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Tulsa, Ep. 3

October 17, 2013 — In our annual tradition of awesome, Literary Death Match headed back to Oklahoma to live — for one inspiring night — on Tulsa time with Booksmart Tulsa, and what a night it was! After a stellar pair of rounds, This Land Press' Joshua Kline out-Author Jumbled co-finalist Barry Friedman by a time of 19.4 seconds to win the LDM Tulsa, Ep. 3 crown! 

But before author names were in need of un-jumbling, the night began with Barry Friedman (comedian, columnist and author of Road Comic) who reeled off a hilarious and tender story about his father and his brilliant complaints. Next up was Nathan Gunter (Oklahoma Today’s managing editor, named 2012 Magazine Writer of the Year at the Great Plains Journalism Awards) who told a surprise-filled ghost story of skulking, waiting, and having the crap scared out of you. 

The mic was then handed to the trio of all-star judges: literary journalist James McGirkMark Singer, author of Funny Money, Tulsa native, longtime staff writer at The New Yorker; and Gary Shaffer, Tulsa City-County Libary CEO. The trio traded praise and quips about both writers, but after a painful deliberation they decided it would be Friedman who would advance as the night's first finalist. 

Then Round 2 kicked off with Joshua Kline (writer and contributing editor to This Land Press) who talked about his complicated nasal passages, and the effect its had on his life — which even included Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler telling him to "lay off the nose candy." Finally it was Ginnie Graham (Tulsa World news columnist and 5th-generation Oklahoman) who was the perfect closer, telling a Xmas tale laden laughs, particularly when she discussed her Uncle Billy and his Christmas porn. 

Again the trio of judges were in the spotlight, and while they adored both writer's work fully, it was Kline who was advanced as the night's second finalist. 

Then LDM creator Adrian Todd Zuniga took center stage for the Author Jumble finale, in which Friedman and Kline were tasked with unscrambling author names by moving volunteers around who held letters in their hands. After a hot start by Friedman, who pulled off N-I-N in only 2.9 seconds, Kline punched the accelerator late, and was able to pull off spelling H-U-X-L-E-Y in a hot hurry, which gave him an insurmountable lead, winning him the Literary Death Match Tulsa, Ep. 3 medal, and literary immortality to go with it. 

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