On a cold and blustery day in New York City, ten young adult authors gathered to attempt “Things unattempted yet in Prose or Rhime.” Anyway, the rules were simple: The audience provided slips of paper on which were written characters, situations, and titles. One of each item was drawn to begin, giving the story its framework, and then each author in turn drew another at random, having thirty seconds to add to the narrative, using whatever he or she had drawn.
We began with the title “Szechwan Panda,” the situation “going under the knife,” and the character “Princess Papaya.” Things quickly got out of hand and a good time was had by all (except, possibly, for Zombie Bianca Jagger, about whom more later).
In attendance (in order of participation) were: Blake Nelson, Lizabeth Zindel, Martin Wilson, Sarah MacLean, Madeleine George, Bill Konigsberg, Coe Booth, Sarah Darer Littman, Marie Rutkoski, and yours truly.
You can read the story as if it had been written by one person, edited together into one narrative. Or you can read it with all the stops and starts, complete with notes on who said what and what they drew out of the magic Diet Coke box to make it happen.
Or, if you have a half hour, check out the YouTube embeds below.