Chase Baird won the 2012 Deathmatch with her story “Heart String” about human organs and writers block. Now she explains why tough skin and liver punishment will bring all the glory a person can ask for.
What brought you to submit to a tournament that pins up stories like targets at a gun range?
I woke up one morning hungry for blood, and the rest is history.
Were there any behind the scenes schemes that team Baird did to muster votes for “Heart String”?
Since I was at university at the time, members of Team Baird hosted voting parties with free drinks and reminders every hour when everyone put their vote in then did a shot. I did lots of campaigning in my classes and on Twitter as well.
Do you have any advice for future Deathmatch participants?
Rally everyone you know, be uncompromising, and stand up for your story, flaws and all.
What do you think is the key to winning the Deathmatch?
Sacrifice a lamb’s organs — specifically kidney, liver and heart — on the altar of Bragi, the Norse god of poetry… it worked for me. Or maybe it didn’t…
What did you do once it was over and you won?
I became outrageously rich and famous from being published in Broken Pencil and retired to my own private island in the Pacific to eat pie
Did your writing change after being exposed to the Deathmatch’s open critic?
Okay, serious answer this time. I think my writing became a bit more gutsy (no pun intended –well, okay, maybe a little) but I started taking more risks and opening myself up to more criticism. I was much more open to changing things if I agreed with a criticism or defending my decision if I felt it was right for the story
What have you been up to since the competition?
Since winning Deathmatch, I have been published in Grain and won Freefall magazine’s 2012 Fiction Contest, which I was pretty psyched about. I am currently working on a novel, working on dressage with my horse and drinking copious amounts of both wine and coffee.
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