Ploughshares Fantasy Blog Draft – An Introduction

For too long, fantasy sports have been confined to—well, actual sports. Whether it’s historical fantasy sports or contemporary fantasy sports, the literary world has watched from the sidelines as number crunchers and keg tappers compete for glory in an imaginary world of teams with puntastic names like “Sproles Royce,” “Apocalypse Noah,” “Austin Rivers Runs Through It,” “My Dinner With Andrus,” and “In the Garden of Wheeden.”

No longer. This year the Ploughshares blog will be hosting the first ever (as far as we’re aware) Fantasy Blog Draft. Imagine having all your favorite writers, dead or alive, from across multiple genres, eras, and continents, writing for a single blog—curating the news, popular culture, art, Art, and everything in between. Who would man the helm of your Fantasy Blog? What strategy would you use to draft your bloggers?

Over the next few months, six “Fantasy Blog Managers” will each put together their own roster of Fantasy Bloggers, the goal being to create the ultimate blogging team. We will then seed these teams in a tournament-style bracket, and they will engage in fierce competitions, the outcomes of which will be determined by reader polls.

My name is Daniel Morales, and I will be acting as the Fantasy Blog Commissioner for the season, prompting competitors to make their picks and commenting on their selections throughout the process. We’ll also encourage reader thoughts and opinions in the comments of each post.

Fantasy Blog Managers will be drafting for the following positions in the following order:

Round 1: Editor
Round 2: Fiction Writer
Round 3: Wildcard 1
Round 4: Nonfiction Writer
Round 5: Poet
Round 6: Wildcard 2

Managers may consider a potential blogger’s full oeuvre when making their picks, but they should also take into account that writer’s suitability for writing on the Internet as well as their particular fit at the position being selected. For the “Wildcard” positions, Managers must not only name a blogger but also the position they are drafting. Are they drafting a Visual Artist? An additional Nonfiction Writer? A Travel Writer? A Sex Columnist?

Fantasy Blog Managers may draft any writer living or dead, but they must draft at least two contemporary authors who are still with us, so that we can honor and embarrass them on Twitter and other social media.

In two weeks, we will introduce the Fantasy Blog Managers and their strategies. This will coincide with the annual Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) conference in Boston, where we will ask for your opinion on the teams and their names—you’ll even have a chance to fill in your very own March Madness-style bracket, where you pick the winner. (We’ll score these brackets as the year goes on, and the reader with the closest prediction will win an exciting Ploughshares prize!)

To a certain extent, this activity is an exercise in absurdity: what we’re doing doesn’t make much sense. But we’re not doing it because it makes sense, we’re doing it because it sounds like fun—and we hope you’ll enjoy following along!