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LA, Ep. 41

February 17, 2016 — To bring warmth to a chilly, Californian February, Literary Death Match returned to Largo at the Coronet for the run-up to the Oscars with our annual Screenwriter's Special that saw Kristin Newman outduel Amy Aniobi in a fiercly contested Original or Adapted? finale, winning Newman the LDM LA, Ep. 41 crown.

But before the finale was even a thought, the brilliant night kicked off with a Round 1 battle that saw TV writer and novelist Kirker Butler (Life in Pieces, Family Guy, The Cleveland Show) read an excerpt from his brilliant debut novel Pretty Ugly. Next up was Amy Aniobi, writer/producer for HBO's upcoming Insecure who's written for Silicon Valley and The Michael J. Fox Show, who wowed with a daring piece read in a pitch-perfect Texan accent.

The mic was then turned over to the quartet of all-star judges: Franklin Leonard, Founder & CEO of The Black List and host of Black List Table Reads; June Diane Raphael, actress, comedian seen in Burning Love and Netflix's Grace and Frankie; Aisling Bea, award-winning Irish comedian, actor and writer; and Paul Scheer, actor/comedian/writer/producer (The League, Fresh Off the Boat, NTSF:SD:SUV::). The hilarious foursome ripped off a riotous range of quips and applause before huddling up and making the night's first impossible decision, naming Aniobi the night's first finalist.

Then came Round 2, starting with the masterful Kristin Newman, comedy writer (The Muppets; That '70s Show) author of What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding, who went all-out with a heartaching piece that had the entire crowd on the edge of their seats. Finally, it was Jesse Andrews, novelist and Sundance Grand Jury Prize-winning screenwriter of Me, Earl and the Dying Girl, who read a clumsy-sex-laced excerpt from his all-new novel The Haters.

Again the judges were handed the mic, and again they raised the adverbial roof, delivering punchlines and praise before huddling up and making the night's second impossible decision, naming Newman the night's second finalist.

Then LDM creator Adrian Todd Zuniga stepped up, announcing the night's finale: Original or Adapted? in which the Aniobi and Newman were each shown movie posters from Oscar-nominated films and tasked with declaring if they were original or adapted from books. It was a back and forth battle throughout, but with everything to play for it was the infallible Newman who nailed the final answer, winning her the LDM LA, Ep. 41 medal, and literary immortality to go with it.