Monday, May 27, 2024

Literary Death Match comes to Harvard Square on Thursday in what the Boston Phoenix calls its “Best Storytelling Series” and what organizers say “combines the intellectual buzz of a writers’ salon with the thrills and spills of ‘American Idol.’”

What happens at a Literary Death Match? Each episode of this competitive, humor-centric reading series features a mix of four acclaimed and emerging authors who perform their most electric writing in seven minutes or less before an audience and a three judges. After each pair of readings, the judges — focused on literary merit, performance and intangibles — take turns spouting (hopefully) hilarious commentary about each story, then select their favorite to advance to the finals, when the show’s literary sensibility gets a little less literary. (Games of Pin the Mustache on Hemingway have been known to decide the winner.)

The Thursday lineup is to include Comedy Central’s Sean Sullivan; author and illustrator Jen Hill (creator of “Percy & Tum-Tum”), DJ Hazard, the comedian, actor and author (of “The Grumpy But Lovable New Yorker Guide To Enjoying Life Even Though You Are Broke … And Grumpy”); Boston Globe “Love Letters’” columnist Meredith Goldstein, Grub Street instructor and writer Chip Cheek, PEN New England Award for Fiction winner Anne Sanow (of “Triple Time”); poet Timothy Gager (of “Treating a Sick Animal”) and special guests comic Alingon Mitra and author and illustrator John-Paul Jimenez (“Gutterfish”).

Literary Death Match was created in March 2006 Todd Zuniga and appears regularly in Los Angeles, New York, London and San Francisco and has appeared in dozens of other cities worldwide, from Minneapolis to Beijing, Miami to Oslo. The event has featured more than 900 readers, including Belmont’s Tom Perrotta (“Election”), Stephen Elliott (“The Adderall Diaries”) and Michelle Richmond (“The Year of Fog”) and more than 500 judges, including Pulitzer Prize-winners Jeffrey Eugenides, Richard Russo and Jennifer Egan, Chuck Palahniuk, figure skater Brian Boitano, model and author Paulina Porizkova and musician Moby.

The Cambridge show is at 8 p.m. (doors at 7:30 p.m.) at the Comedy Studio, 1238 Massachusetts Ave., Harvard Square. Tickets are $12. Advance tickets are here.

For information, please visit the Literary Death Match site or Facebook page.

This post was written from a press release.