A Whole New Kind of Slam!

Where Chicago’s literary elite battle for ultimate bragging rights! (and cash, plenty of cash)

UPDATE: We’re excited to announce that The LitMash is going QUARTERLY. Check back with us for updates on dates, locations, and lineups!



Past Dates & Winners:

April 7, 2014 – Winner: Kristiana Colon

May 5, 2014 – Winner: Nicole Bond

June 2, 2014 – Winner: Eric Sirota

          July 7, 2014 – Winner: Frankiem Mitchell

         August 4, 2014 – Winner: Bee Kapri

         October 6, 2014 – Winner: Reggie Eldridge

         November 3, 2014- Winner: J.H. Palmer

         December 1, 2014- Winner: Tim “Toaster’ Henderson

         January 5, 2015 – Winner: Julia Weiss

        February 16, 2015 – Winner: J. Evelyn

        March 2, 2015 – Winner: Natasha Tsoutsouris

        April 6, 2015 – Winner: Bee Kapri

        May 4, 2015  – Winner: Josh Johnson

        June 1, 2015 – Winner: Bryant Cross

       July 6, 2015 – Winner: Aricka Foreman

       August 3, 2015 – Winner: Bea Cordelia



Building on the success of the perhaps the largest literary movement of the last century, the Slam, Chicago Slam Works presents a brand new type of show using the slam format. (Chicago Slam Works, by the way, was founded by Marc Kelly Smith, the same guy who founded the poetry slam some 28 years ago. We know a thing or two about slam.) Poetry slam has grown from a raucous bar show in Chicago to a sweeping and hugely popular format in dozens of countries throughout the world. In the last number of years, story slams and comedy slams have been popping up all over the country, led by organizations such as The Moth. There is perhaps no city in America that has a more vibrant literature and performance (”live lit”) scene than Chicago, bolstering an impressive stable of internationally recognized writers in the fields of poetry, music, creative non-fiction, and comedy. The LitMash looks to bridge the omnipresent gaps between these scenes and create the one show where the city’s finest creators can square off in a highly entertaining curated slam unlike any other show out there.



The Rules

Rule 1: Genre is entirely open to interpretation and largely irrelevant. As long as what is performed was at some point written down, it counts.This includes poetry, comedy, essay, music, etc.

Rule 2: The order in which competitors perform will be decided by random draw.

Rule 3: Performers will be given 6 minutes (and a 20 second grace period) to wow the audience and the judges. Cues will be given to the performers to indicate time. At the 6:30 mark, the performer will be forced to leave the stage. No time penalties, just pack it up and walk.

Rule 4: The performances will be judged by 5 members of the audience on a scale of 1 – 10 on qualities such as performance, content, originality, and the “wow” factor. Judges are generally chosen at random and will be interspersed throughout the crowd.

Rule 5: One “sacrificial” performer will be chosen at random from an open sign-up list to warm up the judges.

Rule 6: At the end of the first round, the two highest scoring competitors will automatically advance to the final round. The winner of the final round wins the night and the $100 cash prize.

Rule 7: A “ballot box” will be set up for each of the competitors. Upon entrance, each audience member will receive a poker chip. At the break following the conclusion of the first round, audience members may use that poker chip to “vote” for their favorite performer of the first round.

Rule 8: The winner of the audience vote will win a $50 bonus cash prize

Rule 9: If the winner of the audience vote failed to make the final round, that competitor may choose to “let it ride” and get a shot at winning the grand prize by performing a piece in the final round. If this happens, there will be 3 competitors in the final round.

Rule 10: If the winner of the audience vote chooses to “let it ride” and has the highest score in the final round, that performer will win the entire $150 and all the glory therein. Should that performer fail to have the highest score in the final round, he/she will receive no monetary prize.


Want to be a contender? Email your request to info@chicagoslamworks.com!