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Austin, Ep. 10

October 17, 2015 — In a clear show that the world is a brilliant place, we headed back to the Texas Book Festival for a Lit Crawl Austin event where literary fireworks were at a maximum, as Kirk Lynn outdueled Gwendolyn Zepeda in a lightning-quick Lone Star Lit finale that Lynn won in sudden death, to win him the LDM Austin, Ep. 10 crown. 

But before the finale was even a thought, the night kicked off with Helen Phillips, award-winning author of And Yet They Were Happy and The Beautiful Bureaucrat, skewing fabulist with a short piece from her upcoming collection before Gwendolyn ZepedaHouston's first poet laureate, author of 3 novels & 4 award-winning children’s books, delivered a 2-minute poem that had everyone in throes. 

The mic was then passed along to the three all-star judges: Attica Locke, award-winning author of Black Water Rising and The Cutting SeasonLinda Gray, actress (Dallas) & author of The Road to Happiness is Always Under Construction; and Andy Langer, writer for Esquire & Texas Monthly, radio DJ for KGSR. The three cracked wonderfully wise while praising each author's work before deciding it would be Zepeda who would advance as the night's first finalist. 

Then came Round 2, kicking off with Kirk Lynn, head of the Playwriting and Directing at UofT Austin, who read Chapter 23 from his debut novel, Rules for Werewolves. Finally, it was Matthew Salesses, author of The Hundred-Year Flood and I'm Not Saying, I'm Just Saying, who delivered a delicate, hysterical and heartaching piece to the packed house. 

Then up stepped LDM creator Adrian Todd Zuniga, who announced the night's finale: Lone Star Lit — a game in which Zuniga read off 1-star Amazon book reviews written about classic books. The two finalists (Zepeda and Lynn), were teamed with volunteers and they traded points, but with everything to play for, it was Team Lynn who slapped the bell first, nailing the final answer, winning him the LDM Austin, Ep. 10 crown, and literary immortality to go with it.