6 Literary Party Games for Your Next Salon

Finally, classic games have been reinvented with writers in mind

Original image by jadedoz

Writers, solitary creatures that we are, can have trouble connecting to other humans in casual social situations. These six new editions of classic board games, targeted to writers for the first time, provide the structure awkward writers need to interact.

These games can also inject new energy into your tired “I read half of it” book club, or your petty “I feel like this isn’t really a story?” writing group. So chose your piece, roll the dice, and may the most competitive writer win.

Guess Who? board altered so that the character with red curly hair and a square face is identified as Dylan Thomas
Original photo by Steve Berry

Guess Whom?

This grammatically correct guessing game asks players to identify authors by asking increasingly specific questions. “Did the writer offer scathing opinions of Joycean modernism?” “Is the author a post-structuralist working in the mode of Roland Barthes?”

Monopoly board altered to use names of presses and imprints as properties
Original photo by William Warby

Publishing Monopoly

First there were six, then there were five. Your mission is to reduce the corporate publishers to one conglomerate by buying up properties around the New York City board. The owner of SimonHachetteCollinsMacmillanPenguinHouse wins!

Game of Life board altered to say "Optioned for TV series, receive 40,000"
Original photo by Ian Hughes

The Game of Lifetime Copyright

The career of a writer is checked with many failures and few successes. Roll the dice to determine your path. Will you sell your first book in a “major deal” or be forced to self-publish? Will your contract grant you favorable royalty rates, or will you accidentally give away your masterpiece’s copyright? The winner’s best-selling novel gets turned into a prestige television show produced by Reese Witherspoon, the loser toils in obscurity and dies of scurvy. 

Sorry board altered so that each colored track leads to a blue star
This one’s subtle, sorry. (Original photo by Ashish Joy)

Sorry! I Stole Your Idea

Better to apologize instead of asking permission; that’s the motto of a true writer. Roll the dice to steal personal details, great and small, from your opponents’ lives. That clever remark they made over coffee? Fair game. The exact way your best friend’s mother died in that car accident? Use it. It’s all fine in the name of art, as long as you shout “Sorry!” as you barrel past. 

Risk board altered so that the Middle East is labeled "War Narratives"
Original photo by Avyfain

Risk Transfer

On the one hand, write what you know. On the other hand, you grew up in a boring suburb and have never experienced adversity of any kind. In this board game, writers achieve world domination by appropriating cultures around the globe for the purposes of their own financial gain. 

Clue board altered to say "Revue, the classic awkward literary party game." The pieces are holding drinks or cigarettes.

Revue

In this classic party game, players use context clues to pretend they’ve read canonical works and buzzy novels. Once a player feels they have collected sufficient evidence, they announce their opinion of a work they have not read to the group. The first player to formulate a plausible opinion wins. 

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