Did Graham Greene Enter and Then LOSE a “Write Like Graham Greene” Contest?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about novels and novelists and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the novel urban legends featured so far.

NOVEL URBAN LEGEND: Graham Greene came in second in a contest to parody Graham Greene’s writing style.

Graham Greene was a popular and critically acclaimed novelist, playwright, screenwriter and critic during the 20th Century (he was born in 1904 and died in 1991).

Many of his works have been turned into films.

Perhaps the most famous movie based on a Graham Greene story is Carol Reed’s The Third Man…

While his works tended to be quite serious in nature, Greene also had a sense of humor about himself.

This was especially noted in 1949, when the British magazine, The New Statesman (below is a recent cover)…

ran a contest asking readers to submit their best parodies of Greene’s writing style.

Greene sent in a few entries himself under pseudonyms. One of them, a “N. Wilkinson,” won second prize! Greene’s entry was the first few paragraphs from an unfinished novel he had been working on somewhat recently.

Years later, that unfinished work, The Stranger’s Hand, was turned into a film of the same name!

The legend is…

STATUS: True

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