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LA, Ep. 39

October 27, 2015 — After too many moons away from LA, Literary Death Match returned home to Largo to team with HBO's The Leftovers for an electric night that ended with Eliot Laurence outdueling Tracy McMillan in a crazy-close game of Literary Spelling Bee III to win Laurence the LDM LA, Ep. 39 crown. 

But before the finale was even a thought, the night kicked off with Eliot Laurence, screenwriter of Welcome to Me (starring Kristin Wiig) and The Big Gay Sex Show who reeled off a hilarious Yelp! review from 2031 that wowed the crowd. Next up was the outstanding Elizabeth Day, author of Home Fires and Scissors, Paper, Stone, who charmed the crowd into a tizzy with an excerpt from her dazzling new novel Paradise City

Then mic was then handed over to the night's trio of all-star judges: Damon Lindelof, co-creator and showrunner of Lost and HBO's The LeftoversAmy Brenneman, award-winning actress from The Leftovers, Judging Amy & Grey's Anatomy; and Kevin Carroll, Obie Award-winning actor featured in The Leftovers and Being John Malkovich. The tree blasted out witticisms and praise about each writer before making the night's first impossible decision, naming Laurence the night's first finalist. 

Then came Round 2, which featured McMillan, author of Why You're Not Married...Yet, television writer and relationship expert, who read a fantastic excerpt from her forthcoming novel Multiple Listings. Finally it was Christopher Noxon, author of Plus One who has appeared in the New Yorker, Details and Salon, who had the crowd in throes with his written-for-LDM original about converting to Judaism, featuring circumcision. 

Again the judges were center stage, flinging heaps of applause in McMillan and Noxon's direction, but after a long deliberation, they made the night's second impossible decision, naming McMillan the night's second finalist. 

Then up stepped LDM creator Adrian Todd Zuniga, who invited Laurence and McMillan back on stage to compete in the night's finale: Literary Spelling Bee III, in which the finalists, and random "spelling experts" from the crowd had to spell complicated author names to decide the winner. Assisted by LDM LA producer Hannah Settle, Zuniga went through a series of names before Team Laurence nailed the final answer, winning him the LDM LA, Ep. 39 medal, and literary immortality to go with it.