Deathmatch 2011

Indie Writers Deathmatch IV

Final Round | Round 6 | Round 5 | Round 4 | Round 3 | Round 2 | Round 1

Final Round: Colin Brush vs. David Griffin Brown It’s over. Brown stands alone.
The Deathmatch will return.

Free Therapy By Colin Brush

‘I’m in therapy, you know,’ is the first thing that comes out of Ellery’s mouth while lying across my bed. Her fingernails are bitten down far enough that they must have been bleeding and she didn’t take off her dirty sneakers before hopping onto my sheets. ‘It really helps. But I don’t want my parents to think they were right so I’m giving my shrink the silent treatment.’

‘I see,’ I say, chewing on a pen cap. There’s a pad of paper on my lap but I have no idea whether or not I’ll use it. Ellery just showed up at my house and told me she needed to talk.

Read more | Final Votes: 13%

Brink By David Griffin Brown

“It’s your baby too,” Lily said. “It’s only fair you help me kill it.”

She handed me the fat blue pill and wiggled out of her jeans. She climbed on the bed, rolled to her back: knees at forty-five degrees, legs parted.

I saw for the first time what I assume a gynaecologist sees: the clinical stock of a woman. If Lily stripped naked at any other time I’d be aroused. My eyes would draw the arch of her thigh, her ivory skin, the black bonsai thatch. But I stared instead at female, human, mammal.

Read more | Final Votes: 87%


backinthesaddle – 2011/03/22

…awkward…like brush’s parting shots…oh you better pay that money to charity…and slamming bp cuz he lost…why back in my day, there was no such thing as moderators…we threw are own punches and only looked to see if buddy was still standing when the pain stopped…and as for amanda…that’s too little and more than fashionably late…griff didn’t leave a drop left in this bottle…7newspapers, do you ever stop and think before you post?…you gd loser…she didn’t call the guy Israel because he was near and dear…it’s probably something she struggles with…i’ve got a kepa in my closet, just no place to wear it …if griff was here, i just know he’d say, “Thanks Colin, you had a good story and a great run.  Thanks backinthesaddle, I was just kidding when I said you were a horrible man, you put the wind in my sails and I love you to BitS. And thank you Broken Pencil, the price of whores just went up.  This was a fantastic experience and unprecedented exposure I couldn’t have received anywhere else, unless I paid for it…whoops, I guess i did ; )

succincubus – 2011/03/22

I feel a little awkward here – I’m still allowed to comment? Isn’t this page all abandoned by now?

Well, if I’m allowed then – congratulations to Mr. Brown. Your story didn’t suck, and I’m glad someone I don’t hate won the kitty.

You should write a follow-up article for BP describing how your donation of the prize money for a water tank has greatly improved the quality of life for poor little children and the community as a whole down there in Panhandleama.

How does that sound? If they pay you for the article, will you donate that $$ too?

Tommy – 2011/03/22

Congrats DGB. 1st Deathmatch, not my last. Best to writers of stories in the competition and to writers commenting. And now…back to my own writing.

boo yeah – 2011/03/21

Starcraft 2 4 life!

Colin Brush – 2011/03/21

Congrats Griff! I do hope you weren’t lying about that water tank.

We never dove too far into each other’s writing this round but I am a brink fan. I’d say your writing has a more mature poetic tone than any other story in the competition. You control your language well and you come up with some striking images. ‘I slid the pill inside her, first with my thumb, and then as far as I could reach with my middle finger. I was giving the bird to poor timing and wanton carelessness’ – that one’s worth keeping. But there are times when Lily slips too far towards the grotesque to seem natural; you are allowed to make changes to reality. And the content that gets a little tedious needs to be polished. Still, I like when you become very upfront about the subject matter in mentioning the bullshit excuses and as if we would have decided otherwise. I feel like it brings forth a hidden honesty.

I am tremendously grateful to BP for this set up, as stressful as these weeks were. Still, can I be a little disappointed that they dropped the ball on the guest commenters? I really liked that about the first round. Either way, I must say, thank you.

Along with all the poor comments, there were a lot of great ones. I feel I like I got pretty lucky with my comment boards.

Thanks for reading.

7newspapers – 2011/03/21

…don’t feel bad in the least…thank god you’ve dropped talking football…i think we’re pretty much eye to eye on this one…the concept of the ugly painting contest was a good read…maybe my favorite part was how she came to meet margaux…heart-warming also her reconciliation with her ex at the end…kind of a recognition over time that they have a bond and more in common than the differences that caused their split…there are weaknesses, sure…but are they really?…blow job artists?…shock value…but it grabs ya…self indulgent?…absolutely…writing about the people around you, the things they do and what you know…at least they’re colourful…or written colourfully …it’s no different than hemingway or callaghan or miller in paris…writing about writers block?…consider it a little gift to the writers among her readers…a privileged aside “we” all can get…it’s got the jewish thing going for it…which is genuine, part of who she is…maybe i’m a little lost with this hairdressing salon and why it’s there, i’m going to take it as a metaphor of some kind, hairdressing as writing, and how you can’t expect things to get handed to you, you’ve got to work at it with the right attitude…and maybe this bit about that Israel fellow looks a little askew, almost like it was tacked on as an afterthought…but it keeps you reading…titillation, with a sinister perversity…how good at first it feels with Israel and his attentions…then he asks too much of her, unreasonably…until finally…she is mulling over moving to  to “korea” to escape him, but decides she still couldn’t get away, she’d still have to check her email…it was eerie reading those words…like getting a letter from home…a nasty one at that…i don’t know where she gets her ideas, but maybe i don’t want to…this gets tied up in the way it ends, fitting neatly with the omen or premonition of her former boyfriend…and then the short sharp chapters near the back keep on coming and coming like epilogues piled on epilogues…which i liked, because i didn’t really want the book to end…but that’s just me…what’s a girl to do?…from the beginning she had that bonsai thing going, but more than that…vaulted onto the scene with the refreshing/haunting/funny/lyrical iconic Middle Stories…you bust in like that and get your picture taken beside MA and the pressure is on…SH reinvents her sophomore self with a remarkable “unique” voice detailing the inner mental meanderings of this peculiar fellow Ticknor…keeping her name out there the whole time, with trampoline hall, obama dreams, significant objects, curated videos, believer interviews…basically a free-spirited intellectual oddessey…all the while maintaining the ruthless discipline necessary to churn out a totally different and risky, experimental third published effort…there is a growth in moving from writing in a cloistered room and the confines of your mind, to living the interesting life and writing as you go…griff gets it…the answer, really, to…How Should a Person Be ; )

Note to self:  Never do this again ; )

stand-by – 2011/03/20

Well, that’s almost as sloppy as Therapy’s ending and as awkward as Amanda’s presence.   – do, + have,

stand-by – 2011/03/20

“Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.”  BP is cunningly growing the opportunity to do both.   ; )


Colin Brush – 2011/03/20

Thanks Tommy. I didn’t mean to shut down your edits. I was just trying to give my thoughts on the intro.

DGB I’m going to keep the new piece of fiction a secret for now as the idea is still being sorted out.

Here you go Just saying. I saw how should a person be?  in a bookstore and it caught my eye. Before making the purchase I did read the first chapter which managed to hook me. In one of my creative writing classes my professor stressed this idea that poetry and prose has moved to a place where abstract words are obsolete. A writer must use tangible words, words that represent something that can be touched. Words representing objects must dominate a piece of writing. That was the golden rule. How should a person be? overturned that rule – which I found very refreshing. The first scene in chapter one is a hang out scene, Sheila (who’s the author and the protagonist) starts to ramble. ‘I don’t remember what we were talking about, or who was the funniest that day. I remember none of the details of our conversation until the subject turned to ugliness. I said that a few years ago I looked around at my life and realized all the ugly people had been weeded out.’ The only tangible word is people – which is barely tangible – and the writing style still works. Then she moves on to talk about an ugly painting competition that her friends are having, which I found intriguing. I couldn’t picture an exceptional painter being able to paint something ugly. Going against all the aesthetic rules you’ve set for yourself, I feel like if you gave it your full attention, you’d just end up with something really obscure, maybe cheesy, but still interesting to look at. The competition in the novel ends up concluding the same thing. And a great line is when the competition is being introduced – ‘who came up with the ugly painting competition? I don’t remember, but I got enthusiastic first, and then suddenly we all were.’ I found the quick, self-praising attitude hilarious.

So ya, it gave me a good first impression, so I picked it up. The whole book wasn’t excellent. It’s problematic in the same way as Brink in that at the odd time the content drifts to become less important. But most of the ideas are very original. It’s unexpectedly honest. There are uniquely broken dialogues and e-mail conversations throughout. Sheila has a constantly shocking relationship with Israel. And it’s a novel that brings forth morally repellent ideals and makes them seem plausible. I’d recommend it.

But now I’m feeling ridiculous giving longer feedback to this book than any of the stories in the deathmatch. I’m going to bed.

fitzwilliam – 2011/03/20

Well its pretty much over, one more day not that the votes will change or anything. I want to say congratulations to to both of you and to everyone else. Just saying it was fun arguing with you through all of this, even though you made fun about me because of my age, thought I was lying about being a girl and insulted my intellegence several times I have to say you have been very entertaining. I will miss your constant insults and your lame comebacks. Anyways. I enjoyed reading and commenting about all the stories. I didnt hate any of the  stories, they were all very well written. My favorite story didn’t make it to the finals but oh well. I will miss commenting on here. Oh well. I will be back one more time tomorrow but I just wanted to say congratulations and goodluck to everyone who was in this compitition, you all had great stories.

just saying – 2011/03/20

…jesus shitting christ bunghole lefties, it’s getting quiet in here…brush is right up there with maddy in the accepting criticism department…the results speak for themselves…at least griff could never actually push brush down to zero…could he?…will we see single digits?…brush is no different than the rest of us, he’s affected by what he reads…he’s just not into hemingway at the moment…colin’s problem is that he read portrait of the artist and how should a person be in the same month, so he attempts what you might expect…a kick in the balls stream of consciousness…”interesting,” and not quite what you’d imagine from it’s cover, but while we’ve got you on the line colin, i’d like to hear why you bought the latter book, and what you really think…it would be easy to come back next year tommy…nobody is happier slumming it here than i am… we make our own fun…but i’m not getting the audience participation i’d hoped for…all i ever wanted out of writing…well…i mean…besides that other rude attention-seeking tongue in cheek thing…was to be famous enough to inspire others to write about me…but foul-mouthed sexist racist capitalist trolls are a hard sell…the risk reward ratio just isn’t there…congratulations for making dearthmatch history…by my calculations, the two of you combined to solicit more votes than ever before in any previous single deathmatch round…what does everybody else think about griff’s team buying his dearthmatch victory with paid advertising?…griff’s not getting nearly the grief brush took last round…i’m out of here tomorrow, never to return…but hey…call me ; )

David Griffin Brown – 2011/03/20

Holy crap.  Um… okay, Colin…  I’d like to apologize because… yeah… what can I even say?

I guess…. if you ever meet someone who does online advertising…. schmooze?



I’m on a catamaran called Top Secret with a English captain who lives in Aus, and crew from Holland and Italy, and I’m sharing a bunk with a German girl I haven’t met yet.  (Fingers crossed, obviously.)  I somehow managed to convince them to sail back to Bocas del Toro this week since our canal transit isn’t until the 29th.  So I will be again visiting Buena Esperanza and my Peace Corp friend there.

Right, shut the hell up about Buena Esperanza.  Got it.

And Colin… I really like your story.  I said before that I don’t like the ending… I still don’t, but it doesn’t kill what came before it.  It just seems a bit unnatural or forced or something.  Although I really like the repetition of the ‘pad of paper in the lap’ bit.

Most of all, though, I love stories where someone really wants someone else and doesn’t get them.  I was suckled on 80s Disney films and at this point, happy hook-up endings make me nauseas… unless abortion blood is involved.

What is the new fiction thing you are working on?

Okay, this is for realz my last post.

And I guess…. thanks, Gandalf, for the airstrike.  I guess I owe you like ten beers?


Tommy – 2011/03/20

A rambling narrator or writer? Merely a suggestive edit after an open bar wedding. I have a tendency to push my economical style of writing onto others. Keep at it Colin. Best of luck in your writing endeavors.

Colin Brush – 2011/03/20

To Tommy’s edits: your version is more straightforward and probably reads easier. But it takes away the narrators sense of rambling and imperfect tone. It’s a little more plain. A little less appropriate. But maybe this just means I’m a stuck up writer who refuses to make edits. I hope not.

Tommy – 2011/03/20

Thanks to the writers and most of you commenting. This has been a great place to hang while in winter hibernation. I shall return next year and hope to see familiar monikers. BitS, you get it!

just saying – 2011/03/20

…what the hell is with all these rewrites?…the story’s out there…it’s finished…it won’t get published again in any revised form…i don’t want to look at it again…is that your good deed for the day, tommy?…are you smarter than everybody else?…of course, tommy’s right ; )

Tommy – 2011/03/20

Brush. 1st paragraph edit: \”I\’m in therapy,\” were the first words to come out of Ellery\’s mouth.\” Her fingernails were bitten down. She hadn\’t take off her sneakers when she climbed into my bed. \”It helps,\” she said, but I don\’t want my parents to think they\’re right.\”

just saying – 2011/03/20

…i think you’re right colin…a 10% swing on a monday night is huge…but a 60% swing?…i was thinking wednesday was hump day for you…granted, the power of the internet is a wonderful thing…stranger things have happened…and gamers play to win…so to kick it off your late rally  i started voting for you…hal and i are a bit miffed that ding dong would walk away from the table in the final round of commenting…fuck griff and his oh so exciting bc bum lifestyle…ralph klein probably bought his that bus pass when griff decided to “reinvent” himself…i stand to be corrected, griff does mention drugs/rolling up a doobie in his story…how prosaic…he makes it as easy as snuffing out a fetus…what a great example to all the fifteen years out there…l i know, i know…my flip flop puts me in the same wishy washy category as lichty…but it’s worth it to me, and gives the better story a chance to keep it close…i’m still trying to wrap my mind around the sickening realization someone would pay money to win this contest…how lame and desperate…as if the panamanians will ever receive a penny…these “promises” are so quickly forgotten come payday…would you ever trust a guy who thinks love is a chemical reaction and there’s no such thing as free will?…and don’t expect your money too soon, griff, magazines are notorius for paying their bills late…it was fear that drove griff’s camp to such dastardly lows…you have been one scary competitor, brush…you knocked off a giant…ant…and if it’s any consolation, and putting it in a sports metaphor, griff’s corruption puts him in a league with Pete Rose betting on baseball, or Mark McGuire and Barry Bonds’ tainted records…his feat will always bear a steroid enhanced asterix…in fitzy’s lingo, griff is the dogfighting football player who’s glove doesn’t fit  ; )

Tommy – 2011/03/19

A wild ride indeed. I\’ll talk NHL, NFL, WWF, or most sports. I like you Fitzy, but DEFENSE MOVE BACK. My favourite story isn\’t in the final. Big deal. This is mass exposure to all writers involved.

Colin Brush – 2011/03/19

Well just saying, I think the scores hit a point where not even a starcraft fleet can save me. I figure I can either sit by my computer and anxiously watch the score drop, or I can get out of the house and worry about writing a new piece of fiction (something I hadn’t been able to do with a more active deathmatch hovering around in my mind). One just seems much more productive than the other. Don’t worry I won’t abandon the board completely. But Griffs left us for a life at sea and everyone else seems to have gone to bask in the spring weather. Plus I’m not up on my NFL or my Indy stats.

fitzwilliam – 2011/03/19

The thought that a girl could actually like football bothers you dont it justsaying? I dont see why you are so stereotypical. Like stop being a sexist jerk and get it that anyone can be interested in anything! Because its not so impossible for a teenage girl to like football! But if you dont believe me thats fine, I dont really care about what you think.

just saying – 2011/03/19

…Whoaaaaaa.  I think Colin just spoke.  We’re not talking sports.  It’s Indianapolis metaphor for literature.  Indy, get it?  Like at the 500 when Al Unser juiced it too early in the race and ran out of gas.  Oh that’s right, that never happened to Al.  He was a winner.  Brush is more the Charlie Sheen kind of winner.  or maybe a Gilles Villeneuve, for you old Montrealais.  A French instructatrice once nicknamed named me “Gille,” she thought i looked like him.  Maybe it was my hair.  It’s important to stay on the track, Colin.  Maybe anyone losing as badly as you in the final round would crawl back in his den to sulk and lick his wounds and pout like a little pussy.  Growling fiecely, but ineffectually, at the bigger fox who bit him.  Gad, what more can we say about a couple whippersnapper’s short stories that hasn’t been said?  That decent psychological edge springs from a fragile psychological mind.  I guess we should just be thankful that neither of these bc bum stories dwells on the more predicatable overhashed theme of drugs.  One could almost think there is hope for the world.  Except for fitzy.  ‘She” asks too many open ended “why” questions.  Wouldn’t you like to know ; )

fitzwilliam – 2011/03/19

So you think I’m lying about being a girl? and being 15? Why would I do that? And football doesnt suck its a great sport! Oh and if you think that I cant be a girl because I like football then thats just stupid, My dad watches football every sunday from september until febuary and I was kind of forced into liking it. And the grey cup really, canadian football isnt as good. I’ve only been to one game but it was in detroit. And how did we get so far off from talking about the stories? I blame you justsaying.

Woah – 2011/03/19

Perhaps, justsaying, Colin entered this competition to discuss his work with strangers who aren’t biased by knowing him personally. In previous rounds that happened. But, this board seems to be more interested in whether or not fitz is male or female, or if girls are genuinely into football, or whether it’s even a sport worth caring about. Maybe Colin just doesn’t care about any of these things. This is supposed to be a literary competition and a bit of a marketing-craze for BP. But Brown never really cared to discuss the works in this round to begin with – he was more interested in marketing his own campaign and bartering votes. Which, fair enough, isn’t cheating because there are no established rules. Still – maybe the discussion is just tiring to watch, the conversation not worth being a part of, and he’s just running the clock. You certainly haven’t contributed much other than insults and bickering. I certainly haven’t been moved to say much at all.

just saying – 2011/03/19

…why don’t you girls both go long…i’m not going to ask why you memorized the roster of the Indianapolis…Colts, isn’t it?…these forums really bring out the freaks…if fitzy is a fifteen year old girl i’ll give $300 to the panama aquarium fund…because after all, third world welfare is such a great incentive for indigenous cavemen to crawl out of the jungle and integrate with modern society…football sucks, much less 4 downs football…been to two games in my life, one was the grey cup and somebody gave me a free ticket…lichty is the kid who was so indecisive she voted once for each of brush and brown…wouldn’t it have been easier just not to vote at all?…or like brush, just to not show up at all…i think he got on the same boat as griff ; )

fitzwilliam – 2011/03/19

Yeah Justsaying girls are allowed to like and understand football! I don’t see why you have such a problem with that, its not that rare for a teenage girl to watch football.

Lichty18 – 2011/03/19

Just wanted to touch on the whole sexist thing going on here with just saying. Fitzy’s a fifteen-year-old girl. Okay. Stereotypically, she wouldn’t know football. I’m a girl. I had the 2006 Indianapolis roster memorized. So bring the blitz.

missygreeneyes – 2011/03/19

i also found my way here from the ad and i don\’t think it\’s so bad. it\’s quite clear what it\’s for and there is lots of details on the blogspot about the contest. looks like a good cause and wonderful photos. i will be back to vote again!

just saying – 2011/03/18

charlie griffin alpha…do not abort…repeat…do not abort…yes, it would be cheating, toph….if it was any other contest besides the dearthmatch…but the only rule here…is that there are no rules…if griff has a friend who wants to use paid advertising to bring readers to broken pencil…no one at broken pencil is going to complain…the sleaze just got outsleazed…i am constantly amazed at the resourcefulness of a writer’s friends…i wondered how the percentage increase kept getting larger and larger…don’t stop the advertising campaign, griff’s not in trouble over it…those that aren’t vociferously spouting praises at this shrewd move are silently cheering that fair’s fair and what goes around comes around…if you ease up on the gas now, you’ll only give brush the chance to pull off a double reverse…that’s a football term, fitzy…though it looks like he doesn’t need the help…you might regret cancelling the ad….plus we’re getting a kick out of this shit kicking ; )

charliep54 – 2011/03/18

dear topffer: I am a friend of Daves and I work in internet advertising. Yes I directed some traffic to a blog that was set up for this contest and to a vote for his story. I was trying to help him out but I can see your point. It wasnt my intention to get him into trouble with this so I will have the ad deleted. He already had a commanding lead so I dint think it was a big deal to send him more traffic. Sorry Dave was trying to help u out buddy.

fitzwilliam – 2011/03/18

What\’s wrong with me getting and liking football refrences?

just saying – 2011/03/18

…does not compute…does not compute…some sad sacks will use any excuse to talk football…a fifteen year old girl who not only gets american football references, but likes them?…nuh uh…no such animal here…the odds are phenomenally against it…and only slightly better than brush’s chances of mounting a comeback at this late stage given griff’s staggering lead ; )

Topffer – 2011/03/18

I suggest to the webmaster of this magazine to check the links from where are coming the votes. I have voted for “Brink” without reading a line of the story, without a reference to Broken Pencil but only to a blog saying that the author will donate the prize for a humanitarian project in Panama, by pressing a paid link, a button linked directly to the vote page at Matrixmails.

I am a (paper) published author in my own language, and I cannot admit the way I voted here. Sorry, but this behavior is not correct : sending to the page presenting the stories, asking to read and vote for “Brink” IF I liked the story by David Griffin Brown would have been correct in my opinion. What this author is doing is CHEATING ! Cheaters have nothing to do in a writing contest. Maybe the declaration that the prize will be given for a charity project is correct, maybe not : how can I trust somebody who EXTORTED my vote with a paid link ? How many thousand links is he buying ?

Dear webmaster, check the links of the votes and make your next contest more secure…

fitzwilliam – 2011/03/18

Lichty I like all the football refrences, you are right I dont hate you DGB or your story, I dont hate anyone!Not even Justsaying. I just have a different opinion. And yes I am Eli manning everyone thinks I am the young weak player…everyone underestimates me and then Bam! so watch out! Oh and theres just something I would like to say,everyone seems to say him or he when they talk about me, I\’m a girl. I know the name confuses people.

just saying – 2011/03/18

…i hope your ship sinks, you good for nothing housesitting, b.c. bum…at least now you’re entitled to wear girlie earrings, since you’ve reached the designation of sailor/pirate/glorified cabin boy in yellow deck jellies…but wait griff, you didn’t mention anything about power of attorney, giving me full authorization to respond on your behalf to sordid smears, death threats and lewd come-ons arising from the dearthmatch between now and monday…thanks for keeping it real nattie, are you the beauty queen nattie?…didn’t i say i liked brush’s story better…we’re just building up that big cushion to make a sweet challenge for the starcraft crew come the weekend…and i thought it would be nice for a guy from western canada to win a contest sponsored by a toronto based mag ; )

Lichty18 – 2011/03/18

See ya later, DGB, have fun.

Now, this whole round has more arguing and politics than the NFL when the player’s contract came up. DGB, you remind me of the Dallas Cowboys. You got the fans behind you. You’re well loved. Your band new stadium has a few quirks though, as does your QB. But you are predicted to win the Super Bowl year, after freaking year. And you do have talent. As for what was said about haters, I don’t think Fitzy and Girdle are haters. Just because they have different opinions doesn’t mean they hate you. Look at the amazing Peyton Manning and that scum Tom Brady. They lead the New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts in what is one of the biggest active rivalries (and I saw active in respect of the Detroit Lions and Miami Dolphins, among others) in the league. Big “HATERS”. But does that mean they do hate each other? No. They have different opinions, play for different teams, and Manning still buys Brady some dinner. Now that’s classy. See? No hate, just some different opinions. Little Fitzy seems to be our Eli Manning. He may be young, be he doesn’t hate the Cowboys at all, even if they are rivals. Just remember, Eli kicked butt in Super Bowl XLII.

Colin Brush – 2011/03/18
Bon voyage David, Enemies? I’d say we were bashing heads less than the other fellas I went up against (although I can’t say the same for the other posters this round). As far as I can tell I’m on good terms with Mr. Perry so I’d say that gives us a fighting chance. Anyways, enjoy your scamper around the world.hasta luego
David Griffin Brown – 2011/03/18
Bye bye lovely peoples.
This contest has been fun, and a horrendous time sink.  I’m off to my last Bogota bash, and then tomorrow I return to the canal zone.  I may have a boat lined up… the s/v Top Secret, on a 4-5 month voyage to Aus.  I will try to check in if I can, but it looks like we’ll be transiting the canal first thing Monday, and it’s all prep before that.


Thanks for all the good times.  Let’s be friends once we’re done being enemies.

Girdle, fitzwilliam 
Haters gonna hate.

Hats off to you… you had the best story of all.  Good luck!

You’re a horrible man, and very entertaining.  Thanks for kissing my feet.…..
PS.  A vote for Brush is a vote for Giardia lamblia!

Girdle – 2011/03/18

I find the whole “lily is a real person and therefore she’s written well” argument to be a little pointless. It’s fiction; you’re allowed take real events and alter them to fit literary purposes. Brown seems like he might be a naturally poetic guy, that doesn’t mean he has created a good story. He just slapped together some images. And the ‘love is a socially constructed emotional category’ bit loses him points. The whole purpose of fiction is to create a meaning that a reader to connect to and uncover themselves. I’m afraid what DGB was thinking of is an essay. If you want to take a risk like that with your style at least do it with an original idea. I don’t who hasn’t heard the love isn’t real argument , maybe not a million, but at least a hundred times. I think if just saying wasn’t so busy kissing Brown’s feet he’d look up to see this isn’t a great story.

fitzwilliam – 2011/03/18

Just saying, I actually do not like Griff\’s story better. I think it could be a lot better than what it is. I really don\’t see the plot in his story and it bored me halfway through it. Out of the two stories right now I think Brush\’s stoy is better because I find the two people more interesting,and the story line is better thought out. And I\’m sorry it\’s just in Griff\’s story I do not believe with the whole abortion thing. But actually I dont really like either of the stories that much…and I think that another story should win but they didnt even get a chance to make it to the finals. Oh well but no Justsaying I will not vote for Griff, but I dont think I have to it\’s pretty clear that he will win, he was the favourite. Not to mention his real compitition didnt make it to this round, and he knew who it was…maybe he even made sure they wouldnt get to this round…anyways Nattie dont worry I know that justsaying is against me, its been that way for a while and it seems that he\’s having fun making fun of me now, but I dont really care its actually quite entertaining.

extropian – 2011/03/17

Hey Just Sayin, you do realize that Hal\’s comments in the Globe were ironic right? We DO live in a country that supports its writers. Everything he mentions in that little blurb are things that we actually have. I thought it was a creative way to express his opinion, something all the other writers didn\’t manage to do.

Nattie – 2011/03/17

Fitz, some friendly advice – take it easy for a bit. You have just as much of a right to read and comment as anyone else here, but there’s a lot of ammo being added to the fight and sometimes it’s worth more to not add to the bickering.


This discussion is heading in distasteful direction. DGB doesn’t deserve to be threatened, and Brush doesn’t deserve to be grouped in with violent posters.

Can we get back to the stories? This discussion board is beginning to look awful, and I believe there’s some people here with comments and questions about the authors and their stories. This round isn’t just two new tales at war, but it’s also two new groups of supporters. There’s a lot to say here. Let’s cut the cyber-snarl for a while and take a step back into some literary discussion.

just saying – 2011/03/17

…i’ll write a story about him ; )

just saying – 2011/03/17

…if it was someone you knew, they wouldn’t have said you “sound” like a douchebag in their first post…my guess is that it’s a religious freak anti-abortionist or jeff clark who has gotten into the st. paddy’s day sauce…Watch out!…for vomit on your shoes…13 was immediately pro Brush in his first comments, already heavy on the Brush bandwagon…i was prepared to give Brush the benefit of the doubt as being a reasonably decent kid…but the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree…and birds of a feather…this is starting to sound awfully like broken pencil’s opening line to every match…i mean really…to stoop to that level of cryptic anonymous threat…if i ever find out who it is, i’ll travel by bus to his hometown, spend my summer holiday trailing him, until late one night, when he’s stumbles out of bar, alone, and in the darkness…Watch out ; )

David Griffin Brown – 2011/03/17

If it was actually someone I know, they would have gone with something more avant-garde, like SABOD or DIAF.

just saying – 2011/03/17

…ha ha…whoever it is, they’ll be hard pressed to track you down…unless they hire maddy…you didn’t tell us that you were an international fugitive being cyber stalked by a psycho serial killer…or could it be maddy?…do you owe somebody money?…fitzy, who do you think 13 is?…SMD sounds like a guy…say, since we’re “both” up, maybe we could tutor fitzy on a school night…his spelling has improved…he’s advanced to complete sentences…let’s see if we can spur him on to a full paragraph…you know, with an original thought and maybe even a rational conclusion on a single topic…admit it Fitz…you like griff, you like his story….better than Brush’s with its feeble lame lame laaaaaame joke ending…and you’re going to vote for griff the rest of the week…if you do “we’ll” let you stay up an hour past your bed time ; )

fitzwilliam – 2011/03/17

Dont tell me to shhhhh!And do not tell me what to do! And dont be silly i dont homework over march break!

David Griffin Brown – 2011/03/17


Shhhh.  Go do your homework.


It’s flattering, really.   13  thinks my crap story is actually literature.

fitzwilliam – 2011/03/17

there we go again, DGB commented and the just saying right after its kinda of creepy its as if they are like the same person. wait that cant possibly be!

just saying – 2011/03/17

…what the hell was that, griff…it says Death “Match” at the top of the page….not Death “Threats”…lily may not get around to answering your emails…but her brother does ; (

just saying – 2011/03/17

…welcome to the Twilight Zone, fitzy…where we lurk to probe your curious young mind…only to find a total vacuum, except for some glaring spelling mistakes…griff and i were separated at birth…except he got both earrings…you should read hal needsvikki’s book “Peep Culture”…before you become road kill on the internet highway…i read hal’s interview in yesterday’s globe…all the other writers were going, “Uh, Yup Yup, Gorsh! Yeah! Canada’s a great place for writer’s to get grants and have complete freedom of expression”…hal totally calls it out and says, Hell No!  Writers in Canada are underappreciated and suffering censorship…he knows how to stand out and get noticed to better flog his books…kudo’s for getting his mugshot on the front web page for the article too…but then he goes on to describe this writer’s Utopia where writer’s should be elevated and privileged and get subsidized for frittering away their time in a dying art writing books that nobody wants to buy…hey, at least subsidies to GM and big oil provide more widespread trickle down effect for productive jobs  that support physical essentials during a period of declining affluence…and propping the banks preserves regular people’s savings…okay, so they use people’s own savings to do it…but still…hal’s heart is in the right place…in a way though, the article was a bust for me…i couldn’t imagine they omitted my favorite TO author…what did they give us…the grandparents of canadian literature?…what a blunder…has somebody got a grudge ; )

David Griffin Brown – 2011/03/17


I’m sorry to hear about your grandmother!

13 – 2011/03/17

Dearest David Brown,


Your literature sound like my 76 year old grandmothers half assed effort at writing.

Your crap.

from 13- weve met before, you know who I am. Watch out.

fitzwilliam – 2011/03/17

its not excitement of paranoia it was just a fact i found interesting I also noticed that you and justsaying both call me fitzy and no one else does…I\’ve noticed other suspicious things too but im sure its all just a coincidence.

David Griffin Brown – 2011/03/17

I hope no one else posts before I finish this so Fitz doesn’t lose out on the excitement of paranoia.


I was trying to be gallant by aligning MarMar with Macbeth and Twilight with dungbeetles.  Apparently I shouldn’t communicate before coffee.


I hear that.  And even if I had a swath of publications I was proud of, I wouldn’t mention them in a bio.  And what does that leave?  I can do a pretty sweet cartwheel when I’m drunk.

just saying – 2011/03/17

…you had me thinking about your concept of love on the way to work, griff, i know where you’re coming from…but for chrissakes, keep it down, that and the talk of no free will…it’s too logical, it’s hard enough being your wingman, your’e scaring away all the chicks…plus you keep pushing my buttons…you are soooooo in on this, i just can’t see it in your story…charting happiness has never worked for me…it makes for boring reading, apparently, judging by what the fiction editors select…i’ve had a terrific life…scored some tremendous highs…and still have a couple home runs left in me…moving on to brush…not fleshing out casey can be forgiven…he’s really only a bit player in the story…he’s got his positive’s, he’s a jock and has a fun/wild side that has caused him problems, almost a balance against his A-type aggression…who can blame him for bashing a few heads, he was provoked…but Ellery is equally strong-willed, appears to come from a reasonably affluent background, thus has a semblance of self respect to balance against her insecurities…which possibly arise out of a heightened sense of self-awareness …so there is bound to be friction in their relationship and arguments arising that undoubtably stem in part from the considerable emotional baggage on both sides…they would probably break up, and maybe later become friends…oh ellery…so much potential…she’s not perfect, far from it…she uses the narrator, puts up barriers and throws a few cheap shots of her own…maybe, given time and the right circumstances in the unforseeable future, she might become friends with the narrator too…but despite his bad decisions, he’s seen enough know that he should probably run, not walk…you’re right, brush, you probably wouldn’t gain any personality points here bragging you’re a Starcraft grandmaster…and Montreal sounds a lot cooler than burlington…never been to burlington, but had breakfast in hope on my last road trip…linking marmar and dung beetles is one thing…linking scumbags and gay porn is another, i’m surprised that no one has called out the un-people-skilled jeff clark for his inadvertent anti-toronto remarks…is “gay” porn worse than the regular kind?…only extropian/succubus can rule whether a full apology will be satisfactory ; ).

Colin Brush – 2011/03/17

Whoa Mr. Clark, let’s try to keep away from slander

Succincubus, the truth is I find that coming up with an author Bio is the most annoying part of the submission process. Doesn’t mean I’ve got nothing to brag about, just nothing to brag about within the writing scene.

the unskilled jeff clark – 2011/03/17

Hey, shut the hell up, hes obviously not at his computer, maybe he’s out enjoying the fresh air with some friends… i know you don’t have a firm grasp at what either of those thing really are, so as long as your glued to your screen you might as well go enjoy some gay porn you little scumbag.

succincubus – 2011/03/17

Mr. Brush: Struggling to come up with three sentences about yourself? What, you don’t got enough to boast about to make other people feel less good about themselves?

With your “brevity,” were you trying to remain a man of mystery, or did you really have nothing to share with the BP readers, except that you’ve got a functioning bicycle and now live in Little France?

Although in a place like this, it’s probably better to keep most of your cards up your sleeve.

So, got any plans to swing this baby around, or are ya just gonna coast til Monday night?

succincubus – 2011/03/17

Dear Village Saver,

Three Questions:

1. So you’re saying we don’t have free will because of our biological impulses, not because we’re God’s meat puppets? That is extra super suck. Not only do I have no control over whether I get sick on Irish Car Bombs tonight, but there’s no God to punish me for it, either? Damn.

2. Did you just put MarMar and dung beetles in the same category? Dude! That’s so unlike you.

3. Have you ever experienced a glitch in the Matrix?

Colin Brush – 2011/03/17

petromyzon marinus

Unfortunately just saying is slightly right in his interpretation of Casey. The part about the characterisation being superficial and probably doesn’t do him justice. That’s what he represents: the half picture that Ellery paints and the truth that the narrator doesn’t fully know what’s going on. Ellery isn’t the type of gal that’ll come into therapy and spill ‘Casey was so wonderful today.’ She’s got more pressing worries to discuss. She talks about him when she needs to vent about him, that’s why she’s there – to vent. But Ellery likes Casey – she does give up sleep to listen to him complain all night. The narrator doesn’t get that because all he hears are the complaints. The narrator doesn’t ever fully understand Ellery, or the situation they’re in. Casey is proof of that.

And thanks for the compliments about the blow up scene. It took a long time to get right. I was about half way through writing free therapy when the idea really started to take form, so I jumped ahead early to make sure I could do it justice.

Just saying

Here’s all the dirty info you’ve been waiting on. I was born in BC, so that should explain the BC beard. The town was called hope, and my parents pulled me out of there before I was one. It’s where the first Rambo movie was filmed, which accounts for pretty much the only images I’ve seen of that place. I was raised in Burlington Ontario, a lively commuter town 50 minutes west of Toronto. And I’ve been living in Montreal for a year, which accounts for the Bio reference. I only wanted to comment so much on my bike and I wanted to come up with at least three sentences, so I added my place of residence, it seemed appropriate.

fitzwilliam – 2011/03/17

I was just thinking and i find it quite interesting that Justsaying and DGB always seem to post right after eachother and around the same time….I’m just saying that I find that interesting.

David Griffin Brown – 2011/03/17

Twighlight? Damn. Going back to bed.

David Griffin Brown – 2011/03/17

petromyzon marinus

I do believe that love and hate are born of biochemical responses on a scale of varying intensity.  I think all of our impulses arise from a protozoic stimulous-reponse, which seems infinitely complex as our life experiences are layered on top of our perspective, but which originate from a long chain of binary inputs.

So the depth of your love or hate isn’t something that can be quantified or generalized.  Every person must have a slightly different concept of each, must feel each emotion a bit differently, even if the whole clusterfuck arises from the same hominid template.  An individual’s culture must also weight heavily in the equation.

I’m sure that some people never experience hate in the same intensity as love, and vice versa.  I would assume that some morbidly depressed muffins out there, or serial killers, spend much more time charting the regions of their discontent, and so know it and feel it much more than anything they’ve know on the pleasure side of the scale.

I also don’t believe in free will, despite my inability to escape the tight grasp of ego/self.  I think every thought and decision is predetermined by the experiential chain from birth… built, of course, upon a set of biological potentials, and guided by a general tendancy to favour positive/pleasurable stimuli.  And so the random creative expression that culminates in MacBeth or Twighlight is akin to the random physical expression that has resulted in MarMars and dung beetles.

At this point someone inevitably says, riiiiight…. go smoke another one Griff.

just saying – 2011/03/17

petromyzon marinus = sea lamprey = parasite…stop iiiiiit….we killed every one of those parasite stories…sorry to spoil the party…griff has a real one…”love story in the narrator’s head”…cheap shot, given no substantiation and your decision not to elaborate…but fine, if you want a fond final backward glance at the back story to the last remaining parasite story standing…ellery must resemble some aspect of some person brush was familiar with at one tme…perhaps casey was an actual boyfriend/ex husband…he probably did have a domineering assholish streak in him…but  the characterization is passing, superficial, and probably doesn’t do him justice…as for keith hernandez, someone has to call him on his blatant bullshit…he says “the focus would be on critiquing the writing”… yet his first post is all defensive posturing and slinging personal ad hominem arrows and nothing intelligently critical about the writing at all…some boring hypocrites are incapable of appreciating levity…maybe you didnt read brush’s work, but you know him…and as far as i’m concerned, your head has now reached his esophagus ; )    

petromyzon marinus – 2011/03/16

DGB, I have a quesiton (this question may depend on wether or not your story represents your perspective): In the continuum between love and hate, do you think it possible to hate someone with the level of closeness and intensity that some seem to love (or does love seem to reach an extreme unmatched in the reverse)? How much of this love do you attribute to biology and social psychology? I’m interested in your perspective, as someone who thought enough about the subject to write a story about it.

C Brush:  What’s the deal with Casey? What does he mean to the story? You have enough description that I suspect he represents some part of Ellery that I don’t get, or was it an aside? I really enjoy the love story going on in the narrators head while Ellery is losing her shit on him, that scene is very powerful and well writen.

fitzwilliam – 2011/03/16

just saying i dont understand why you enjoy everyyone hating you, like why do you even comment

keithhernandez – 2011/03/16


i’m not from montreal, don’t have a hipster back story, and have never read brush’s work before this contest- i just read the stories, evaluated the thread, and made a decision about who to support. i don’t feel compelled to be funny in this forum, not everyone has to try to be a comedian.

Just Saying:

my head isn’t up brush’s ass, some of the criticism levelled against him was unfair and worth rebutting. conversely, i don’t think people should vote against Brown’s story because of their discomfort with the abortion theme, and i think what he’s doing in panama is admirable, but irrelevant to the competition.

saying “fuck off” anonymously on the internet is cowardly.  i wish the discourse was more subdued and less like the angry comments on youtube videos. it may make things boring, but at least the focus would be on critiquing the writing.

David Griffin Brown – 2011/03/16


I agree, Brush seems like a decent guy, and I never said he cheated last round.

But I’m becoming quite worried about this plague of Humour Deficit Disorder in Montreal…. Are you yet another Plateau hipster taking himself too seriously, smoking Marlboros on the steps Grumpy’s, and cutting yourself whenever a lady shuts you down?

What you don’t know is Colin and I have actually conspired from the beginning to rig this contest so we can split the winnings and take Saddle out for a conspiratorial poutine and moosehead.

danielperry – 2011/03/16

I left a reply to Griff/Tommy’s submissions vs. contests discussion half-finished this afternoon, and now, everyone’s beaten me to the punch (and said briliant things!). Regardless, my truncated and edited two cents:

I think it’s hard to paint all contests with one brush. Contest winnners are no more or less subjective than publications in magazines, and when you’re an unknown quantity, the odds may be the same either way. I’m 0-for-18 in contests currently, from the “Dumb-Ass Valley” Annuals to the $5,000 Toronto Star contest (which is free to enter, by the way), and my three published short stories racked up 15 rejections/losses between them before finding homes. It’s just part of the process. I like the way Prairie Journal puts it in their guidelines: “selection, not rejection.”

Of course, I also keep these words from Saul Bellow tacked to the wall near my desk:

“Rejections are not altogether a bad thing. They teach a writer to rely on his own judgement and to say in his heart of hearts, ‘To Hell with you.'”

In a sense, that’s how I feel about tailoring work to a given magazine or contest. Write what you need to write: what you know, what you think, what you love, and in the way that only you can. That’s why you do this. Have faith in what you do. When it’s done, take a break and read a few magazines. See where it might fit best, and send it there. If they don’t run it, look it over again, make it better if you can, then send it somewhere else.

One good thing about magazine-run contests and theme issues: guest judges/editors. The competition is stiff for regular submissions, and a given editor/editorial board’s tastes are likely established. A guest may shake things up. I’m not saying it’s a shoo-in, but if a writer you think you “get” is guesting, it could be worth trying to have that person read your work and/or remember your name. It might even provide a way into a magazine that would normally reject what you write.

All you can really do, though, is keep writing, and try to improve every time out. “Fail better,” like Samuel Beckett said, and just keep sending it. If the work’s as good as you know it is, then it can’t help but break through somewhere.

Oh, and I see in a separate window what just saying just said. I agree. No one buys short story books, what the hell are we thinking?!? Novels! About sexy vampires!!

just saying – 2011/03/16

…hey keith…if your head wasn’t so far up brush’s ass, you would have noticed from the thread that just about every unbiaised person here thinks griff is terrific…in fact, maddy just created a new work of art and is wondering where to show up to give it to him personally…so fuck off ; )

keithhernandez – 2011/03/16

Reading last round’s thread, it’s clear Brush didn’t assemble trolls to vote for him, and i reckon he was as shocked as anyone. that being said, i think it’s a bit wimpish for Brown to pre-emptively state (in jest, but perhaps passive-aggressively) that if he loses it’s because Brush has cheated. I also found it manipulative that Brown introduced the round with a World Vision-esque plea for his cause, and i appreciated Brush’s candour in admitting he will use the winnings to pay the bills. It was refreshing.

The “rich white boy” jibe thrown at Brush earlier in the thread was silly; you can’t judge the socio-economic status of an online stranger based on a stamp-sized headshot. criticise his story, don’t level baseless ad hominem attacks.

I will be voting for Brush because i really do think his story is better, but the vote is bolstered by the unfair beating he’s taking from all sides. it’s hard to humanize the anonymous writings in a forum like this, especially when you don’t know the players. just from the reading the thread, Brush seems like a decent guy and Brown comes across poorly.

just saying – 2011/03/16

…so where are you from brush…it must be a terrible secret, since you’re “currently” from montreal…one of those gaming freaks who hails from virtual reality?…with a B.C. beard…i’ve got a hunch he’s american…i’m not a real writer…god my first stories were bad…they sucked as bad as java bean….in fact they’re still bad…i shelled out for writing fame going the contest route…20 bucks here, twenty five there…what i didn’t realize was that i didn’t have a hope in hell of winning…they were so bad…but at the time i thought they were good…ultimately i started watching what other published short story writers were doing…so closely, in fact, i scared the crap out of the girls…to get started publishing it seems to help to be twentyish, reasonably attractive, and have a bonsai thatch…that wasn’t working in my favour…but some of the same names keep cropping, up, say, guys who plug along in relative obscurity like corey mesler…or others who had creative ideas to keep a high public profile…say, like running a magazine…i noted where they were being published…i started sending out stories one at a time to these places…with emphasis on serious sounding venues that had been around at least five years…but the time lag was unbearable…and i kept getting rejected…eventually i quit sending to anywhere that only accepts submissions by mail….forget entry fees, the postage was killing me…over time i built up an email list…i started spamming them mercilessly with simultaneous submissions…created an A list of about 15 favoured venues, waited for 30 days, maybe make a few edits, incorporating any suggestions, then send it out to a B list of another 30 venues…i have a C list for short shorts…occasionally had to drop the odd ezine if an enraged editor complained about my blatant infidelity…the advent of submission web pages has helped to eliminate this complaint…and when i get an acceptance, i don’t send them anymore stories…some of them go on my D List of Favorite Acceptances…sounds ungrateful, but i wanted to build up a big list of numerous publications, thinking it might look more prestigious…it’s not, really, i wish they all got published in the paris review…i was rejected by word riot so many times, finally i started giving them first dibs, until they accepted me, just to get the monkey off my back…that was the only time i ever got accepted on my first crack sending to a single outlet…my contest winning story?…got rejected by barry callaghan’s magazine, maybe partly because i emailed it, they only take written submissions…maybe partly because it also sucked a bit…not as badly as java bean…i had read something of Callaghan’s that i liked…anyway, i’ve got a decent size list of creds, now all i need is a novel…because it’s fucking near impossible to publish a first book of short stories without either that or a seriously unique style and superb writing skill, an incredibly high public profile like being a humour columnist for the new york times, some heavy hitter friends in the publishing biz, or have a serious knack for giving toronto’s best blow job…or in alanna’s case, some unbecomingly good face …i consider any time i get published that i’ve won a contest…hat’s off to tommy for getting it again, he’s been there…is canada good to writers?…no…the only one’s i heard of on that list of 31 were margaret, hal, camilla gibb (i remember her name from wordfest, that’s all) and jessica westhead, who’s name i ran across “somewhere” just last month…see what kind of abuse she has to take to maintain a public profile?…call me illiterate, but if they ain’t dead, they ain’t shit…The Dearthmatch is for unknown writers…i couldn’t see a respectable writer putting themselves through this shit show…and lose to who, Zerg man? ; )

petee5 – 2011/03/16

sorry Litchy18, just a shortcut….nickname i suppose.

fitzwilliam – 2011/03/16

Thankyou Lichty18 and just a reader for realizing that age doesnt matter, I doubt that justsaying will get it though, he doesnt seem to understand anything except his opinion. I may be younger then you but atleast everyone doesnt hate me.

Lichty18 – 2011/03/16

petee5: Spelling my name correctly would be wonderful, thanks! 🙂

I’ll explain. I don’t think Beaulieu would hold a grudge against Brush. Why bother? Hating takes too much effort. Save it for those worthy. Not many are, in my opinion. I think the expression my mother often told me is well suited here. ‘Be the bigger person’.

petee5 – 2011/03/16

Litchy, i don’t see the self-flattery…?

Lichty18 – 2011/03/16

I admittedly cannot spell. Bitter should clearly be biter. Whoops!

Lichty18 – 2011/03/16

Brush: Don’t flatter yourself too much, it’s not becoming.

As for this age debate, why does age matter? I do believe that some opinions- those by more educated people, for example- do hold more weight than others. So with that being said, someone who’s eighty could have a ‘poorer’ opinion than someone who is sixteen. I do think that adults need to listen to children more. They do have some great points.

I do wish the voting would be closer. Even if DGB deserves the lead, a nail bitter is always fun.

simone – 2011/03/16

On the contrary, Colin. Braydon laughingly told me the next day how flattered he was that you had to call in the StarCraft 2 crew to beat him. It’s not easy to faze that guy. We were on the phone during ZergStorm 2011 giggling over the trolls.

I can’t say the same for his friends and family, though. We definitely have developed a grudge. Ta for now, darling.

Colin Brush – 2011/03/16

My first instinct in trying to get published was to submit to contests. I just assumed it was the most likely way for an unknown writer to get read. Then a Prof of mine who’s been published and knows the writing game pretty thoroughly advised me to go straight for the litmags. He said contests are nothing more than a wallet burn. I submitted a piece of fiction to broken pencil and they e-mailed me back saying there’s about an 8 month waiting period for responses, try the deathmatch, you’ll have a better shot at making the magazine and you’ll get a response a lot sooner. I liked the sound of better odds. Every time I come across a contest it grabs my attention, I’m trying to repress my urges to submit to them though.

DGB, I know what you mean about the resume bullets. I’m constantly jumping back and forth between writing short fiction and the longer story I’m working on. I enjoy writing short stories, but I care about them less. But it’s hard to figure out the balance of what’s most important to be writing right now.

I think Beaulieu has developed a grudge against me.

David Griffin Brown – 2011/03/16


No no… Fitzy is 15.  You might want to brush up on your reading comprehension.

A giddy school girl???? HOT. Thanks!


Thanks Tommy, RR and BB.

Contests definitely have an allure because of course it’s great to win a few hundred bucks or more instead of what most places pay contributers, but I would assume it’s far more difficult to win contests than to get published in litmags.  Maybe?

I decided to start wriitng short fiction just for the resume bullets, with this hopes that a publisher will one day ask to see my manuscript… but now I’m constantly thinking of new short things I could do, and how a series of short stories could easily be turned into something bigger.


A vote for Brush is a vote for amoebic dysentery!!!

13 – 2011/03/16

D. Brown,

Are you actually 15? If so have you hit puberty yet? You sound like a giddy school girl who has found her first crush. Is your daddy assisting you with your comebacks?? Weak.

Tommy – 2011/03/16

Just to clarify, the argument of contests is not mine. I agree with some of it though. I have entered a contest here and there but think most entry fees are high for the struggling writer unless you very much like the publication and want to support it with the added subscrition you receive. I had considered entering a story for the Deathmatch, but thought I would follow it closely instead to see what it was all about. I admit, Round 2 was a bit scary. I\’ve enjoyed being along for the ride but am not a writer that enjoys talking my story process and details to death.

Madeline Masters – 2011/03/16

Ha ha ha dude. I’ve been submitting to writing contests like this one because I’m broke. If I can get $1,000 (not here, but other contests) for sending them a story I had fun writing, well, I can’t turn down that opportunity!

Tommy – 2011/03/16

I do have publications, but I also have a big box of rejections. Rejections don\’t bother me as they only remind me I\’m in progress. News of publication brings a couple minutes joy and then it\’s back to work. Tips…Write, write, write. You only want to send out your best work. Ray Bradbury said, \”If you do fifty-two stories it\’s better than doing three, because you can\’t judge anything from three stories. It\’s very hard to write fifty-two stories in a row and have them all be bad.\” The Canadian Writer\’s Market(book) and Places for Writers(website) will help you find magazines and journals. Beaulieu made good comments regarding placement of stories. You must familiarize yourself with a mag/journal before submitting. Read to know what they publish. I don\’t tailor my work once it\’s done but there are stories I might send to mag A, but not B. For example, if I write a piece with the Maple Leafs as a background story I would probably send that to a Toronto magazine before a New Brunswick publication. Also, carefully read submission guidelines concerning word count, formatting, etc., everywhere is a little different. Address cover letters to fiction editor and if you do not have publications you can mention you read issue #… and enjoyed story…. At least they\’ll know you\’ve read their journal. Keep good records of submissions(dates, time of response, feedback, etc.) There is a business side of writing and it helps to be organized. Most responses take 4-8 months, but some take a year and others never get back to you. Hence, I suggest simultaneous submissions. Hope this rambling helps.

Braydon Beaulieu – 2011/03/16

Tommy, as I read your post I realized more and more how good your argument is. Year after year the Giller hands however-many-thousands of dollars to possibly the most boring book published in Canada. Each year I hope for something different. For example, I would have been really happy if the Canada Reads Award had gone to Jeff Lemire’s graphic novel Essex County. But that’s never the case. This Deathmatch itself has shown us that the Zerg Swarm is a more powerful ally than friends who, you know, read. Your point is taken, and taken well.

When I said submit to contests, it was definitely from a more businesslike perspective. In terms of writing good work: I’m sure that some of the best things ever written have never even been looked at by publishers. I agree with you that you should not tailor your writing toward getting published in a certain magazine or winning a certain contest or being contracted by a certain book company. For sure, write what you want and write it to the best of your ability, convention be damned. But what I think I meant to say but may not have articulated quite so well is: when you do send it out to get it published, make sure you’re sending it to the right spot. I did not compromise or change or even write Field Guide for Broken Pencil, I just thought it would be an appropriate venue for the story.

Tommy, I had a brief foray with editing an online twit-lit review (so everything we published was 140 characters or less) and I remember now what that’s like, and I know what you mean about the author’s publication list. I once rejected a piece by so-and-so and received an angry email back asking something to the effect of: “Did you even read my bio? I’ve been published in over a hundred and fifty magazines! You have no right to reject me, and you will regret it!” I politely sent an email back saying something along the lines of: “I really don’t care, your piece was terrible. And even more importantly, it doesn’t even adhere to our submission guidelines. It’s 2500 words long.” Maybe not in those words, but that was the gist of it. So yeah. Definitely take what I posted before with a grain of salt: publication and winning awards does not mean you’re a great (or even good) writer. But it also does not necessarily make you a meathead either, as long as you’re not a douchebag about it. It can be great practice for getting the hang of submission etiquette and expectations, like RichardR says.

Hal: Great article! I’m going to go through and see what all these other authors have to say, too.

And speaking of Nick Cave and awards, have you seen this?

RichardR – 2011/03/16

Looks like the claws are coming out for real here in the final round. To the accusation that contests are a sham and tailoring submissions to specific markets is like cheating: I think Braydon is right – you wouldn’t send a sword-and-sorcery story to the Paris Review, and you shouldn’t submit a Harlequin romance to the Deathmatch. There are plenty of markets out there, and if they were all looking for the same things – or all looking for absolutely anything – it would be a pretty terrible mess.
Our own Hal Niedzviecki talks about what kind of a place Canada is for writers in the Globe today (he’s #24 on the list):

Tommy – 2011/03/16

Matthew Firth, editor of Black Bile Press and Front & Centre wrote this essay on contests: No More Prizes, No More Contests! In 1996 iconoclast singer/songwriter Nick Cave wrote MTV to ask that his nomination for Best Male Artist be withdrawn from competition. Cave was flattered but also nauseated by the idea of prizes and awards for artists. In his usual purple manner he stated his reasoning thusly: I am in competition with no one. My relationship with my muse is a delicate one at the best of times and I feel that it is my duty to protect her from influences that may offend her fragile nature. She comes to me with the gift of song and in return I treat her with the respect I feel she deserves – in this case this means not subjecting her to the indignities of judgement and competition … My muse is not a horse and I am in no horse race and if indeed she was, still I would not harness her to this tumbrel – this bloody cart of severed heads and glittering prizes. My muse may spook! May bolt! May abandon me completely! It’s a long quote but worth repeating and remembering. More writers should take Cave’s position. In recent years, literary prizes and contests have become a cancer infecting all levels – from the glitterati to the humblest rural writing circle and everywhere in between. Literary awards are so ubiquitous that they are meaningless. They remind me of my six-year-old son’s sporting endeavours: everyone must get a trophy or medal in fear of treading a developing ego. Taking part is not enough, there must be some material compensation, some exaggerated recognition of achievement. Literary awards of all stripes aren’t much different – except in this case we’re dealing with adults’ egos, stunted though they may be. To be blunt, as an editor, I don’t give a rat’s arse when someone submits a story and then boasts in their bio that they are the 2004 recipient of the Dumb-ass Valley Writers Association Short Story Award or what have you. I don’t care. Nobody cares. Wake up: literary awards and contests are a scam. The big awards are particularly sickening. Longlists and shortlists are compiled. Nominees are trotted out like county fair pigs. Sparkling wine (or more likely real champagne) is supped. Pics of beautiful, clever folk are snapped. The winner is announced. Bland speeches are mumbled. Stickers to smear on the new print run are ordered. And then all the lemmings run out and buy up the award-winning book, eager to be onside with the bunch of nothing-better-to-do writers (i.e., the judges) who selected the big winner (in all likelihood a peer/pal of the judges in the first place). It’s a perpetual circle of self-congratulation more closely resembling a circle jerk than anything else. Contests run by literary journals and mags must also be resisted or better yet, rejected outright. They are nothing more than unimaginative cash-grabs by editors at lazy, uninspired publications. For a $20 fee they dangle insipid awards before the noses of writers so desperate for attention they shell out the dough faster than you can say Doris Giller. But of course the unknown/naïve writer – chequebook at the ready though they are – probably doesn’t win the contest. Instead, he/she is let down gently with a year’s subscription to Cash-grab Review, said subscription the equivalent to the aforementioned six-year-old’s hockey trophy. What’s the problem here, you ask. Everybody wins, right? The journal boosts their subscriber’s list so they can go cap-in-hand to suck at the Canada Council tit for one more year. The writer thinks he/she is the cat’s pyjamas because he/she is one of 250 runners-up for (insert name of vacuous lit-rag contest here). All winners? No. Nobody wins but nobody loses either – all concerned just drift in an ego-stroking fog of mediocrity. Writing decent fiction isn’t about yearning for a medal to pin to your chest. And it’s not about compromising or altering your work to comply with silly contest specifications. It’s not about beating down the competition. It’s not about ego. Writing decent fiction is about conviction, not contests and awards. Write what you want, what comes from your heart – the bourgeois awarders and indolent contest-judges be damned. Cave has it right: this isn’t a horse race so we should all stop betting on the muse and get back to writing decent shit rather than ogling odious and hollow awards.

Braydon Beaulieu – 2011/03/16

Well, I’ve already discussed this with Griff on Ye Olde Facebook, but I figure it’s only fair if I throw my two cents in here for anyone else who’s looking for an answer to that question.

For any submission I’ve encountered – lit mag, book publisher, academic journal, conference, etc. – you have to tailor your submissions to where you send them. Many rejections happen not because the piece or proposal is subpar, but because a writer has “sent it to the wrong publication.” For lit mags, buy a few copies of different things and ask yourself in what magazine you could see your work, based on what’s printed in it. This doesn’t mean that you have to change what you’re writing about or how you write it, it just means you’ll have to do some research on your audience. For example, there is a huge difference between what Carousel accepts and what The New Quarterly accepts. Familiarize yourself with their house style, so to speak, and submit your works accordingly. If it’s out of your comfort zone and you don’t want to experiment: well, then it’s not the right publication for your work.

Contests like this one are a pretty good way to start out because a) if you win, it gets your name out there more than a general publication might (as all eight of us know), and b) they usually come with a subscription to the mag. So, if they don’t pick up your piece, you’ve got a full year of reading the publication to figure out what it is, exactly, that they look for.

That’s my take, but I too am interested in Tommy‘s and saddle‘s inputs.

Just a Reader – 2011/03/16

Some of you should learn to love and not hate.  The 15-year-old has a right to his opinion.  Where were you at 15, still in grade 4???  Get off his back.

I’m voting for Brown, he has great writing skills and will go far.  Good luck!

java bean – 2011/03/16

I have been voting all along for free therapy, but I havent bothered to comment or look at comments until now. I have noticed that Justsaying seems to have a bigmouth and doesnt know when to shut up, do you comment just so you can argue with people? Now about the stories, I vote for free therapy because I find the two charecters quite interestng, and I’m sure some people can relate to these charecters. I also see that Brink is the favoured story to win. Why I am not quite sure it seems like it could be an interesting topic to write about but so much more could be added to that story, I think its a good idea just gets a little boring after a while. Please do not attack me because I have my own opinion like you have attacked others.

Madeline Masters – 2011/03/16

Well, since it’s the last round, I’ve given up giving a damn about who I incite.

DGB, I’m glad you’re winning, and kicking ass. I’ve been voting for you this round and last. There. I said it.

As much as I liked MarMar and her spunk, Brink displays more writing skill. It’s obvious to me that you spent more time on your work than she did, crafting it, putting yourself into it.

And, Brink is more original and better crafted than Free Therapy. Free Therapy is a decent story, but I’m going to be the one millionth chatboard person to say she’s a bit worn thin on the whole high school drama thing.

I also think abortion is a go-to gimmie gimmie for shock value, which I hate, but Brink has more merit than just being a story about an abortion. There’s a lot more to it, more layers (like an onion!) and that’s what lets me look past it being based on one of my least favorite topics.

Oh and Mr. Brown, as far as submitting goes, yeah, you’re better off tailoring your submissions to whatever the magazine already publishes. Editors don’t like new and fresh ideas. It scares them.
But maybe Braydon is the better person to answer that question since he has some previous pubs listed in his bio.

Anyway, DGB, you’re the good guy in this match. Just don’t let Colin slice off your hand or try to tell you he’s your father or anything like that, because it’s simply not true. Don’t believe him.

David Griffin Brown – 2011/03/16

Buenos días, señores.


Are you published?  Any advice on litmag submissions?


If you’re not too busy beating up your little friend….

You say you’ve been published from here to Fukushima.  Do you just write stellar whatever and submit it all over, or do you tailor topics/styles depending on where you plan to send it?

fitzwilliam – 2011/03/16

I said I’m 15 not 5 you idiot, and just because I’m proably the youngest person commenting doesnt mean my opinion is any less important than anyone elses. I write stories too and enjoy reading them so why shouldn’t I be allowed to comment about them?

just saying – 2011/03/16

…speaking of severely overloading a pool with idiot kids…stories should be shown and not told…children should be seen and not heard…i bet you get beat up at school a lot…why don’t you go outside, do some homework, help your mom with some chores, or go play with you barbies…says in his bio Brush is “currently” living in Montreal…does it make him feel trendier to identify himself with some cool big Canadian city…is he ashamed of being from backwards bush fuck nowhere, Indiana? ; )

fitzwilliam – 2011/03/15

that is youre opinion that there are wrong opinions. and sorry that my opinions are so shallow and annoying, I guess im not as intellegent as you are. which isnt really saying much seeing as i\’m 15…

just saying – 2011/03/15

…everyone is entitled to their own opinion…no matter, in your case, how shallow, inane, annoying or bull-headed…but some opinions, everyone has to admit, are just plain wrong…griff may have tailored his story to the deathmatch, but it was something welling up inside him long before that and had to be told…but hey cheet, if you can’t like/vote for you own story, who will? ; )

something snappy – 2011/03/15

Shock value aside, I find it hard to vote for a story that thinks it can sell shock wares, without realizing that it wears off pretty quick. And yes, I didn’t have a good way of fitting that into a sentence; but editing and grammar should count for something.

And in case that story reference appears obtuse, sorry Colin but you won’t be getting my vote.

cheet – 2011/03/15

I was quite happy these stories moved on, as I voted for both in their previous rounds.  The happiness died off when I read Brown‘s post: “Pointless shock value?  I did write this specifically for the Deathmatch, and my approach was somewhat guided by Pendergast’s win in 2009.  Deathmatch just screamed shock value to me, so yeah, maybe I went there.” This is exactly what I hated so much about the ‘weird for the sake of being weird’ factor in Beaulieu’s story.  It just let’s pretentious readers find whatever useless meaning makes them feel smart (smug) so they can give themselves a pat on the back.  Basically, it’s like severely overloading a pool with idiot kids to the extent that they’re bumping into each other and then asking them to play Marco Polo – in the end they all feel like winners, but really they’re just idiots.  Shock value for the sake of shock value is seriously annoying.  I do think DGB is a very good writer but this in itself would have tipped the scales for me.  However, I was already voting for Brush before reading the forum because I prefer his story anyway.  A matter of personal opinion…

fitzwilliam – 2011/03/15

Justsaying you have a hard time understanding opinions dont you. Its my opinion if it is a good story or not and everyone is entitled to their own opinion. And no i do not….

just saying – 2011/03/15

…did you ever consider that you might have bad taste and wouldn’t know a good story if came in a pill and griff shoved it up your bonsai thatch…fitzy, you are right, i do feel compelled to comment after every post…but only because my opinion is overwhelmingly more accurate, thoroughly thought out and required here…do you have an adam’s apple?

fitzwilliam – 2011/03/15

just saying you are right it does seem that I am always voting for the \”underdog\” but it\’s not like I plan it that way, I vote for who i think has the better story but they usually end up not winning that round…

Braydon Beaulieu – 2011/03/15

Positive integrity? I fell on the floor laughing.

Griff, you better hope your wizard who can’t remember the words to the spell can stand up to Colin‘s Zerg who can’t remember the spelling to the words.

David Griffin Brown – 2011/03/15

My thanks go out to FSM.  My noodley prayers have been answered…. an actual comment board instead of a bloated corpse.  What fun!


I’ve been submitting to contests mostly, and blindly.  I entered a 24-hour writing debauchery in January without reading the prior winners.  As it turns out, the first place almost always goes to a horrific tale from the perspective of an inanimate object.  And it gets worse from there. So I think a part of this game is knowing who will read your words, and having an idea of what they like.  Lame.

I assume this is true of lit magazine submissions as well.  Anyone? Anyone?  I rewrote my 24-hour failure and submitted it to Carte Blanche today.  And of course I didn’t take my own advice… I have no idea what kind of stories they publish (aside from the scant details on their submissions page).  Damn.


Thanks for the smack in the face with the wet kipper, so to speak.

I’m doing my best to summon the power of the intertube.  It’s not easy to raise a legion, but I happen to have a wizard on my side, JRRT style, and hopefully not a sleeper like GRRM.  I have my fingers crossed that he doesn’t forget the words to the spell.

just saying – 2011/03/15

…Tommy gets it again…and pretends to know something about writers…mattbaggs weighs in with perceptive but pedantic crib notes on Broken Pencil 101…unable to formulate his own opinion, fitzy just votes for the underdog, but misses the point…griff is actually the underdog, brush’s death squad will make a midweek troll appeal to the gamers and the question is whether griff will have enough cushion, or has planned some equally massive mass appeal counter to that crushingly devastating eventuality…i applauded fitzy’s early decision not to vote, if only he had also decided not to post…meanwhile a few fragments of beaulieu’s sorry lot have checked in to open the anyone but brush campaign…with immediate results, but petty vindictiveness generally lacks stamina, and a decent lead will be chipped away as overconfidence and complacency sets in with the brown camp…brush’s hooligans are by far the most derisory…my respect for the unskilled JC fell seven or eight notches, it’s 13 who’s the piece of shit…paperweight is not the first to unjustly criticize the “will you have sex in the blood of your aborted fetus” line…what you’re not getting is that those are the exact words “lily” used…it was shocking and gross…but that’s how it went down…and precisely why it made the final edit…if you don’t like it, write what YOU know, bitches…i’m forced to give lichty credit, although i prefer brushs story, i agree brown’s was better written…get a shave, brush…you too could be a winner, if only you had a cheap bottle of wine and mar mar’s mother

Tommy – 2011/03/15

Taking criticism and rejection over and over is part of a writer\’s life. The defensive outbursts in this round lead me to believe there are few writers commenting. Both stories have merit, but Brown has had better game throughout Deathmatch.

mattbaggs – 2011/03/15


After just under 24 hours, David Griffin Brown‘s Brink has a commanding lead over Colin Brush‘s Free Therapy.

follow this link for a full colour graphic!

Moments after Round 6 began just saying, takes a cynical jab at Broken Pencils use of adage to open the round.

Wasting no time, Brown makes it clear that he IS playing for all the marbles by dropping this little pearl:

“A vote for Brush is a vote for infant mortality.”

Clearly wounded by Brown’s “secret weapon”, Brush admonishes his opponents apparent lack of character pleading that he,

“shouldn’t try to manipulate the votes of those who are contributing to a positive integrity in this competition. Your proposition is unfair to the consciences of the readers.”

Brown, ecstatically rubbing salt in the Brush’s gaping wound chides back,

“Aw, muffin.  I was at least 60% giving you a hard time there.”

Brown, extropian and slipslap, go on to make Brush seem oversensitive and silly, bolstering Brown’s smart-ass, but affable posture.


just saying chiming in again, backs a brief unsubstantiated evaluation of both storys (miffed by the ‘tastelessness’ of the abortion debate), with the conceit that he must read them both again, and then goes on to uses elipses too often for another few hundered words.

petee5 makes a call for the end of pretentious jiibes (good luck)

Brown, now clearly the center of attention, calls for order, shows his calm under attack and smooths things over, demonstrating that there really is no such thing as bad publicity.

petromyzon marinus prosteletizes for a bit then takes shuns Brown for blowing a trumpet or somthing.

fitzwilliam, eye_wonder, lichty18, paperweight all weigh in and make their opinions somewhat understood.

not one to loose an oppotunity to create dialogue, Brown adresses all comments directed at him in a direct and affable manner.

the unskilled jeff clark gets it

13 makes his/her (it’s?) presence known and sprays a healthy dollp of vitriol into the discussion (mainly at Brown), while accusing Brown of deception.

Brown takes it all in stride adressing each comment directly and posts a few helpful links to help his case.

after a long absence Brush takes Browns olive branch and tries to mend the bridges and reassert himself into the debate.

After about one day, Round 6 has seen Brown take a commanding lead. His activity in the debate and general likeable yet cutting sense of humor, confidantly deflecting troll and accepting praise.

If the debate over each story continues like a psuedo-popularity contest it is developing into, Brush is going to need to have more of a voice, and soon. That, or some compelling arguments for the better story better start surfacing and convincing people to switch alegiences. Otherwise, it looks like Brown will be laughing on a landslide victory all the way to buena esperanza.

fitzwilliam – 2011/03/15

I have decided to vote for Brush’s story! Somehow it starting losing by quite a bit in about 3 hours. DGB is starting to make me mad, but I re read both stories and I like Brush’s story better. I agree with Lichty I am also against abortion and that topic just makes me dislike that story. so my vote goes to Brush, goodluck!

Colin Brush – 2011/03/15

Ok DGB, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that you’re a good guy.

I don’t have any other short fiction published. I sent out a small bulk of writing a couple months ago only to find out even most short fiction hubs won’t read credential-less writers, especially if you’re story is shorter than the requested page length. Lately I’ve been trying to write with a bit more convention – aim for higher word counts. Maybe that’s what was missing. Either way, I’ve had small wave of rejection along with acceptance into this contest. It’s better than most of the writer horror stories I’ve heard.

David Griffin Brown – 2011/03/15

the unskilled jeff clark

Thanks!  I’m glad you appreciate my sense of humour.


Just noticed your question.  No… nothing you can get your hands on.  Brink is the second short story I’ve written, and although the first one I wrote landed second place in a writing contest, I won’t tell you more than that because the contest was crap, and so was my story.

When I decided to start writing, I went straight to an attempt at a novel.  And then another.  What I discovered is that it’s impossible to get a publisher to look at your manuscript if you have no prior credentials.  Either that or I just suck at writing query letters.  So I saved up for a travel adventure, quit my job, and have been working on short fiction, a few magazine articles, as well as this travel-by-social-network thing.

I’d also like to follow Colin’s work, as well as Perry’s and Beaulieu’s.


Do you have any other short fiction published?


Okay okay, how about some proof?

First, meet Michelle: she is the Peace Corp worker in Buena Esperanza who is coordinating the clean-water project:

Here’s my own terribly written blog post about delivery day:

And this is the volunteer group helping with purchase, delivery, and set-up:

13 – 2011/03/15

Hey, did you hear David Brown hates kids? He wants to rid the world of them. What a dick. VOTE FOR COLIN, HE HAS A SOUL. Davids going to hell, clearly..

13 – 2011/03/15

David Brown, you sound like a douche. I bet you’re lying about being on a trip as well as your plan to spend that money, you fiend. I suggest you stop abusing the good will of people.

catfish – 2011/03/15

he\’s back!

the unskilled jeff clark – 2011/03/15

Dear David Griffin Brown, you are such a piece of shit.

David Griffin Brown – 2011/03/15


If they weren’t already upset about my story, I guess I would direct them to a dictionary.  Arguments about life-starts-at… aside, a fetus and infant are, in fact, different things.

But come on, let’s not bring the mood down.

Look how happy these kids are about clean water!

eye_wonder – 2011/03/15

now you are going to anger anti-abortionists with that comment

David Griffin Brown – 2011/03/15


I much prefer the Flying Spaghetti Monster, and he loves trumpets.


A fetus isn’t an infant, or so I’m told.


I totally agree.  That was my biggest complaint about “Brink”… I think it gets boring and TELL TELL TELL in the middle.  I’m surprised no one has mentioned this yet.

Pointless shock value?  I did write this specifically for the Deathmatch, and my approach was somewhat guided by Pendergast’s win in 2009.  Deathmatch just screamed shock value to me, so yeah, maybe I went there.  But then again, you’ve never met Lily….


Look at the votes streaming in for you!  People want to help with your water bill!  Doesn’t that make you feel better about the world?

….now, where the heck is that volunteer group who promised me a landslide of votes….

paperweight – 2011/03/15

Brink is a great story up until “Doobie,” she said. “Roll me one.” At which point the story starts to ramble/ lose its importance. We start to learn about the background of the characters, which ends up being pretty simple, less thought provoking than what preceded it. Between the walk and the shower and the visit home, the only thing part that didn’t feel like rambling was the discussion to go off birth control. It needs to be trimmed up. The line “will you have sex in the blood of your aborted fetus” caused me to lose any connection with the female as a realistic character. I wanted to re-evaluate the whole story under pointless shock value.

Free therapy has a less upfront depth, and it does take place in high school. Still, it’s a better-rounded story. There were far fewer places where I found myself thinking this needs to be changed. The places where brink is written well are great. Unfortunately it’s too inconsistent to be the greater of the two.

Lichty18 – 2011/03/15

Just want to say congrats to both!

Personally, I think I like the idea of Free Therapy better (being against abortion), but putting my moral and such views aside, looking at the story’s writing style and David Griffin Brown has more literary potential than Colin Brush. Free Therapy just has less, I feel. But I do like the idea of Free Therapy better, no matter how hard I try to convince myself that abortion is fine, simply for the purpose of this story. I also think that Free Therapy could have been so much more. There is a ton of potential in each. So I’ll give one vote to each, unless convinced otherwise.

eye_wonder – 2011/03/15

Sir Griffin**   or I guess Sir Brown is more appropriate, Griffin just sounds more bad ass is all.

eye_wonder – 2011/03/15


Well Sir Griffing, I’d have to say that voting for either of you is “a vote for infant mortality” that being the basis of your story is it not?  Now what 

fitzwilliam – 2011/03/15

hmm… who to vote for who to vote for, I voted agianst both of you in other rounds so maybe i shouldnt vote at all…I havent decided yet I dont mind either story, who are you voting for just saying?

petromyzon marinus – 2011/03/15

Haha, gotta love the Deathmatch sidetracks. White privelege? Charity? Dumpster diving? This is all turning into a Jesus fest if you ask me. To keep with the theme, here’s one for griff:

“Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before people, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your “deathmatch gods”.Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from death match voters. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,that your charitable deed may be in secret. No one wants to know what your right hand is doing anyways. Gross.”
And for Colin:

“Take heed that you do not grow a beard of mine-own model to please me. No powers exist in the fibres of thy beard in terms of shortfiction writing. Do more cool stuff, then write about it.”


Moving on. I think this competition is really showcasing two great authors at this point. I will definitely pursue anything by both of these authors. Colin, let me know when the book is done. Griff, anything out there I can get my hands on ? You two are the only authors I have come across in this competition that I would be really intruiged to follow.

So hooray for Deathmatch.

I’m voting for Colin, cause Griff is blowing a trumpet or something.

David Griffin Brown – 2011/03/15

Now now, petee5 , we can all still be friends.

I’m not saying Colin’s a bad guy, only that his sense of humour isn’t too lively first thing in the morning.

Me? Rich?  Hardly.  I did my undergrad in anthropology, which pretty much ensures me a life of petty clerical work if this whole writing charade doesn’t amount to anything.

It just so happens that I saved up for a year, got a second job, and sold everything I owned to afford this trip.  And it’s not lavish.  I’m actually working on a book about travelling by social networks:,,  Surprise surprise, you can get around without a lot of expense these days, thanks to ye olde intertubes.


Settle down, dear.  Petey is right.  I’m just as privileged as the next chump.  In fact, we are all pretty damn privileged to be able to participate in this pleasant little circle jerk.


Oh, and let me correct myself… it’s Ngobe, not Gnobe.  What was I thinking?

petee5 – 2011/03/15

Wow, you folks are quite the pompous barrel of fun! Are you always so quick to judge people, and, on what again? The fact that they have rent to pay? You know slip, about the only thing you know for certain about Brush is the fact that he\’s a white male, which is actually the same for your buddy Griff. You don\’t really know what ploys are being used to attract your votes, but let\’s give Brush a star for honesty. Poor little white boy? It takes money to travel, as all you world-explorers would know. So how about we let rich-boy Griff pay for his own jungle exploits, and stop the pretentious jibes like you know anything about the influnce \”poor white boy Brush\” has on the lives of people in Montreal. It\’s really quite blind to assume that life changing work is only done overseas.

just saying – 2011/03/15

“A vote for Brush is a vote for infant mortality”…don’t think i ever laughed so hard at a Dmatch comment…great set up…still, not sure though that you’re the one to be poking fingers at baby killing…they are both good stories here…on the surface, yours covers a tasteless subject in kind of a flippant way…despite it’s bad ending, i’m thinking i prefer brushes, will have to read them again…but that doesn’t matter, it’s a popularity contest…i’d give the edge to griff there…unlike lichty18, i don’t believe in overpopulation and patriarchal society’s enslavement of women and their wombs…brushes manipulation of votes accusation sounded wimpy…he sounded apathetic and self-centred…actually, a lot like most people…but he does have a point…there’s no guarantee you’ll give the money to charity like you say…it might all be a cheap ploy…you might use the money to support your indulgent vagabond wonderings…a vote for griff is a vote for his new 600 gallon tropical fish aquarium when he gets home…unlike extropian, i believe that brush’s last minute viral comeback was a stroke of genius…brush has the edge in resourcefulness and cunning…he wants it more…while griff expects to be out sailing somewhere….gnobe bugle…you spin a good story, this is all sounding like lord of thr rings…buena esperanza…all you’re flying on is good hope…the only question now is whether brush can pull it off twice…maybe i shouldn’t say who i’m voting for, it might cost you a few voters…no doubt the trolls love a challenge…will they leave your flourish garden here…looking like a sad bonzai thatch?

slipslap – 2011/03/15

aw poor wittle brush. it must be hard, living the life of a privileged white male who is too lackadaisical to take advantages of the resources afforded him and make something with his life. your water bill? please. I\’ve traveled in central america. you montreal moppets can dumpster dive for more nutritious food than some of these poor kids can hope to grow up on. suck it up indeed.

extropian – 2011/03/14

did I hear someone say \”integrity\”? I guess it\’s hard to speak when you\’ve got a chunk of Braydon\’s ear in your mouth. I think we are all past the pretense that this contest is about deciding who wrote the better story, it\’s about slinging mud and fighting dirty. DGB comes out swingin\’ and you\’re pleading with the ref…

David Griffin Brown – 2011/03/14

Aw, muffin.  I was at least 60% giving you a hard time there.

I have given back to that community.  I bought their artisan goods, helped the volunteer group involved deliver the first load of tanks, and I gave daily English lessons to a Gnobe boy from a different village.

Wait a minute… there’s a positive integrity to this competion?

It’s a Deathmatch, Colin.  Suck it up, dry those eyes.  Like I said.  You’ll probably win…. but damn, at what cost to Buena Esperanza?


Colin Brush – 2011/03/14

Where will the 300 dollars go if I win? I admit, I don’t have an amazing cause lined up to put the money towards. It’ll probably go towards rent, maybe groceries; it’ll help with the water bill I’m sure. Truth is I’ve got no plans for the three hundred dollars other than adding it to a skimpy bank account which really only helps in the subsistence of my own life. But that’s really only my business.

I don’t have a lot of money, but I know that by no means makes my needs comparable to the families that DGB is talking about. If I’ve got my facts right then David is in Panama right now and he’s about to travel to Columbia. It’s the type of experience that isn’t realistically possible in my life right now. It’s the type of experience that you should feel incredibly grateful to have. I propose that win or lose you put the money towards that tank, because you shouldn’t put the fate of others in a writing competition unrelated to them. You shouldn’t try to manipulate the votes of those who are contributing to a positive integrity in this competition. Your proposition is unfair to the consciences of the readers. If your donation is from the goodness of your heart, and not just leverage towards winning, then it should happen in spite of what the end result of this challenge is.

David Griffin Brown – 2011/03/14

Long live the deathmatch?

Okay, Brush, here’s the thing….

I’m like… how can I beat a guy with Zerglings on his side?  And even more, how can I keep hounding my friends and family to vote for me when I hope to be sailing into the deep blue by next weekend?  My defeat is inevitable.  Right?

But wait a minute, Brush!  What are you gonna do with all that mad cash?  Another cheap hooker?  Some blow and a couple beers?  Seriously, man.

I wrote ‘Brink’ in the final days before the descending deadline in a jungle hovel I like to call the Treehouse.  The walls didn’t quite reach the ceiling.  The zinc roof leaked badly in four places.  The parrot fucking hated me.  And the only way out was on a boat.

Four times a week, at seven am, I would hear a man clear his throat from the bottom of the deck.  This was the gardener, Vicente, hired by the owner to maintain the four-acre property.  And not to keep it looking nice, but to legally flex their ownership, because the land in these parts is right-of-possession.  Use it or lose it, in other words.

Vicente is from the nearby village of Buena Esperanza, home to about 400 members of the Gnobe Bugle tribe, and one of the poorest Gnobe communities in all of Panama.  Vicente is a pimp king in the village — he has two wives and six children, which he can afford since he makes the phat salary of $45 a week.

The rest of the village lives on shitty starchy crops and whatever they can gather from the jungle.  Their water comes from a nasty brown stream, and they have no medical facilities to help them with the inevitable parasites and infections they get from drinking this sludge.

Griff, you might be thinking, what the hell is your point?

I decided awhile ago that if I was lucky enough to make it to the finals, and even luckier to win the entire thing, that I would donate the prize money to an ongoing project to help get rain-water catchment systems set up throughout the village.  Three hundred bones will buy a 600-gallon water tank, which will keep up to three families supplied with clean water through the long summer droughts.

So that’s my secret weapon.  A vote for Brush is a vote for infant mortality.


just saying – 2011/03/14

…for all the marbles…that’s right  up there with wheat from the chaff…stop trying so hard…forgive the absence, a man’s got to tend his bonsai’s once in a while…good thing somebody from the brown camp saved their wad for the opening salvo…deathmatch newbs…good luck in your Brush with greatness ; )

Broken Pencil – 2011/03/14

This is for all the marbles. The final round begins. Seven days to glory and doom.