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Brattleboro, Ep. 4

October 2, 2015 — Our annual adventure in Vermont — as part of the Brattleboro Literary Festival — was all anyone could ever want from a cool, autumn eve, as the brilliant crowd witnessed Mary Anna King outlast Bob Morris in a hotly-contested Literary Spelling Bee III finale by one point to win King the LDM Brattleboro, Ep. 4 crown. 

But before the finale was even a thought, the genius-filled night kicked off with N. Griffin reading a fantastic excerpt from Smashie McPerter and the Mystery of Room 11 that titillated the packed house. Next up was Mary Anna King, who read from the opening pages of her debut memoir Bastards, a breathtaking excerpt that wowed the crowd. 

Then the mic was turned over to the trio of all-star judges: Ann Hood, multi-award winning author of The Obituary Writer and An Italian WifeIra Silverberg, Simon & Schuster Senior Editor and former lit director of the NEA; and Bill Roorbach, best-selling, award-winning author of The Remedy for Love & Life Among Giants. The three romped through a series of riffs that had the crowd in throes. Then they announced the night's first impossible decision, naming King the night's first finalist. 

Then the night zipped into Round 2 that saw Bob Morris, Lambda Award-nominated of Crispin the Terrible and Assisted Loving, deliver a beautiful piece about a son trying to convince his aging father to denounce the Republican party. Finally it was William Alexander, winner of the National Book Award for his first book, Goblin Secrets, who took to outer space by reading a voices-filled excerpt from Ambassador

Again the judges were tasked with picking between two champion-worthy authors, but after cracking so wonderful and wise, the three decided it would be Morris who would advance as the night's second finalist. 

Then up stepped LDM creator Adrian Todd Zuniga, who announced the night's finale: Literary Spelling Bee III, in which King and Morris took turns spelling more and more complicated author names. In the final round, down by 1, King teamed with Ann Hood to deliver the necessary letters to move her past Morris, winning her the Literary Death Match Brattleboro, Ep. 4 medal and literary immortality to go with it.