It’s the literary event of 2014. Not the Nobel Prize for Literature, not the latest instalment in A Song of Ice and Fire, not the 450th birthday of Christopher Marlowe: it’s the Waterstones Ultimate Writer Contest…
Over the coming weeks, 24 of the world’s hottest literary talents, from Neil Gaiman to Marian Keyes, will be slugging it out to determine who’s the toughest, fittest, brawlingest writer of them all.
The format is simple. In the first round, we’ve paired up 16 writers for a series of literary throwdowns, providing information on their strengths, weaknesses, any special attacks they may have up their sleeves and, finally, our opinion of how the fight will go. With a roster of well-known names drawn from the worlds of sci-fi, fantasy, romance, mystery and Young Adult fiction, it’s shaping up to be a fierce contest.
To take part, all you have to do is vote on which author you think should win the battle – the ones with the most votes in the first round will go through to face one of our eight seeded writers in the second. From then on, it’s a no-holds-barred slugfest all the way to the final round.
How will our fighters fare? Will H.P. Lovecraft open up a can full of unspeakable horror on Anne McCaffrey? Will Octavia Butler be thrown off guard by the dreamy charms of Nicholas Sparks? Can anyone survive a round with George R.R. Martin? You decide.
You can keep up with the action using the #UltimateWriter hashtag on Twitter. Let the battles commence!