Update: See photos and a video from our launch party in this blog post.

Friends, we are still on cloud 9 after our launch party at the Brattleboro Literary Festival last night. Thank you to everyone who came out and shared in all that laughter and love.

And congratulations to the winner of our tournament of words, Angela Wilson! She and Alan Blackwell were tied when they faced off in a battle of compliments, but Angela’s powers of flattery proved fatal.

All the contestants brought their A-game and dazzled the crowd. Thank you to Angela, Alan, Caighla Manchester, Bill Forchion, and Harral Hamilton (whose rick-rolling of the judges during the talent round will go down in history).

And thank you to the judges, who truly dispensed the joy of scrutiny: GennaRose Nethercott, Frances Cannon, and Shanta Lee Gander—double thanks to Shanta, who not only helped organize this beautiful evening but also filled in for Donald Mutebi as our third judge.

Huge thank you’s and props to Ben Somin, who ran tech and whipped up the perfect sound effects on the fly; to Christopher Bartsch, our diligent timer and scorekeeper; to James Goyette for working the door; and to the volunteers who pitched in at the last minute to get this show on the road.

And one last huge thank you to the local businesses who supported us by donating prizes. Every contestant went home with something thanks to their generosity:

Southern Vermont Young Professionals (who donated the grand prize: tickets to their 5th annual Creative Black Tie Gala)
The Gleanery
Latchis Theatre
Penelope Wurr Glass
The Marina
Amy’s Bakery Arts Cafe
Brattleboro Food Co-op
echo restaurant & lounge

This was a very special night, and we are forever grateful to all who shared in it.

P.S. We’re gathering photos and videos and will post those soon—if you took any you’d like to share with us, let us know!

Update: See photos and a video from our launch party in this blog post.