Waterstones Presents… The Ultimate Writer

Waterstones Presents... The Ultimate Writer

UH-OH. IT’S ULTIMATE WRITER CAGEFIGHTING. (And by cage we mean study). Le Guinn, Gaiman, McCaffrey… Who will win?

It’s the literary event of 2014. Not the Nobel Prize for Literature, nor the latest installment in A Song of Ice and Fire… nor, indeed, the 450th birthday of Christopher Marlowe. No; it’s WRITERS FIGHTING EACH OTHER.

The Waterstones Ultimate Writer Contest is a chance for some of the most beloved writers over the ages duke it out in a literary popularity contest. Over the coming weeks, 24 wordy-word masters, from Neil Gaiman to Marian Keyes, will be slugging it out to determine who is the most beloved and tenacious writer of all.


In the first round, Waterstones have paired up 16 writers (over 50% of which are female) for a series of literary throwdowns, providing top trumps information on their strengths, weaknesses, any special attacks they may have up their sleeves and, finally, an insider’s opinion on 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 may end up being a fierce contest.

To take part, all you have to do is vote on which author you think should win the battle. Those with the most votes in the first round will go through to face one of Waterstone’s eight seeded writers in the second. From then on, it’s a chaotic flailing mess until the final round.

Voting has already opened, with rounds scheduled weekly and all battles presented on the Waterstones blog. The schedule for the first round is as follows:

  • Octavia E. Butler vs Nicholas Sparks
  • Malorie Blackman vs Neil Gaiman
  • H.P. Lovecraft vs Anne McCaffrey
  • Anne Rice vs Stephenie Meyer
  • Ursula K. Le Guinn vs Agatha Christie
  • Marian Keyes vs Robert Galbraith
  • Stephen King vs John Grisham
  • George R.R. Martin vs E.L. James

H.P. Lovecraft has already fallen to Mary Shelley. Maeve Binchy couldn’t outwit Agatha Christie, and with all the spice-sight in the world, Frank Herbert didn’t see Stephen King coming. Can anyone survive a round with George R.R. Martin?

Place your vote for the #UltimateWriter quarter-finals here.