October 19, 2010 — In a wildly senseless (and wonderfully disorganized) finale at Cambridge's Enormous Room, the LDM100: Boston event ended with Elizabeth Searle winning the Social Network Literary Friend-a-Thon and the LDM crown by a score of 13-11 against fellow co-finalist Kelly Link.
But before the first literary scribe was friended, the night kicked off with the baritone-voiced Charles Coe (author of Picnic on the Moon) telling a tale that starred KFC in smart and heartaching ways, followed by Link (Stranger Things Happen), who read a story about two kids that two children with dark sides.
After the two finished, the mic was handed over to the cast of brilliant judges: PEN/Hemingway award-winning author Jennifer Haigh (Mrs. Kimble, The Condition), author/mastermind of fun Steve Almond (Rock and Roll Will Save Your Life) and comedian-for-the-people Steve Macone. The trio were fascinated by literary fast food use in Coe's piece, but Almond's love for Link's "funny sad" story put her over the top, making her the night's first finalist.
After a short intermission, Round 2 was introduced by designer/funambulist Kirsten Sims, and it started with Elizabeth Searle (Celebrities in Disgrace), who in the hunt for the LDM medal, read a play excerpt centered around Olympic non-medal winner Nancy Kerrigan. She was followed by star novellaist Tim Horvath (Circulation), who ripped through a story that had the crowd on the edge of the comfy Enormous Room couches.
Again the judges were leaned on, and while Almond praised Horvath's "rock-hard ass," Searle's performative stylings pushed her into the finals to compete against Link.
Then LDM creator Todd Zuniga announced the Social Network Literary Friend-a-Thon. The finale tasked the two finalists with selecting between two much-published authors, while everyone in the audience was holding a card with the name of a much-published author and the name of one of their books. The goal: pick the author with the most published books (aka "friends) and "add" them to your team. It was like Facebook, but with literature, and more poorly designed! After past LDM participant names were rattled off: Tom Perrotta, Heidi Julavits, Rick Moody, Ayelet Waldman, Stephen Elliott & Ben Fountain, Searle was up 13 friend to 12, for a wild win, that not only won her the LDM crown, but literary immortality along with it.