Final Challenge Posted!

You’ve seen the curtain-jerker, and two tough rounds after that. Now it’s time for the main event.

“A Distant Place and Time”

Your Final Challenge is to write a speculative fiction story set in the location we provide to you. The date, time, and events are your prerogative. It can be past or future, but there must be no stories set in present day.

But, click the link above, because there’s more.

3rd Challenge

Third Challenge: “Take Me Back to the Start”

The jumping-off point. The first small step. The beginning. The loneliest number. Or, what fine authors long before you and I came around have called, Chapter One.

Your next challenge is to choose any speculative fiction novel that you love, and to review its first chapter.

Deadline: Saturday, Sep 30 @10pm EST

Second Challenge: The Unreliable Narrator

Tonight, we venture deep into the woods of the American South, to visit upon the story of a hiker who was unlucky enough to cross paths with something unexplained.

Your next challenge is to listen to the first story on the following video: Creepy & Unexplained. It runs about 6 minutes, and recounts the bizarre circumstances that occurred when someone, or something, appears at the narrator’s campsite. Your task is to write a story—one with some element of speculative fiction—from the point of view of the someone or something in question.

Your story must be submitted by Tuesday, Sep 19th @10PM Eastern Standard Time.

First Challenge Announced!

For the 1st round of the G17, we look at an acclaimed story.

First Challenge: “Paper Tiger”

Your first challenge is to read and review Ken Liu’s “Paper Menagerie”, and offer your insights as to why the work was so significant, beyond the obvious but vague answer that it was ‘well-written.’

For more on this challenge, including details on the kind of review we’re looking for, as well as submission info, read the full post.

Deadline: Friday, Sep 8th @ 10PM Eastern Standard Time

Exciting News

The United States Post Office has been graced with the presence of WYRM’s Gauntlet Championship Pins! They look like this.

And these fine mementos of past victory have now been shipped to the winners of previous Gauntlets. Congrats again, and we hope you wear your pins proudly.

P.S. To all past champions, be like Sammi, and challenge us again!

G17, sign-ups open

The dog days of summer.

Hot days and brutal nights.

And yet, even more heated competition.

That’s right, traveler, this peculiar thing, this strange event you’ve stumbled across is a special running of the only tournament that matters. WYRM’s Gauntlet is our name, and this is the endurance contest of writing and critique. This is G17.

We ask for no entry fees.

We demand a bushido fighting spirit.

We offer the best indie prizes we can, including cash, free promotion, and the title of Gauntlet Champion.

We don’t know how you will do. But we do know you won’t soon forget this encounter.

Sign-ups are now open here.


As for the author [clears throat], I’m here because I’m ready. The Gauntlet event first ran during the summer months, and what better time to do anything in life than when the clock says right now? Let me tell you what the clock has done for me time and time again. Since the last Gauntlet, I’ve been working on a story, just one. Through ups and downs, it’s been my sole project up until now. What else? I read the great Animal Family by Randall Jarell, and studied some Miyazaki (just for my own betterment). I spent a lot of days deleting fake followers on my Twitter, parting ways with the endless stream of entrepreneurs without products.

And you’ve been busy, too. Reading, writing, working, letting your pen take you wherever your heart desired. But we knew you wouldn’t miss it when this once-per-year storm came to your town.

My name’s Steven, and I’m just kicking things off. Stick around, and meet the rest of my friends, who help keep this ship going.

And I’ll see you in the pit.


The Champion is Travis Burnham. Heard of him? We have.

That’s right, all, the 2016 Gauntlet has concluded, and we’ve just crowned a new champion! Along with stellar, ironman performances from Alexis A. Hunter and Michael Anthony Ashley, the Final Round saw Travis Burnham walk away with the title. Travis becomes the 10th champion in WYRM’s Gauntlet history, and just the fourth of the new age. Let me introduce you to Travis. In fact, let Travis do that in his own words, then be sure to check him out elsewhere on social media and around the web.

Travis Burnham is an SF/F writer and science teacher. His work has previously appeared in Far Fetched Fables, Bad Dreams Entertainment, South85 Journal, and SQ Quarterly. Originally from New England, he’s lived in Japan, Colombia, and the Mariana Islands, and currently lives in Upstate South Carolina with his wife and pup. He’s a bit of a nomad, having bungee jumped in New Zealand, hiked portions of the Great Wall of China, and gone scuba diving in Bali. He’s got some novels looking for homes and can be found online at and

Right now, you can check out a sample of Travis’ winning story “The Long, Small Hours”.

Winner’s Sample “The Long, Small Hours” by Travis Burnham

The Long, Small Hours

Travis Burnham

            It’s a dark night for dark deeds, and the avatars of seven gods of chaos are scattered across my lawn. They look human enough behind their masks and through the filter of the security cam, but they aren’t fooling me.

            Some young prepster with his blond hair slicked back is the first to step up to the front door and taps the mic plate before talking. The second he opens his trap, I know it’s Abhotehath, the Hundred-Tongued God, because he’s so polite when he says, “Please don’t deny us, James, or I’m afraid we’ll have to kill all of you.”

Creepy windbag.

He rambles on a bit more, says they want the homeless guy, but I can read between the lines: they want me. They’ll take Mary and the kids, Charlie and Zoey, too.

And then the gods of chaos cut the power.

Final Challenge

Here’s what the remaining three Gauntleteers now face.

Final Challenge: “Trailer for Your Muse”

Your Final Challenge is to watch the following movie trailer, and craft a short story based upon it. Your goal is to create a story different than the movie itself, but one that has stemmed from the same material. One that is—we hope—much better.

When life gives you tomatoes, make ketchup: movie trailer for The Purge.

Final Deadline: Thursday, December 8th @10PM EST


“Regarding Fanfiction”, 3rd Challenge

Your next challenge is to review the following fanfiction piece entitled “A Particle, a Wave” by Archive of Our Own user kvikindi. It was published on 08-18-2014, and is based upon Captain America, set in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe. We want to hear all of your in-depth thoughts on it, up to and including commentary on fanfiction itself.

“A Particle, a Wave”

Deadline: Sunday, Nov. 20 @10PM EST