Five representatives of various New York City area literary establishments (blogs, publications, online mags, bookstores) are given a writing prompt 48 hours before the event and have to write something to be read out loud and please a crowd. After anonymous audience votes are cast (and the host C.A.B. Fredricks admits that it’s only somewhat of a popularity contest for whoever can bring the most of their friends to the reading), the winner gets a freshly-baked pie made by Brooklyn’s own (I’ll stop saying that soon) Fat and Flour.
The prompt I received via email a day and a half before the event:
“Write a story based around a movie you have never seen.”
Mind you, anyone who knows me knows that I hate movies. Not only that but I am a nonfiction writer (mostly) and haven’t taken a real stab at short fiction since…probably…high school (that was almost a decade ago). But it turned out to be a wonderful literary challenge and I was actually pleased with the outcome.
While Lauren Spohrer very much deservedly so got the pie (she’s a repeat winner and wrote on a prompt about an older building falling in love with a younger building), I still took this business very seriously and had way more fun doing it than I could have anticipate. (Her piece was totally brilliant; it mixed architectural jargon with highfalutin romance in a way that was more sexually euphemistic than anything I’ve ever heard.)
The piece I wrote (in one sitting of about three hours!) weaves a story about a middle-aged Italian man living in Bay Ridge Brooklyn with the plots of a handful of movies I’ve never seen (or what I guess the plots of those films to be!). Whoever guesses the films included below wins an e-cookie. Enjoy!