Frequently Asked Questions

The following are some frequently asked questions about how the Gauntlet works. If you can’t find the answers to your questions, feel free to contact us or leave us a question in the forum.


Q. How do I sign up?
Our registration page should have all you need. If you prefer the direct approach, you can sign up here: Register for the Gauntlet.

Q. How do I submit my entries for each round?
You can use our submission form (must be logged in with a Gauntleteer account) on this site. Just add your display name for the Gauntlet to your filename, and upload your entry. We require that Gauntleteers be signed in before they can submit their entries.

Q. I signed up but didn’t get a confirmation email.
First place you should look is your Spam and Trash folders to make sure our emails aren’t going there. If there’s no email in your Spam/Trash folder, please send us a message and we will sort things out.

Q. I signed up, but why can’t I log in?
Have you verified your account yet? First make sure you got a confirmation email in your inbox and make sure you click on the verification link that it gave you. If you’ve been verified and still can’t log in, please send us a message. We’ll go in and straighten things out.

Q. What’s the difference between a Gauntleteer and a Spectator?
Gauntleteers are actually participating in the competition, writing and critiquing for the rounds. They are also in the running for the prizes and to become Gauntlet Champion. Spectators are not participating in the competition directly. Rather, they are on the sidelines, cheering on the Gauntleteers. Spectators cannot change status to Gauntleteers once the competition has begun. Gauntleteers can remain as spectators once the competition has ended.

Q. The sign up form doesn’t have a Submit or Sign Up button to send the form.
There are two questions at the end with checkboxes to ensure that you will allow us to email you for Gauntlet-related purposes and that you have read our Guidelines. Once you have checked those boxes, you will be shown the Submit/Sign Up button.

Q. How can I be sure you won’t sell my email address to an evil wizard or something?
We take your privacy very seriously and promise we will not share your email address with anyone or send you annoying and unnecessary emails. The only times we will use your email address are: 1) To contact you informing you that you have won the Gauntlet, 2) Responding to a question you sent using our contact us form, 3) Automated account confirmation when you first register, and 4) To let you know when a new round has begun and who made it past the previous round. We’re also not in the habit (and never will be) of sending you junk email not directly related to your participation in the Gauntlet.

Q. I sent a question using the contact us form. When can I expect a response?
Please give us 24 hours to respond. If you need a faster response and if your question or comment isn’t related to your account, try posting it up in our forum where we’ll probably get to it faster.

Q. I have a Hotmail, MSN, Live or Outlook email address and the sign-up form suggested I use a different mail service. Do you have something against Microsoft?
Actually, it seems Microsoft has something against us. We’re currently working with their tech support to get things straightened out. Rest assured, if you sign up with a Hotmail/MS/Live/Outlook email address, the only thing that will be different is your account has to be verified manually by us. So you should look out for an email from our GMail account. It might take a day to get your account up and running, but you are officially entered into the competition the instant you hit that Submit button and nothing else will change about your participation in the Gauntlet.


Q. What is WYRM?
WYRM is a small speculative fiction writing and reviewing group. We’re basically a bunch of friends who write, read, and review each other’s work. If you’re interested in joining us or learning more about our group, please send us some correspondence and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

Q. Who runs the Gauntlet?
Members of WYRM run the contest. The majority of the organization and concept comes from our favorite space rodent, Steven Lugo.


Q. Do I have to register before I can participate?
Traditionally, in the past, we ran the contest as a sort of “free for all” where potential Gauntleteers could declare their interest. That was a little hard to keep track of so we decided to go with a more structured approach. Long story short: Yes, you do have to register to become a Gauntleteer and to participate in the contest. You can sign up by going here: Compete in the Gauntlet.

Q. I want to participate, but what or where is the first prompt?
You can check out our challenges/prompts on The Challanges page. Our Gauntlet runs four rounds total (yep, you heard us right). Unlike a traditional writing contest that releases one official prompt for writers to work with, we release our prompts on the date a round is set to begin and not beforehand. We find this approach keeps them on their toes, forces them to think on the spot and lets them pump out excellent writing and critiques on a steady schedule. Besides, we find it more fun that way.

Q. How do I know when a new round has started?
You should check our challenges page often as well as mark your calendars for the deadline dates. We will announce the new round has started in our news section on the homepage and in the Gauntleteer forum. We also send out an email letting you know when a round has begun and who’s still in the running on the day a new round starts. All this information is available on The Challenges page.

Q. Will you publish or post the story/stories I wrote for this contest?
No. We will never publish or share your story/stories you wrote for this contest with anyone but the Gauntlet judges and website administrator. None of those people will share, publish or post your work either. The reason we won’t publish or post your work is so you retain the full rights to shop your work around and get it published elsewhere after the Gauntlet is over. We do this to ensure that our Gauntleteers gain maximum exposure from their time with us. In the past, we have had Gauntleteers write stories for our contest, then go on to have them published in literary magazines, anthologies, etc. We want to make sure our present and future Gauntleteers have the same opportunities. However, we would be happy to share a brief sample of your winning work on this site, which would not affect its publication status, but only with your permission.

Q. When I submit my entry for the competition, where does my file go?
Your file is sent to a secure location that is not on this website’s server. We do this to ensure security and to guarantee that only you, our judges and our website administrator (who is a WYRM and occasionally a judge) will see it.

Q. Is my file secure when I submit it?
Yes, we encrypt your submission to ensure that no one can eavesdrop on what you’re sending off. Before you click Submit, check to make sure there’s a padlock in your browser’s address bar. That’s how you’ll know that you’ll be sending the file off encrypted.

Q. How will I know if I won the Gauntlet?
We will send you a very excited email to let you know that you won; we will tweet it and FB it! We also post the winners list on this website and in the forum too. Make sure you check to see how things turn out.

Q. How much is the entry fee?
$0.00. Participation in the Gauntlet is completely free! We fund the prizes ourselves and require absolutely no fees from our participants.

Q. What are the prizes?
Our prizes are listed on our prizes page. The top three Gauntleteers will win some cash and an in-depth review. The Gauntlet champion will also receive a championship pin that was specially designed for the Gauntlet. This pin is only awarded to Gauntlet champions. You cannot get it anywhere else or any way else.

Q. How long are sign-ups accepted?
We accept sign-ups up until a day or two before the first round ends. Then we close sign-ups for new Gauntleteers. If you wish to sign up as a Spectator, you will be granted access to post on our forums. This will give you an opportunity to interact with the competitors and the judges.

Know someone who might be interested? Want to be a spectator? Good at spreading the word?

Hey, did you know you can kick back and watch the Gauntlet unfold rather than participate? If you want to spread the word about our annual indie competition, that's cool with us, too. You can size up the competition for next year, or, if you know someone who’d be right at home being a Gauntleteer, we’ve set up some convenient ways to signal boost WYRM’s Gauntlet.

If you want to register as just a Spectator, you can do so using the same form. Just make sure to select “Spectator” from the options. Spectators are granted access to post in the smackdown arena known as the Gauntlet forums.

Tell the world about us in a tweet.

Post about the Gauntlet on your Facebook page.

Send your friends an email about us.

Get in the ring or become a Spectator.