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San Antonio, Ep. 2

April 11, 2015 — After a memory-making spectacular a year before, Literary Death Match once again teamed with the San Antonio Book Festival for a sensational night at the Charline McCombs Empire Theatre that saw Isabel Quintero outduel Neal Pollack in a weirdball Silliest String finale, winning Quintero the LDM San Antonio, Ep. 2 crown. 

But well before the finale was even a consideration, the night opened with Isabel Quintero, author of Gabi, A Girl in Pieces, winner of the 2015 William C. Morris Award & the Tomas Rivera Award, who told the glorious tale about the awkwardness of young love and being "semi-Catholic." Next up was Natalia Sylvester, author of the debut novel Chasing the Sunwho read for the first time from her novel in progress, a wowing excerpt about a dead father-in-law shows up on wedding night.

Then the mic was handed over to the night's trio of all-star judges: Luis Alberto Urrea, Pulitzer Prize finalist & member of the Latino Literature Hall of Fame; Molly Cox, chief of engagement for San Antonio’s SA2020 and TEDxSanAntonio emcee; Wendi Aarons, humor writer of USWeekly's Fashion Police, co-creator of They heaped glorious praise on both Quintero and Sylvester before huddling up and making the night's first impossible decision: naming Quintero the night's first finalist. 

Then Round 2 began, led off by Lance Rubinco-host of The Lance and Ray Show Podcast, who read a dazzling excerpt from his all-new YA novel Denton Little's Deathdate. Then it was time for Neal Pollack (author of the best-selling books Downward-Facing DeathJewball and Alternadad), who blew minds with a piece a piece in which he reviewed a car, which quickly transitioned into a wicked story of ill-timed diarrhea. 

The mic again was handed to the judges, who loved Rubin's performance and lit might, but couldn't resist Pollack's hilarious tale, naming him the night's second finalist. 

Then up stepped LDM creator Adrian Todd Zuniga who brought Pollack and Quintero to the stage for the "biggest budget LDM finale in history," in which each contestant had to fire cans of "vegetarian" silly string into the mouths of two writers who have written expertly about devouring meat: Jonathan Safran Foer (author of Eating Animals) and Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation). Quintero leapt to an early lead she wouldn't relinquish, as her silly string cans roared and Pollack's whimpered, winning her the LDM San Antonio, Ep. 2 medal, and literary immortality to go with it.