Competition - ended October 10th 2011

Alice in Murderland Proof copy

Open to: Anyone

For other competitions, go to my Competition Page

dragonslayer cover UK

"Well," thought Alice, picking up the Glock, "this wasn't here yesterday."

A picture like this accompanies the short story

I was asked by Richard Knight, the Producer of Eddie Mair's 'PM' show on Radio4 to write a pastiche of a popular children's story to be read on Radio4 as a humorous rebuttal piece for the news story that PD James was publishing a Jane Austen Murder/Mystery.

I had to do it in two hours, and keep to 400 words. I think I went 25 over, and the story was read out on Friday 23rd September 2011. It is unlikely to be published anywhere, so you may well end up owning the only copy not on my hard drive.

To win this dazzlingly worthless gift, the competition was to submit an idea for a competition.

That was it. I asked for it to be short, and Wonderland inspired. Extra marks were granted for originality, wit and flair.

And now, the judge speaks:

This was another hard one to judge. My huge thanks to everyone who took part, and this has indeed been one of the more popular of competitions recently

I was looking for good quality Carrolian nonsesne of course, so these top five were my favourites:

**FIRST SHORTLIST** 10th Oct 2011:

Quality looking-glass nonsense from Deb and Matt, with extra points for not actually suggesting a competition at all.

You are only eligible if you enter after the closing date. Therefore if my comp idea wins, by entering before the closing date I am ineligible to win. However if my idea doesn't win then I still won't win. A fatal flaw in my comp idea, I should have thought this out a bit more before I entered this impossible competition.

Matt and Deb

**SECOND SHORTLIST** 10th Oct 2011:

Top marks for not just alluding to the whole Walrus and the Carpenter 'if seven maids with seven mops' issue, but for not drawing our attention to it.

First reader to sweep Woolacombe Beach, Devon, free of its sand is winner of prize. (Photographic evidence required. Must provide own broom.)

Emily Grace Stanbridge

**THIRD SHORTLIST** 7th Oct 2011:

Inspired stuff. Ravens, writing desks, and a good Carrolian pun on the 'Recipe for Disaster'. The (But not all) is a good touch, too!

Competitors have to invent a Recipe for Disaster, using some (but not all) of the following ingredients: 1 raven, 1 writing-desk, 1 dodo, 1 whiting, 1 snail, a quadrille of lobsters and 1 very large egg.

Rowena Sudbury

**FOURTH SHORTLIST** 30th Sept 2011:

This is seriously good stuff - the 'meta competition' idea reflects the White Knight's notions of meta languages - in that names can have names, and that these names can also have names - and so on!

For this you need a competition for the competition for the Alice competition. For example if I were entering the competition for the competition I would suggest people send in a competition that could be used as a competition for the competition for the competition.


**FIFTH SHORTLIST** 30th Sept 2011:

Simple and to the point!

"What present would you send to your own feet and what would be the address?"

Vanessa Hilton


Rowena Sudbury, for her 'Recipe for Disaster' entry - congratulations to Rowena and to all the shortlisted entries, who each receive an A Format copy of 'The Last Dragonslayer' because I got sent lots and they're hard to sell.

Thanks also go to the other entrants. Hope you've enjoyed it.

Calloo! Callay! They chortled in their joy!

To see the other entries, scroll on down.

Jasper Fforde, October 2011

10th Oct 2011:

Extreme Croquet: Entrants gather up friends and family dressed as Wonderland characters for a mad, scrambling match that must either be filmed and edited down to two minutes or submitted as a series of ten photographs. Even if the entrant doesn't actually have equipment or anyone with which to play, if the game's held with gusto, they're eligible. Though I suppose, even more appropriately, that would shifted the game entirely into Extremely Silly Croquet territory. =) Bonus points, unknown to the contestants, would be given for random tea parties held mid-match or the sudden appearance of a white rabbit.

Hr Doran

10th Oct 2011:

Hi Jasper, The challenge: Instead of the original game of Croquet with Flamingos and Hedgehogs that the characters play, come up with a well known game that it is played by 'alternative' means, eg: Badminton with stingray for a racquet and a baby octopus for a shuttlecock!

Kathy Bolt

9th Oct 2011:


Wonderland's turned upside-down;
Suspicious creatures abound.
Give evidence via photo
Of our dear criminal, to show
The court where the culprit is found.

A rabbit, a dormouse, a duck or a hare,
An eaglet, a dodo, or walrus may bear
Silent, condemning, and definite witness,
As long as the animal in question's suspicious.
Then the prize shall be yours, true and fair.

Christopher Lee Kneram

9th Oct 2011:

Due to the overwhelming amount of Alice in Wonderland readers, the Book World Alice is exhausted. For this competition create a still of your favorite scene from our beloved book. With these stills, the cast may simply divert the readers attention to your handy work at the moment that scene is read. Thus granting our Book World friends a much deserved break. Be creative with the stills, use ANYTHING. Sculptures, figures, cardboard cut-outs, legos, paintings, dioramas, three dimensional, two dimensional, digital, anything goes. Have fun with it!


7th Oct 2011:

The winner should be the person who most confidently exclaims they know everything you've written like the back of their hand before stating "Ooh, hadn't noticed that mole before..."

Matt Kik

6th Oct 2011:

I will keep this as short as possible, without rambling on about the difficulty of working out how big Alice would need to be to hold such a tiny box containing Timo Glock, the broken F1 driver, nor worry about why he is in such an odd shaped box. Surely he is not so badly broken is he?

However, digression aside, back to brevity. The competition could be based around any alleged telephone alleged messages that she, Alice, had heard about alleged celebrity drivers for other teams and why she was innocent and someone else had been responsible, but she didnšt know if it had happened, but it was only the once and then she had not authorised it but if she had, it was without the knowledge of anyone else in any way connected to her, unless it came out later that she had put the afforsaid alleged driver into what may or may not be a box, in which case she would not resign unless she did, but then it would be without accepting responsibility, culpability or even ability.

Oh that one time? Yes isolated it was and it was an accident done by someoneelse unless proven otherwise in which case, yes.

Anyway, if the aforesaid alleged, but by no means hacked into, just listened to, conversation could be transcribed into a useful, publishable format by competition entrants to show how public interest can be best served without resort to bribery, unless said bribery would improve the readability of any of the one one isolated conversations listened to but not, I must stress, by anyone other than the isolated Alice, then they, that is the competition entrant with the best account chosen from the one story, unless others come to light of course, in which case they could also be allowed, could be declared the alleged winner without any need to explain how they came upon the conversation, which was probably not connected to Alice, or Timo Glock in any way other than confessions and evidence. And testimony of other characters no longer connected with either the Wonderland story or any others associated with the same authors.

By the way, was the 400 word limit in any way important to the "Alice in Murdochland with Timo Glock competion"? If so, please delete the opening "Hi Jasper" at the start of the email, but not the one here.


6th Oct 2011:

Guess the motive of the crime in "Alice in Murderland" and describe it using as many every day, common utilitarian objects as possible. Extra marks for including: "egg whisk", "Italian dictionary", "washing-up liquid" and "colander".


6th Oct 2011:

Summarize Alice's first visit to Wonderland, in 26 lines, alphabetized in order, and demonstrate addition, subtraction, division, and multiplication in the characters mentioned. Extra points for Jabberwocky words.


3rd Oct 2011:

How doth the little Fforde goof
Improve her shining prose,
To try to scoop the dazzling proof
The winner only knows!

So here I propose my idea for the test
Its simple and so easy,
To compose a rhyme that beats the rest
Let's see you be so cheesy!!

Jessica Tibber

3rd Oct 2011: In an homage to your own ability to mix characters from various stories and to Lewis Carrol's ability to write nonsense verse, I think people should have to write a nonsense poem set in Wonderland containing one character from each of your series of books.

Adele Gordon

2nd Oct 2011: Such a dazzlingly worthless gift sounds like a the perfect un-birthday gift to me. I would suggest giving it to the most un-deserving contestant who enters on their un-birthday.

Matt Doyle

2nd Oct 2011: The March hare's house is made of fur and has chimneys, shaped like rabbit ears. Think of a house for someone else from Wonderland, for example a castle made of cards for the Queen & King of Hearts or a house covered in living butterflies for the caterpillar.

The way you present the house is up to you, build it and take a photo, photoshop a photo, create an animated flipbook(.gif) or simply draw a picture.


2nd Oct 2011: At the start of Wonderland Alice came across a bottle with "Drink Me" and a piece of cake with "Eat Me". One made her small and the other large. What changes would you like to happen to you when you drank from the bottle on the condition that eating the cake reverses the effect and why would they be of a benefit to you?

Steve James

1st Oct 2011: To write a news report relaying the events around why there is a gun-toting 'Alice' in Wonderland in the only acceptable new broadcast style of Wonderland, the form of a 'Jabberwocky' style poem. News , intrigue , hilarity and nonsense, that's my kinda reporting !

Delly Newson

29th Sept 2011: Back to the 70's Over 18's only (UK) make a drink that echoes Alice in Wonderland without using Alcohol, Pink or Green, using the line "remember what the door mouse said feed your head".

Jefferson inspired ;) Don't you want somebody to love..


30th Sept 2011: The competition is simple, you have to somehow acquire and read Jasper's one-off short story "Alice in Murderland", which only exists on the author's hard drive.

Martin Stockdale

29th Sept 2011: Keeping with Humpty, his name means the shape he is. There are other words which are (either must be or may be) examples of their own meaning, but not many. 'Word', for example is a word, 'polysyllabic' is polysyllabic, and 'typed' can be typed, just as Humpty Dumpty is humpty dumpty.

Can readers suggest other such words?
Is there a name for this type of word?

Adrian Hood

29th Sept 2011: As the victims of a heinous Crime , a contest dedicated to the unfortunate Oysters would be appropriate for the prize. As such i propose the best dressed oyster contest to allow these forgotten victims there moment to shine. Death may be calling but why not go there in style.

Anything from a cake as above to oysters in a resteraunt having there last hurrah.

Paul Walsh

29th Sept 2011: If Alice was to be a castaway on Radio 4's Desert Island Discs which piece of music, which book and what luxury item would she take with her?


28th Sept 2011: In 1984, Big country released their fifth single, Wonderland. To win this great prize, get out your bagpipes, 3/4 length trousers and tartan shirts and supply a photo of yourself dressed up as one of the band.

Well, it's Wonderland themed.


28th Sept 2011: For the Alice Proof competition, I recommend that people have a party in which one has to make Alice inspired gifts & an Wonderland themed menu.

In 2007, I took part in UH Gourmet Night which happened to have "Alice in Wonderland" as its theme. Please see attached for some Alice inspired gifts and this link of the party.

Picture of hatter's hat

Matthew Dawson


The prize is a signed and numbered copy of 'Alice in Murderland', with a photoshopped picture of Alice with a glock, as above, Photoshopped by me. There are no runner-up prizes unless I decide there are.

The entries may be selected to be viewed on my website, and it is a condition of entry that you are happy for this to be done.

Competition is open to everyone.

All entries not above 100 words, please.

No emails will be harvested by me or my publishers.

It is a condition of entry that this is all for fun and not at all serious.

Winner will be announced after the 10th October 2011.

Judges (me) decision is final.

* Actually all of them.