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MASTER LIST OF ALL STYLE INVITATIONAL CONTESTS

Suggestions and questions are welcome and encouraged.

THEME: WAS

PUB DATE WEEK TITLE SYNOPSIS THEMES LINKS TO THIS CONTEST WINNER LINKS TO RESULTS OF THIS CONTEST (usually published 2-4 Weeks later)
March 7, 1993 SHEDDING THE SKINS?  Come up with a new name for the Redskins.  WAS ATH   Text file | Post PDF  Douglas R. Miller  Text file | Post PDF 
July 4, 1993 18  PUNCH US IN THE EAR  Give us a motto for The Washington PostWAS   Text file  Susan Wenger  Text file 
November 14, 1993 37  A STATE OF DISGRACE?  Propose any of the following for D.C.: A State Name, A State Flower, A State Bird, A State Slogan, A State Capital, A Governor, An Insulting State Joke.  WAS   Text file  Peggy Hyde
Gene Lawhun 
Text file 
December 19, 1993 42  HEY, IT COULD BE WORSE  There are worse things in life than the Washington Redskins. Just tell us what they are.  WAS   Text file | Post PDF  Mike Thring  Text file | Post PDF 
February 6, 1994 49  A SLALOM OCCASION  Come up with events for a Washington Olympics. They can be winter or summer sports, based on bureaucracy or other themes peculiar to Washington, and must include a brief description of the event.  WAS ATH   Text file | Post PDF  Paul Styrene  Text file | Post PDF 
July 3, 1994 71  CAPTION CRUNCH III  Come up with a new, funnier caption for any picture or illustration anywhere in today's newspaper.  CAP WAS   Text file | Post PDF  Richard E. Brock
Ellen Meyerson 
Text file | Post PDF 
August 7, 1994 76  ADIOS.  Tell us, in 40 words or fewer, what is great about August in Washington. It's August, and we're out of here.  WAS   Text file | Post PDF  Sue Witner  Text file | Post PDF 
October 2, 1994 81  HEADS, YOU LOSE  Take any two or more headlines anywhere in today's Washington Post, and combine them to make a funnier headline.  HEA WAS   Text file | Post PDF  Dave Zarrow  Text file | Post PDF 
March 5, 1995 103  SEND HELP.  Come up with ways to raise some badly needed cash for the District of Columbia.  WAS   Text file  Jim Martin  Text file 
June 18, 1995 118  WEAK 118  Take any photo caption or headline appearing anywhere in today's Post and alter its meaning by adding, deleting, or changing one letter.  CAP HEA WAS   Text file  Elden Carnahan  Text file 
December 17, 1995 144  JUST REBUS ALONE  Come up with a rebus, a phrase or sentence composed of letters, pictures, and symbols. Your entry must contain at least two pictures or illustrations from today's Washington PostWAS   Text file  Jonathan Paul  Text file 
February 4, 1996 151  STRIP MINING  Come up with a concept for a new, controversial strip to replace an existing one in The Post.  COM WAS   Text file  Fred Dawson  Text file 
February 11, 1996 152  WE ARE CURIOUS (YELLOW)  Take any headline in today's Washington Post and rewrite it in tabloid fashion so the story seems a lot more scandalous and/or lurid than it is.  HEA WAS CUL   Text file  Mike Hammer  Text file 
March 10, 1996 156  HYPHEN THE TERRIBLE  Create new word by combining the first half of a hyphenated word with the second half of a hyphenated word. Both words must appear in the same story anywhere in today's Washington Post. Each entry must provide a definition for the newly created word.  HYP WAS   Text file  Jean Sorensen  Text file 
April 14, 1996 161  CAPITOL MISTAKES  Come up with very, very bad advice for first-time visitors to Washington.  WAS   Text file  Phil Plait  Text file 
August 25, 1996 180  WHEN IN DOUBT, PUN  Take any headline in today's Post and improve it by somehow turning it into a pun.  HEA WAS   Text file  Jennifer Hart
Kate Renner 
Text file 
March 16, 1997 209  WE NEED SOME SEASONING  Come up with the first signs of spring in Washington.  WAS   Text file  Tommy Litz  Text file 
August 31, 1997 233  SEEKING PARODY  Take any paragraph appearing on Page A1 of today's Washington Post, and rewrite it in the style of any famous writer.  WAS LIT   Text file  Phil Frankenfeld  Text file 
January 25, 1998 254  DOUBLE JEOPARDY!  Take any sentence appearing anywhere in today's Washington Post, and make up a question to which it could be a plausible answer.  WAS QUE   Text file  David Genser  Text file 
June 14, 1998 274  THE DROLL OF A LIFETIME  Be the New Yorker comics editor, and explain to readers of The Washington Post why the provided jokes are charmingly witty.  WAS   Text file  Sandra Hull  Text file 
June 21, 1998 275  THERE ONCE WAS CONTEST FROM NANTUCKET …  Write a limerick in which the first line is about someone who comes from some place in the Washington area.  LIM WAS POE   Text file  Courtney Knauth  Text file 
August 9, 1998 282  TAKING SNIDES  Take any story anywhere in today's Post and append to it a single snide observation, concerning either the headline or the text of the story.  WAS   Text file  Ralph Scott  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 
January 24, 1999 306  YOUNGIAN THERAPY  Suggest ways in which the Style Invitational or any other Washington area institution can become more relevant to younger people.  WAS STY CUL   Text file | Post e-version  Meg Sullivan  Text file | Post e-version 
July 18, 1999 331  DRAWING ON CREATIVITY  Come up with an idea for a fictional central character for a comic strip based in Washington, D.C., and the environs. Describe your character in as much detail as you wish, and give the strip a name.  WAS COM   Text file  Elden Carnahan
Joyce Rains 
Text file 
March 26, 2000 342
(IX) 
Plainly Ridiculous  Take any direct quotation from any article in today's Washington Post and translate it into "plain English."  WAS   Text file  Martin Bredeck  Text file 
February 4, 2001 387
(LIV) 
By Jingo  Come up with a joke that could be written and understood only by a Washingtonian.  WAS   Text file  Jonathan Paul  Text file 
August 19, 2001 415
(LXXXII) 
Sentence Us to Death  Take any sentence appearing anywhere in today's Washington Post, and invent a question that it answers.  WAS QUE   Text file  Russell Beland  Text file 
February 17, 2002 441
(CVIII) 
Spit the Difference  Take any two nouns that appear on the front page of today's Washington Post and explain how the nouns differ from each other.  WAS   Text file  Chris Doyle  Text file 
March 3, 2002 443
(CX) 
Sick Humor  Come up with modern diseases of Washington life.  WAS   Text file  Deborah Searson  Text file 
April 21, 2002 450
(CXVII) 
Blues It or Lose It  Write the first verse of a blues song expressing some Washington area woe.  WAS   Text file  Bob Dalton  Text file 
July 7, 2002 461
(CXXVIII) 
Punch Us Again  Take any comic from the daily Washington Post during the next week and make it better by changing the contents of the final word balloon.  WAS COM   Text file  Meg Sullivan  Text file 
October 13, 2002 475
(CXLII) 
Bad Connection  Take any two seemingly unrelated stories from anywhere in today's Washington Post and explain how their subjects are linked in some unholy conspiracy or other suspicious way.  WAS   Text file  Czar: "Week CXLII ... required you to find funny hidden cabals in the news stories of the day. A daunting task. Too daunting. None of the measly 120 entries produced even a germ of an idea worthy of publication."   
February 16, 2003 493
(CLX) 
A Major Offensive  Find something anywhere in today's Washington Post and complain about it with absurd oversensitivity.  WAS   Text file  Cecil Clark  Text file 
April 13, 2003 501  Questionable Sentences  Take any sentence appearing anywhere in today's Washington Post and make it the answer to a question.  WAS   Text file  Tom Kreitzberg  Text file 
May 25, 2003 507  Crocktails  Come up with a drink named for something or someone associated with Washington and describe the drink.  WAS   Text file  Joe Cackler  Text file 
August 17, 2003 519  Hey, Baby, What's Your Sector?  Come up with pickup lines that could be heard only in Washington.  WAS   Text file  Cindy Burnham  Text file 
December 21, 2003 537  The New York Post  Liven up any article appearing in The Washington Post or its Web site over the next eight days by giving it an irresponsibly sensationalistic headline.  WAS HEA   Text file  Milo Sauer  Text file 
February 1, 2004 543  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.  WAS BUS LIT STY HIS   Text file  Chris Doyle  Text file 
June 6, 2004 561  Deform of a Question  Take any sentence appearing in The Washington Post or washingtonpost.com today through June 14, and make up a question to which the sentence could be an answer.  WAS QUE   Text file  Marc Leibert  Text file 
February 13, 2005 597  Eccchsibits  Come up with some alternative museums and exhibits for the nation's capital.  WAS   Text file  Joseph Romm  Text file 
May 8, 2005 609  A2D2  Give us some funny "corrections" to brighten up Page A2.  WAS   Text file  Elden Carnahan  Text file 
July 24, 2005 620  Keep the Empress Employed  Suggest some original, creative ways that The Post could increase its circulation.  WAS   Text file | Post PDF  Art Grinath  Text file | Post PDF 
July 31, 2005 621  Questionable Journalism  Take any sentence that appears in The Post or in an article in washingtonpost.com anytime through Aug. 8 and supply a question it could answer.  WAS QUE   Text file  Russell Beland  Text file 
June 18, 2006 667  Questionable Journalism  Take any sentence that appears in The Post or in an article on washingtonpost.com anytime from now through June 26 and supply a question it could answer.  WAS QUE   Text file | Post PDF  Kevin Dopart  Text file | Post PDF 
November 26, 2006 690  Funnies: How Time Flies  Pull Billy of "The Family Circus" -- or any of his comic strip neighbors in The Washington Post -- out of his time warp to a different age, era or place, and provide a short storyline or dialogue or caption.  WAS COM   Text file  Martin Bancroft  Text file 
March 25, 2007 706  Questionable Journalism  Take any sentence that appears in The Post or in an article on washingtonpost.com from March 24 through April 2 and come up with a question it could answer.  WAS QUE   Text file  Russell Beland  Text file 
September 1, 2007 729  Otherwordly Visions  Take any sentence in an article or ad in The Washington Post or on washingtonpost.com from Sept. 1 through Sept. 10 and translate it into "plain English."  WAS WOR   Text file | Post PDF  Russ Taylor  Text file | Post PDF 
May 31, 2008 767  Questionable Journalism  Find any sentence (or a substantive part of a sentence) that appears in the Post or in an article on washingtonpost.com from May 31 through June 9 and come up with a question it might answer.  WAS QUE   Text file  Beverley Sharp  Text file 
August 23, 2008 779  Gripe for the Picking  Rant about any issue that wouldn't make your top 100 for airing in The Post.  WAS   Text file  Chris Rollins  Text file 
October 3, 2009 837  Strip Search  Combine two comic strips that appear in The Washington Post or at washingtonpost.com/comics and describe the results.  WAS COM   Text file  Craig Dykstra  Text file 
December 12, 2009 847  Questionable journalism  Find any sentence (or a substantive part of a sentence) that appears in The Post or in an article on washingtonpost.com from Dec. 11 through Dec. 21 and come up with a question it might answer.  WAS QUE   Text file  George Vary  Text file 
February 6, 2010 855  The news could be verse  Sum up an article (or even an ad!) in any Washington Post print or online edition from Feb. 6 through Feb. 15 in verse.  POE WAS   Text file  David "Stockton" Smith  Text file 
December 4, 2010 897  Catch their drift  Take any sentence from an article or ad in The Washington Post or washingtonpost.com from Dec. 3 to Dec. 13 and translate it into "plain English."  WAS LAN   Text file  Danny Bravman  Text file 
January 8, 2011 902  What's the good news?  Take any sentence, or substantive part of a sentence, or a headline from an article or ad in The Washington Post or washingtonpost.com from Jan. 7 to Jan. 18 and make it sound upbeat (or not so bad).  WAS   Text file | Post e-version  Dixon Wragg  Text file | Post e-version 
January 30, 2011 905  Anticdotes  Give us an untrue anecdote responding to one of these past Editor's Query topics.  WAS   Text file  Gary Crockett  Text file 
July 31, 2011 930  We WANT stupid complaints!  Complain comically unreasonably about some innocuous thing appearing in the print Post or on washingtonpost.com over the next week or the previous few days.  WAS   Text file  Peter Jenkins  Text file 
March 11, 2012 962  Questionable journalism  Take any sentence (or a major part of it) that appears in the Post or in an article on washingtonpost.com anytime from now through March 19 and supply a question it could answer.  WAS QUE   Text file | Post e-version  Cathy Lamaze  Text file | Post e-version 
March 24, 2013 1014  Join now  Combine the beginning and end, or the beginnings and ends, of any two words in single Washington Post story or ad published March 21 to April 1 into a new word or two-word phrase, and define the result.  WAS WOR   Text file | Post PDF | Post e-version  Michael Gips  Text file | Post PDF | Post e-version 
June 29, 2014 1078  Hyphen the Terrible  Combine one side of any hyphenated word or compound term with one side of another word to make a new hyphenated term, and define it humorously. Both halves must appear in the same issue of The Post or another print newspaper, or in writing published the same day on washingtonpost.com or another online publication. (Conversational textHYP WAS   Text file | Post PDF | Post e-version  Michael Gips  Text file | Post PDF | Post e-version 
February 1, 2015 1109  Fictoids of Columbia  Tell us some humorously untrue “facts” about Washington, D.C., and the surrounding area. (Conversational textWAS TRI   Text file | Post PDF | Post e-version  Rob Huffman  Text file | Post PDF | Post e-version