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Sep122013

Festival No. 6, Ep. 1

September 13, 2013 — On a drizzly Friday the 13th, Literary Death Match's Festival Festival No. 6 debut was fearless in the face of calamity, in a space overlooking Portmeirion's dazzling center. In a Literary Spelling Bee face-off, it was Rachael Allen who was able to out-letter co-finalist Richard Milward by a score of 17-11 to win the LDM Festival No. 6, Ep. 1 crown! 

But before the finale was even a thought, the twilight-timed showcase began with Milward (author of the novels Kimberly's Capital PunishmentTen Storey Love Song & Apples) reading a language-rich novel excerpt that had the damp audience dazzled, followed by Nikesh Shukla (author of  Coconut Unlimited, nominated for Costa First Novel Award & Desmond Elliott Prize), who reeled off a self-mocking stand-up comedy-style short piece about writing a second novel. 

The mic was then passed to the trio of judges: Marie Phillips, author of Gods Behaving Badly, comedian/author Viv Groskop (I Laughed I Cried: How One Woman Took on Stand-Up and (Almost) Ruined Her Life); and John Niven, author of Straight White MaleKill Your Friends and The Second ComingThe trio traded kudos for Milward and Shukla, but after a deliberation decided that it would be Milward who would advance on as the night's first finalist. 

Round 2 was then led off by Beatrice Hitchman who way-impressed with a brief excerpt from her wonderful debut novel Petite Mort, followed by Rachael Allen (featured in The Best British Poetry 2013; online editor of Granta) who ripped off a serious of energetic and wondrous poems that that had the drenched audience applauding ecstatically. 

Again the judges took to the mic, and after being woken up by Hitchman's erotically-charged prose, and Allen's verbal pyrotechnics, they made the night's second impossible decision, announcing that Allen would be the night's second finalist. 

Then up stepped LDM creator Adrian Todd Zuniga who announced the Literary Spelling Bee finale, that tasked Milward and Allen with spelling increasingly difficult author names. It was nip and tuck from the word go, and with everything to play for Allen was just narrowly better, earning the LDM Festival No. 6, Ep. 1 title, and winning literary immortality to go with it. 

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    Festival No. 6, Ep. 1 - Journal - Literary Death Match

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