The traditional one-year anniversary gift is paper, which is completely appropriate for Write Club Atlanta, assuming people still write things on paper. An Atlanta off-shoot of a philanthropic reading series that originated in Chicago, Write Club turns the potential isolation of literary work into a public competition. First, the organizers give two authors opposing ideas of time, like "fact vs. fiction." The authors write their pieces and then each have seven minutes to read them before a crowd, with the winner chosen by applause. To the victors go the chance to donate to the charity of their choice.
At 9 p.m. tonight, June 13, at PushPush Theater, Write Club Atlanta celebrates a full year of "the tenderest bloodsport" with four rounds of "high-octane brain boxing." Creative Loafing's own Gwynned Stuart will be one of tonight's contenders as a champion of "Fantasy" vs. Jackson Pierce's "Reality." Tonight's other rounds include:
Kory Calico (Fate) v Emily Philp (Free Will)
Write Club Atlanta host, co-producer and "viceroy" Nicholas Tecosky (Method) v Jason Mallory (Madness)
Jayne O'Connor (Sacred) v Matthew Roberts (Profane)
Here's a clip of an entry from local actress Kara Cantrell:
A co-scripter of the upcoming anthology horror film V/H/S, Tecovsky particularly enjoys introducing Write Club to unsuspecting audiences. "I love our monthly show at PushPush- our regular audience is as raucous as a Rock and Roll crowd- but there's nothing like putting the show in front of a new group of people. We took it to the Decatur Book Festival last year, and at first, there was a ripple of shock through the auditorium that they were being yelled at in the middle of a reading. But over the course of the show, they really got into it, and by the end, they were screaming right back at us. The show isn't just about challenging the writer, it's about challenging the listener to interact with the material. To actually have fun with it. Maybe to take up the challenge to write themselves."
Los Angeles and San Francisco are also cities with Write Club outposts, and Tecovsky says that the event has plans to grow locally. "We're creating two new shows in the same spirit to take place at PushPush over the coming months. Topher Payne will be hosting Syllabus, which toys with the academic lecture, and we've got an open mic format opening in July, with Berny Clark and Gina Rickicki at the helm. Beyond that, Write Club is expected to expand to a few other cities in the next year. We're taking over."
Earlier this year, Gwynned took on Thomas Wheatley at the Creative Loafing Fiction Contest party competition, "Add vs. Subtract," recorded as one of Write Club's podcasts. Gwynned says, "I'd describe doing Write Club as fun and terrifying, especially for a procrastinator. I hope I get to go first again. Jump right in like a cold pool. Makes the experience less daunting."
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