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Nashville, Ep. 3

October 10, 2015 — For our grand return to the LDM City of the Year 2015 front-runner, we once again teamed with the Southern Festival of Books for a night to remember at the War Memorial Auditorium, as Harrison Scott Key narrowly outdueled Tiana Clark in Literary Spelling Bee III finale by a single point to win Key the LDM Nashville, Ep. 3 crown.

But before the finale was even a thought, the night kicked off with a clash of prose vs. poetry, with the brilliant prose coming from Erica Wright (author of crime novel The Red Chameleon — an O Magazine's Best Books of Summer 2014), and the fantastic poetry coming from Tiana Clark (2015 Rattle Poetry Prize-winning poet featured in Best New Poets 2015). 

The mic was then handed to our all-star trio of judges: Chuck Beard, owner of the East Side Storybookstore; Dennis Dunaway, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame bassist for Alice Cooper, author of Snakes! Guillotines! Electric Chairs!and Kwame Alexander, poet, playwright and Newbery Award-winning author of The CrossoverThe three praised and quipped before making the night's first impossible decision, as Clark was advanced as the night's first finalist. 

Then the brilliant Tennessee eve zipped into Round 2, with a non-fiction versus non-fiction (?) matchup of the startlingly good Alex Sheshunoff, author of A Beginner’s Guide to Paradise, and contributor to National Geographic Adventure against the made-for-LDM hilarity of Harrison Scott Key, author of The World's Largest Man (nominated for the 2015 Kirkus Prize in Nonfiction). 

Again the mic was handed to the judges who delivered oddballetry, wisdom and laughs before making the night's second impossible decision, naming Key the night's second finalist. 

Then up stepped LDM creator Adrian Todd Zuniga, who announced the night's finale: Literary Spelling Bee III, in which Clark and Key took turns spelling more and more complicated author names. In the final round, down by 1, Key delivereed a quick-stream of necessary letters to zip past Clark, winning him the Literary Death Match Nashville, Ep. 3 medal and literary immortality to go with it.