Authors lash out with fighting words at death match

This year's Literary Death Match is already heating up among authors


SAN ANTONIO – This year’s 4th annual San Antonio Book Festival will have more than 90 authors in attendance. Four will seek to destroy one another – even if it means bringing out abuelita’s chancla to win it all.

It’s called the Literary Death Match.

Four authors will have seven minutes or less to perform their own work in front of a live audience, and then judged by three all-star judges based on the three categories: literary merit, performance, and intangibles. Two finalists are then chosen to compete in the “vaguely-literary game” to decide the ultimate winner.

But for Adrian Todd Zuniga, LDM creator and host, it’s all about keeping the love for literature alive in his third visit to San Antonio. 

“We just want to make people care about literature and realize how fun it is,” Zuniga said. “Literature is a real fascination for people and we just love reframing and showcasing it in a way people are like, ‘Oh my God, that’s exhilarating!’”

The categories and judges are as follows:

  • Literary Merit: Coleen Grissom, professor at Trinity University, author of The World According to Coleen
  • Performance: Zach Anner, author of If At Birth You Don't Succeed and host of Rollin' with Zach on OWN
  • Intangibles: Sandra Valls, Alma Award-nominated comedian, actor and singer

The readers will be (retweet or like your favorite author):

Literary Death Match is currently on its 10-year anniversary tour, traveling to 60 cities worldwide including Los Angeles, New York, London, and Paris. 

San Antonio is always lively and Zuniga expects this year’s competition to be the best and most talented LDM San Antonians have yet to experience. 

“I expect the doors of the theater to be blown off by the end of it. So make sure you’re inside the venue and then you’re safe,” he said.

The event will be held 7 p.m. Saturday at the Charline McCombs Empire Theater.

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