In a couple of months, at The L Magazine’s Fifth Annual Literary Upstart: The Search for Pocket Fiction, four or five writers will stand in front of a room full of surly drunks and read short fiction, which the audience may or may not hear over the sound of their own drunken surliness. Then, after reading, they will be made to sit quietly onstage while several of said drunks fail to answer very easy trivia questions. Then a panel of judges, people who make a living in the world of literature, the world in which our readers hope very much to belong, will pass judgement on the stories, and make several jokes at the readers’ expense. Then a winner (and, by implication, several losers) will be declared.
I see no reason, really, why you shouldn’t want to be one of those readers. Here, again, is the announcement and Call for Submissions for Lit Up, in which the creative underclass is pitted against itself in a short fiction Thunderdome.