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NYC, Ep. 12

February 18, 2009—NYC’s Literary Death Match, Ep. 12 turned Manhattan’s Slipper Room into a literary paradise. A packed house of well-coifed cleverists off-stage, on-stage saw Cintra Wilson (representing The New York Times) out-sketch co-finalist Christopher Monks ( in a judge drawing competition that went down to the wire. In the end, Wilson scored the LDM medal, and a lifelong sense of achievement that no one, ever, can undo.

The night--hosted by Opium’s founding editor Todd Zuniga, and literary superagent Erin Hosier--began with immediate fireworks as odds-on-favorite Andrew Sean Greer ( led things off with a mild strip tease that led to showing off a sequined Barack Obama T-Shirt (yes we can!) before he read a beautifully quiet piece from his recent novel, The Story of a Marriage. Up next was Monks, who was unrelenting with his quips, lighting the audience with laughter.

Judges Ben Greenman (author of Correspondences), Joshua Lyon (Pill Head) and Amy Sohn had arguably the LDM’s toughest challenge ever choosing a finalist, but finally, by a hair, selected Monks to advance.

After a booze-filled intermission, the masses were quieted, then presented with a femme-filled second round, started by Elliott Holt (The Kenyon Review). Holt had the home crowd advantage, whoots and wails of excitement as she unspooled a masterful yarn. Next up was Wilson, dressed for a funeral, who used a knife to split an envelope that held her story. Her work, like her reading, was filled with life, masterful turns, that kept the audience stitched to every sentence.

The judges, again, were faced with brilliance abound, but selected Wilson to head to the final round.

The finale featured each judge taking to the model’s stool for twenty second only, as the finalists--and invited guest drawer Brit Liggett--hurriedly sketched each evaluator. After the final round, the brisk sketches were held high for all to see, and audience applause favored Wilson’s drawings 2-1, a narrow margin, but one wide enough to snare her the LDM championship, and eternal fame.

See all the photos from this event here!