Literary Death Match
Literary Death Match is a reading series co-created in 2006 by Todd Zuniga, Elizabeth Koch & Dennis DiClaudio. The series features four readers who read their own writing for seven minutes or less, and are then critiqued by three judges (oftentimes actors, comedians, authors, musicians, ballerinas) in the categories of literary merit, performance and intangibles. The winner is then decided by a literary-skewed, game show-type finale to decide who wins the Literary Death Match crown.
The Literary Death Match occurs regularly in New York City, San Francisco and London, and has been produced in a total of 37 cities around the world. In the United States: Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Minneapolis–Saint Paul, Portland, Kansas City, Austin, San Diego, Iowa City, Miami, Orlando, Denver, Seattle, Raleigh, and Dallas. In Canada: Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. And internationally: Dublin, Paris, Edinburgh, Beijing, Glasgow, Vilnius and Shanghai. On September 7, 2011, the event presented its 1000th participant in Glasgow (Cargo Publishing's Allan Wilson).
In the United States, the event has featured readers Tom Perrotta (author of Election, Little Children), Daniel Handler (a.k.a. Lemony Snicket) and The Believer editor Heidi Julavits and judges like Pulitzer Prize winners Richard Russo and Jennifer Egan, 24's Mary Lynn Rajskub, supermodel Paulina Porizkova, and the musician Moby.
In Europe, the event has featured readers Joe Dunthorne (author of Submarine), Esther Freud (Hideous Kinky), Nikesh Shukla (C4 Comedy Labs' Kabadasses creator), comedy writers David Quantick and Robert Popper, and judges Rich Fulcher (The Mighty Boosh), model-turned-author Sara J. Stockbridge, comedian Josie Long, Sichuan chef Fuchsia Dunlop, Kaiser Chiefs drummer Nick Hodgson and Irish musician Cathy Davey.
In 2008, Literary Death Match was named "Best Scribbler Smackdown" by the San Francisco Bay Guardian "Best of the Bay" awards. In 2010, Interview Magazine said "Events like Literary Death Match are helping to revitalize the coolitude of the printed word.”