273  Restocking the Cabinet  Explain why a particular person -- or thing -- ought to fill a Cabinet post or other U.S. government position. (Conversational textPOL   Text file | Post PDF | Post e-version  Duncan Stevens  Text file | Post PDF | Post e-version 
August 19, 2018 1293  Constitutional unconvention  Humorously translate or explain some part of the U.S. Constitution. (Conversational textPOL   Text file | Post PDF | Post e-version  Jon Gearhart  Text file | Post PDF | Post e-version 
November 18, 2018 1306  PolitiCaroling: A song parody contest  Write a song about something in the news lately -- political or otherwise -- using a Christmas, Hanukkah or New Year's tune.  MUS POL   Text file | Post PDF | Post e-version  Duncan Stevens  Text file | Post PDF | Post e-version 
December 23, 2018 1311  Nextra! Nextra! The year in preview  Name some humorous event to happen in 2019.  CUL POL   Text file | Post PDF | Post e-version  Ira Allen  Text file | Post PDF | Post e-version 
March 31, 2019 1325  Stand up and jeer  Give us some original standup jokes that would have been good at this year's White House Correspondents' Dinner.  POL JOK   Text file | Post PDF | Post e-version  Jesse Frankovich  Text file | Post PDF | Post e-version 
June 2, 2019 1334  Mull 'er over: A search for collision  Combine any two words, names, abbreviations, etc., from anywhere in the redacted Mueller report, in a two-word or hyphenated phrase and define it.   WOR POL   Text file | Post PDF | Post e-version  Steve "Potomac" Smith  Text file | Post PDF | Post e-version 
September 15, 2019 1349  Revise and extend these remarks  Go to congress.gov/congressional-record and click on the PDF for any day's Congressional Record. Choose any sentence (or substantial part of one) and write a question that it could answer.  POL QUE   Text file | Post PDF | Post e-version  Sam Mertens  Text file | Post PDF | Post e-version 
December 8, 2019 1361  2020 vision -- the year in preview  Name some humorous news event to happen in 2020. (Conversational textCUL POL   Text file | Post PDF | Post e-version  Duncan Stevens  Text file | Post PDF | Post e-version