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First Challenge

Here it is, the First Challenge of the long-awaited return:


First Challenge: The Little Storm

Your First challenge is to read and review “Nanny Anne and the Christmas Story” by Karen Jay Fowler. It is currently available online at Subterranean Press.

Here at the Gauntlet, we look for a lot in a review. Most importantly, we want your honest opinion. First of all, did you even like it? What did you make of the characters and the plot? Does the story hold up to scrutiny? What’s really going on in the story anyway? WYRM judges have read it. What have we missed?

We’re not looking for a few technical notes. We want something that’s in-depth.



Your deadline is firm, and it is Tuesday, 10/5/21 @ 10PM EST

1st Challenge

It has dropped.

“The Storybook”

Your first challenge is to review “King Midas and the Golden Touch.” It’s typically thought of as a children’s story, but that shouldn’t matter. In your review, identify the SF elements within it, along with any adult themes.

Deadline: Tuesday, September 24 @10PM Eastern Standard Time

Sign-Ups Open Aug 10th!

That’s right, the Gauntlet is coming back! Bookmark the contest, if you haven’t already, and we’ll see you Aug 10th when we open for this year’s sign-ups!

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.

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.