October 25, 2018 at 1:33 am #79217
Gauntlet Fan #1: Oh look, time for them to come out from their smoke-filled backroom. They better have the results we’ve been waiting for.
Gauntlet Fan #2: Hey, take it easy. Judging the Finals takes time, and is tough.
Gauntlet Fan #1: Whatever. I’m paying good money to be entertained, and to experience some creative passion here.
Gauntlet Fan #2: Wait a minute. You do know that the Gauntlet is entirely free to enter and watch, right? Just who in the hell are you paying?
Gauntlet Fan #1: I’m…not sure.
Gauntlet Fan #2: Anyway, that reminds me. If you guys out there appreciate the fact that the Gauntlet is free, and want to keep it free, please follow this project on social media. The purveyors of the Gauntlet will be introducing some fundraising methods while the tournament itself is off-season. This will help keep the people who run the Gauntlet working to improve the Gauntlet. One of their goals is also to increase prize money. Following their links will keep you in touch with what the contest is up to, and you’ll know whenever a Gauntlet is starting. I refer you to Chy’s post.
Gauntlet Fan #1: Okay, now do we get results?
Yes, yes we do. “The Phantom Word” final challenge brought out a lot of great stuff in Nina, Wilma, and Gustavo. But we do not want to forget the past three rounds, and the 34 competitors who signed on to give us one hell of a show. Thanks to each and every one of you.
As for present time. All three finalists were brand new to the Gauntlet this year, and took us on a roller coaster ride. Let’s see what it all looks like now that we’ve come to a stop.
Our Second Runner-Up is somebody who provided strong entries in all four rounds of the tournament, and who also conducted herself with class and poise. It goes without saying that we would like to see this entrant return to the Gauntlet again and again. Congratulations, Nina Shepardson! You take home $50 in prize money, and an in-depth critique on any short piece or chapter of your choosing. We will email you soon to work out the particulars!
Our First Runner-Up turned in a final entry so smooth and unique that you’d have been hard put to find a judge who wasn’t grinning while in the midst of making their decision. Congratulations, Gustavo Bondoni! You’ve won the $75 cash prize, and an in-depth critique on a short piece or chapter of your choosing. We will be in touch soon to hash it out!
And I guess there’s only one thing left to do. This crown, this championship title, is a bit beat up after a decade plus of love, but we think it’s fit for wearing.
Your Gauntlet Champion for 2018, from the vicinity of Storytellers’ Cove and Reviewers’ Landing, who packed such religiosity and jealousy into her final entry, who sometimes gets yelled at by Fred Flintstone, but who we would only yell at to call her, “Champ!” ladies and gentlemen, the winner of $150 cash, an in-depth critique, and the finest championship pin on planet Earth, Wilma Combs! Wilma, you ran an impressive Gauntlet, and you have the option of letting us share a sample of your winning story here on the site, too. We will be contacting you to work out arrangements!
Gauntlet Fan #2: Now that you’ve heard the results, stay tuned to this forum for the Gauntlet’s End Credit Reel.
Gauntlet Fan #1: Yeah.October 26, 2018 at 11:14 am #79220
After talking with the Head Gauntlet Master, I wanted to let my fellow gauntlet people know that Wilma Combs was actually a pseudonym.
It’s me, Shawn Proctor, four-time Gauntleteer.
Sammi inspired me to adopt a different approach this year, one that would allow me to worry less about “Shawn Proctor” falling short in the semi-finals (again!) and just focus on writing to my best abilities. I had considered Wilbur Combs, a wonderful priest who I noticed online, but settled on Wilma Combs, a deceased artist who made beautiful etchings. I didn’t expect to win–I just wanted to improve upon every effort I had made in the past.
The Gauntlet is so very difficult, and I grew as a writer over the four years I’ve been entering. The Gauntlet helped me grow. I found my writing group through a challenge and it helped inspire stories that have sold at pro markets. I’ve made friends with competitors and invited friends to become competitors. (And lost to them!) Truthfully, that’s the reason I kept coming back. The challenge always took me in unexpected, wonderful directions, and I couldn’t resist finding out what they might be.
Because of that, I know that I probably won’t follow Sammi’s lead and bow out from future competitions. But I hope everyone who competed this year will come back and keep challenging themselves. Bring your friends, too!
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