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Deathmatch 2018 – Semifinal

This round has ended.

*** WINNERS ***

Cracked Red Landscape
  The sharp blade makes an effortless cut, and the first thing I think is “like plastic,” a stupid, stupid thought, but then I wonder why my mind would drift at all given how the...
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Sophie-Anne Bélisle does not draw if her pencil does not have a hard-on. What tickles her imagination is the moments of ambiguity found in raw ordinary life or in total absurdity, and sometimes in a...
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*** WINNER ***


  1. R. Daniel Lester ( Likes: 1001 ) says:

    Congrats to Christina and Sophie-Anne.

    Rest up (for the next 12 hours anyway) and good luck in the finals.

  2. Sean Wheaton ( Likes: 1184 ) says:

    I’ve placed a number of substantial bets on the hope that CRL will snatch victory from the jaws of defeat with a final glorious burst of voting, which would fill me with inordinate pride, but I have a feeling my fate at this point shall be debtors prison. Not to worry though. They’re a jolly bunch and they don’t turn their nose up at much of anything. And the food’s better than what you’d find in the desert in some distant future. Carry on deathmatchers, carry on.

    1. Sean Wheaton ( Likes: 1184 ) says:

      From what I’ve heard there will be no sneaking necessary. Everything is well stocked and they’ve hired the best performers. A nice little break, really.

  3. R. Daniel Lester ( Likes: 1001 ) says:

    So what do you think of the 3000 club, Christina?

    I think they did a nice job. Classy, but not trying too hard. I’ll assume the buckets of Zima on ice are an ironic touch. Dress down to dress up kind of thing. Although I’m a bit surprised by the musical guest. I thought with all the JT talk on the comment board, BP might shell out the big bucks and see if they could get him out of the woods for a show. Apparently not. But this’ll be good, don’t worry. And trust me, in 1985, this was the jam.


    1. Christina Brown ( Likes: 1414 ) says:

      I’m enjoying the club! Not quite as similar to Club 33 as I had hoped for, but I can dig it. Definitely not woodsy enough for 2018 JT though. But I only go to clubs I can wear leggings as pants in so this is right up my alley!

      I’m pretty pleased with the musical choice too. LOL at King Tut! That’s such a culturally interesting song/performance, we dissected it in an American Studies seminar last semester 🙂

    2. R. Daniel Lester ( Likes: 1001 ) says:

      C’mon Sean, join us in the 3000 club. The Zima’s cold and Eddie is still singing. Actually it’s getting a bit weird but no one wants to say anything.

      “Really, Eddie, ‘all’ the time?”

      1 hour, 93 to go. You’re gettin’ my votes.

    1. SCed ( Likes: 333 ) says:

      The rest of my tribe is glued to the TV watching it. From the noise, it must be good. Nothing compared to a good deathmatch though.

  4. SCed ( Likes: 333 ) says:

    Nothin’ like voting all day on a beautiful cool and breezy Sunday. Hang in there everybody! We’re a tenacious bunch, that’s for sure!

  5. R. Daniel Lester ( Likes: 1001 ) says:

    Good Deathmatchin’ out there, everybody.

    More skulls on the comment board than a Dia de Muertos street party.

    1. jorourke ( Likes: 444 ) says:

      Well some people are making a lot of Arrangements. (His mouth curves into a wicked smile)

    2. R. Daniel Lester ( Likes: 1001 ) says:

      Let me clarify: the strategy’s good. The comedy…well…please, no one quit their day jobs, okay?

  6. Christina Brown ( Likes: 1414 ) says:

    Happy last ten hours, everyone! I have a question for the authors and supporters. A lot of people have called death match a ‘popularity’ contest, and while I see what you mean I do think that’s a bit reductive. I think BP intended for death match to be an opportunity for new writers to get exposure, and a big part of that is giving us the opportunity to work on our self marketing skills. From these last few rounds, I’ve learned a lot about social media outreach, engagement, and networking. Has anyone else learned anything that you think will be helpful in your future endeavors, writing or otherwise? 🙂

    1. marciaed3 ( Likes: 422 ) says:

      I believe all the authors had their own unique talents to add to each story. And yes, especially for those of us who aren’t all that social media savvy, it’s been a positive learning experience.

    2. nilabrown ( Likes: 377 ) says:

      I have learned that you have grown into a wise and perceptive young woman 🙂 I think you hit the mark here. For the record, my votes FOR Arrangements are just that–votes to support a piece and an author I like. They are not votes against anyone else. I believe this is the same for most everyone and I believe that everyone has learned something from this experience.

    3. Rebel Sneeze ( Likes: 96 ) says:

      No, of course this isn’t a popularity contest. 9_9 You deserve all the exposure and opportunity you get from this, but trust me, you don’t have the lead because we’ve all been waiting to see how Sweet Valley High would deal with the topic of suicide. The moment “The First Thing We Do Is Throw Up” didn’t advance, white TOOTW did, you knew this was all about the clicks and nothing more.

    4. amandawheaton8 ( Likes: 329 ) says:

      It’s 100% a popularity contest! But agree that learning how to self market is a necessity in today’s publishing world. Weren’t you the one who mentioned your “millennial no shame” at asking for votes via social media? ?

    5. Christina Brown ( Likes: 1414 ) says:

      Yes Amanda, but I don’t really see it as begging for popularity (although my mom and pseudo mom are admittedly my #1 fans!). Social media literacy is a 21st century skill and it’s actually essential for a lot of jobs now. I’ve been able to learn a lot about what works and what doesn’t by promoting this contest and it’s been really cool!

      But maybe there was a little bit of begging on snapchat – LOL!

    6. amandawheaton8 ( Likes: 329 ) says:

      Well those are good skills to cultivate- particularly in your 20’s since you’ll need them for all your career life. As someone who works in Career services in higher ed., I totally agree. But, at the same time it’s much easier for someone in their 20s in grad school to get the social media support than older folks with full time jobs, kids, lots of responsibilities— so in that way, yes, this is a popularity contest. Good on ya for doing it well!

    7. kogara ( Likes: 197 ) says:

      Of course this is a popularity contest! I would hazard a guess that most people voting do not have a B.A. in English or literature. Heck, I’m a fundraiser as my profession and I’m voting and helping determine what stories win. This is not a contest based on literary chops. If so, real professionals in the industry would be judging your work and not me.

    8. Christina Brown ( Likes: 1414 ) says:

      Amanda I’m a full time grad student with multiple jobs and a lot of family responsibilities, everyone has a busy life! I’m sure we’ll all be at least a little relieved once this contest is off our plates haha

      And kogara I do see your point, but I think it would be elitist to dismiss you as a valid reader! After all, we’re all reaching for wider audiences. Hope you’re enjoying the stories!

  7. GuylaineTurcotte58 ( Likes: 440 ) says:

    Le vote est très serré. Je vais demander à mon amie Manon de voter aussi ! Bonne chance !

    1. GuylaineTurcotte58 ( Likes: 440 ) says:

      Les patineurs artistiques sont tellement bons que j’ai failli oublié de voter.

      Tsé quand t’aimes ça, l’art!

  8. freezappa ( Likes: 52 ) says:

    Holy – soph and crissy putting an end to the comebacks. You must have gone out an really wu’d your voters.

    1. Alexg ( Likes: 436 ) says:

      Agree to disagree, I really loved Smile and think it’s well crafted too 🙂 Good luck to every stories!

  9. GaryS1360 ( Likes: 475 ) says:

    Sure hope the “coming from behind ” vote teams are helping each other. Seems appearant the teams for the “in the lead” are certainly helping each other! !!

    1. Sean Wheaton ( Likes: 1184 ) says:

      Thanks, team! Cappuccinos are on their way to help wake you up. Keep those clicker fingers limber. We’ve almost arrived at the last 12 hours of the semifinals.

    1. Alexg ( Likes: 436 ) says:

      But, with 5 exclamation points, it can also look like a threat (!!!!). Who knows how it sounds when it’s written, haha

    2. davidc ( Likes: 256 ) says:

      Could also sound like an order! When I read this I stopped everything and made my arrangements !

  10. kogara ( Likes: 197 ) says:

    I’ve never spent this much time in my life following comments and clicking on ?. It’s all totally ???! But I still want to see CRL in the finals. ???

    1. kogara ( Likes: 197 ) says:

      I would also add spending so much time clicking on cleavers but couldn’t find a good emoji for that. Suggestions?

    2. jorourke ( Likes: 444 ) says:

      Today should prove very interesting. I can’t say it’s the best way to enjoy the holiday weekend but it hasn’t been boring!

  11. DeathbyCacti ( Likes: 497 ) says:

    All these cheesy comments mentionning one’s favorite story make me Smile…
    Damnit, now I’m part of it!