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LDM 2010: Year in Review

To put it plainly: 2010 was, for Literary Death Match, a jaw-dropper (especially now that we’re looking back in disbelief at how we pulled off the whole grassroots mess). 

On October 6, 2010, in San Francisco, we celebrated a thrilling milestone when we pulled off our 100th-ever event at Litquake (of course, in true LDM fashion it was “officially” our 109th). The current count: 126 covering 27 cities around the world. 

Shocking statistic #1: 496 people that showed up to SF, Ep. 30 at Yerba Buena. 503 showed up to Austin, Ep. 3 at the Texas Book Festival. To which we’ve since heard, “To a literary event?” and to which we respond, “To a literary event!” 

Shocking statistic #2: we passed our 10,000 LDM attendee in mid-October. Which fills us with so much flattered glee. Moreover: Every single person who has ever showed up should know that you are necessary fuel in our battle to put literature back into the pop-culture conversation for good. Literature is alive, and spectacular, and endless thanks for making sure we don’t let anyone tell us any different. 

In 2010, we did LDMs in bars, in a barn, in world-class museums, at literary festivals, in a sort of cave-like situation, and once during a blizzard. We slept on couches, on the floor, in a tent, on a bunk bed, and a rare once in awhile: at home

In 2010, we went to 21 cities in 5 countries (including a triumphant return to Beijing), and 12 of those cities were for the first time (in order of appearance): Dallas, Baltimore, Dublin, Savannah, New Orleans, Twin Cities, San Diego, Edinburgh, Kansas City, Toronto, Vancouver, Iowa City. (The thanks associated with these events would take up pages, so I’ll spare the masses and email people privately.)

If we were asked to pick our favorite, we couldn’t. Like our children — which we don’t have yet, but we’ve heard — picking is impossible. But we’ll say out loud that we wouldn’t trade Mark Haskell Smith’s opener, Bob Shea’s closer, Rives' iPad entrée, Susie Bright’s feminism lesson, Mary Lynn Rajskub’s humor lesson, John Leary’s fake-mustache wearing, Richard Milward’s headgear or John Osborne for the planet. 

And no way we could’ve pulled this off without our stronger-than-ever team of producers that I’d put up against anyone in a Production Slap Fight (and if you want to be part of the whole fracas, write and say hello).

Looking forward, these things excite us greatly for now and the future: working with designers like Whitney Pow to create images for each event, and the slider we added to the site to show off all the past, present and otherwise that’s gone down. 

At the beginning of last year I wrote: “It's strange to watch something you've created explode, to watch the reins go taut while the thing steers itself into wild, new directions and new cities.” Amazing how true that still is, and in 2011 our goals strike us as insane, but mysteriously possible: we’re starting with the launch of our daily culture blog “LDM Loves...”; we’ve just debuted our LDM iTunes channel; in days we’re making our LDM T-shirts public and believe they will be described as “must-have”; in 2011, we (stupidly?) expect to debut in (alphabetically ordered) Amsterdam, Berlin, Bucharest, Budapest, Cardiff, Glasgow, Istanbul, Miami, Reykjavik, Shanghai, St. Louis, Tel Aviv and Washington D.C. and if you know any lit nerds in Ljubljana, Tbisili or Zagreb, do introduce; and by month’s end, we hope to have a no way! announcement about what we’ll call, for now, LDM TV. 

Otherwise, thank you for being an awesome force of support and curiosity, and please come to any LDM you can in 2011, and encourage friends and strangers to do the same. We promise we will not disappoint. 

Sincerely, excitedly and so much unsaid otherwise, 

Todd Zuniga

Reader Comments (1)

Just posted your news on my SCRIBD page ~ hope to see you at the 2011 LitQuake! Keep up the good work!

January 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMary Lonergan

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