>If memory serves me right, mankind has struggled since the invention of language with the question of who is the greatest writer in history -- a question which has remained unsettled since the appearance of a second writer.
>Many candidates have been put forth for this greatest of prizes: William Shakespeare; James Joyce; Stan Lee; Ayn Rand; the guy who came up with "Small Wonder". All worthy contenders! But these are mere opinions, mere pretensions. The final truth regarding the finest writer in all the world has remained hidden.
>With the debut of "Iron Scribe" -- an interactive blogjam inspired by the wildly popular, extremely bewildering Japanese cooking show "Iron Chef" -- the question will be settled once in for all, once a week.
>Here's how it works:
> - Once per week at a predetermined time, three Iron Scribes selected from our roster of master wordsmiths will be assigned a mystery topic by the Chairman. They then have one hour to craft as many pieces as they choose, in whatever form they choose, based on this topic. At the end of the hour, they will post their entries on the Iron Scribe web log.
> - The entries will then be judged by our panel (consisting of those participants who are not competing that week) on how well they reflect the topic, and whatever other arbitrary and petty criteria the panel chooses to dream up. The judges have five days to review each Iron Scribe's entry and post their rating.
> - At the end of the judging period, a winner will be declared based on the ratings, and the victorious Iron Scribe will be covered in glory, laurels, cooking oil, and a variety of other felicitous substances! Then the process begins again the next week, when a new set of Iron Scribes will enter Ballpoint Stadium to test their mettle.
> Iron Scribe is free, and while it offers no prizes, it does give you the opportunity to put "objectively determined to be the world's best writer" on your resume. It is open to all who wish to be a part of this amusing and edifying project; feel free to tell your friends, particularly if they like to boast of their writing skills and you suspect them of fronting like bunting.
> If you are interested in participating in the Iron Scribe experiment, please drop me a line at leonard @ ludickid.com and I will direct you to our website, and inform you as to times and dates when Iron Scribe will begin, as well as vouchsafe you a copy of the rules. If not, I apologize for troubling you with this letter, and hope you will be able to live with yourself knowing that you passed up the opportunity to become the world's greatest living author, if only for a week.
I envision it as a litterateur's "American Idol", a scrivener's "Iron Chef", a storyteller's "Bowling for Dollars".
The site should be up and running this week. More as it develops.