Bravo TV Wraps First Season of Top Writer
by Ferje Vedfamner
BRAVO TV has wrapped filming on the initial season of Top Writer, a new reality show in which 12 writers battle against each other, with the final three going up against Harlan Ellison in an as-yet-undisclosed New York City bookstore window.
Created by the producers of Project Runway and Joe Francis of Girls Gone Wild fame, Top Writer features a wide variety of genre and mainstream literary authors, including Thomas Ligotti, Elizabeth Bear, Dale Peck, Margaret Atwood, Harry Crews, Holly Black, Shelley Jackson, Peter Carey, and Cormac McCarthy.
Each show consists of a Quick-Thought mini-challenge and a longer, more complex challenge, with all the writers forced to compose their fictions in the same common room, on manual Underwood typewriters.
Episode one, previewed for reviewers, featured a two-paragraph Quick-Thought challenge in which each writer had to pair up and describe their partner as a kind of monster. Bear teamed with Atwood described the iconic Canadian writer as "That infernal steel claw reaching across the Atlantic like an unmasked Predator to scritch lazy signatures on uncaring book buyer's title pages." Atwood described Bear simply as "The saucy Sci-Fi genre writer with whom I live a lie of friendship," referring to the fact that she shares a bunk bed with Bear.
Asked in the main competition to create a one-page autobiography that could also serve as a short story, Thomas Ligotti reportedly drew a square and filled it in with black ink, while Harry Crews slumped over a fifth of vodka and Dale Peck was disqualified for going over by twenty pages.
Highlights of later episodes include Holly Black and Cormac McCarthy fighting over a toothbrush, Atwood's anger at waking up to find Shelley Jackson has tattooed a short story on her forehead, and Carey and Ligotti showing the other contestants how to square dance.
Episode one airs on April 1 at 3:00 a.m. on BRAVO.