by Blake Butler
This year in place of our regular “Mean Week,” HTMLGIANT will be running something we’d like to call our Tournament of Bookshit, in which 64 book related shits will be placed into an NCAA style bracket to square off and determine, by the most arbitrary means possible, [something]. What that [something] is I have no idea, but I do know that our tournament will operate by the same wily-nily sure let’s do it this way found in most any literary competition, whether it be list making, book jousting, or whatever else you’ve got.
Below you’ll find a list of the 64 entities selected pretty much on a whim to be our contestants. They’re silly. For each round a guest judge of various description and sensibilities will analyze each in light of each other and then select one by whatever terms they like to go forward, with perhaps a Mean Week attitude in mind. In the end, we’ll crown a very special winner the King Shit Mountain of Super Bookshit.
We’ve also set up, for those taking score at home, a bracket system where you can fill out your predictions if you want. It requires you to sign up but only takes a second. At the end we’ll have a prize pool of literary stuff to give to whoever somehow pulls that magic high score out of the hat of darkness.
Any authors/publishers/etc interesting in throwing in on the prizes, please leave a comment with what you’d like to give away and we’ll include it in the winnings and link it in a round up of Kind Souls.
Registration and prediction is free and will be open until the first decisions begin posting on Wednesday around Noon. Playoffs will continue at whatever pace they continue at.
* ‘magic realism’ vs. living in Brooklyn
* Facebook status updates re: present MS word count vs. Alcoholism
* excessively long list of credits including pushcart nominations in your bio vs. the guy who goes 20 minutes over the suggested reading time
* flarf vs. AWP
* livetweeting vs. [yourauthorname].com
* work at Best Buy vs. undergrad Lit 101 adjunct
* Calling yourself the editor-in-chief of an online journal vs posting pics of other people’s books on facebook
* ‘is the author of’ vs. bowties
* “everybody has a story” vs. “show don’t tell”
* announcing yourself as ‘available for interviews’ vs. following several thousand people on twitter
* literary marriage vs. child of famous author’s novel
* NaNoWriMo vs. ‘What is your novel about?’
* no-taste design aesthetic online magazine (ie w/ blogger template + google ads) vs. Daily facebook updates of what you ate / listened to while writing today
* gordon lish vs. foot fetish
* emailing drafts of your writing to people you dont know vs. readings with so many people reading no one listens to anyone
* hating on Jonathan Franzen vs. hating on Jonathan Safran Foer
* characters that ‘just have to have their stories told’ vs. celebrity fiction
* talking shit about the New Yorker while submitting frequently to the New Yorker vs. dream sequence w/ talking animals
* ‘short-short’ referring to whiskey consumption vs. asking for facebook ‘friends’ to review your book on amazon
* ‘curating’ a reading series vs. crossing off your typed name and signing your name below it in your book
* Chapbook blurbs vs Facebook-based political ‘activism’
* lit blogging at age 35 vs. tweeting at age 45
* calling anything you write a manuscript vs. author photos
* Gmail chat people who are always visible vs. people who leave really long comments / ask long questions
* declaring ‘__ is dead’ vs. nationwide facebook invite to local reading
* horny middle aged balding poetry professor on campus vs. horny college age dude-bro poet on facebook
* trolling for spelling errors in blog posts vs. changing your facebook picture daily
* Sewage Treatment Technologies vs. The Pulitzer Prize
* discussion of gender in publishing vs. discussion of race in publishing
* the Georgia Review vs dinner at Chili’s
* middle aged white male heterosexual sex scene vs. middle age white male self published sci fi novel pt 1 of 4
* ‘lyric essays’ vs. Daily facebook updates on what you’re doing with your students
/////////////// FILL OUT YOUR BRACKET NOW