Home Forums Gauntleteers 2019 Final Challenge

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    Steven Lugo

    We have come to the end of the line, to the brink, to the breaking point. Three brave Gauntleteers remain to take on this last challenge. You will find it both simplistic and difficult. As a reminder, there is a two-week time limit, and we’ll be paying special attention to how well you follow instructions this time. No do-overs, extensions, or extra credit. Are you ready?

    “Can You Fear This?”

    Your Final Challenge is to write a story which frightens the judges. We know you’re clever. We’re clever, too. So allow us this much: we are not looking for a story that ‘could be argued’ is scary because it deals with uncomfortable or controversial subject matter. We hope not to see predictable stories about current society either, where the author highlights what they feel is scary about it. We’re not looking for clever or predictable. We want you to try to scare us, and something more inventive might be the best way to go. Of course, the story must be newly written, and in genre, which could include horror, cosmic horror, dystopian fiction, or any other type of speculative fiction which you believe you can make scary enough. How you go about scaring us is completely up to you, but hopefully it will not be via poor editing. No word limit; no restrictions on graphic content. And, we judges don’t scare easy.

    Having known each other for as long as we have, we should disclose that it’s been quite some time since a WYRM has been frightened. They don’t even get a bit jumpy, or surprised. The thing is, if we don’t get scared this time, then you can’t win.

    This challenge, once again, must be turned in within the two-week time limit. If your aim is to write a novel within two weeks, but don’t think you’ll be able to properly edit it in time, then we strongly discourage against trying to write one.

    This one is for the Brass Ring, so let’s see your best by: Sunday, November 3rd @10PM Eastern Standard Time

    Luck will have nothing to do with it,


    Chy Burch

    Glorious finalists, it’s great to see you here! If I can give you a little extra advice, let it be to encourage you to reread this prompt post. Hold this line, in particular, close to your hearts:

    We hope not to see predictable stories about current society either, where the author highlights what they feel is scary about it.

    Yep, current society is pretty scary, but we’re inured to it. We just want to read some damn good speculative genre stories that tighten the skin between our shoulder blades and tease the hairs at our napes into upright position.

    It is that simple, and that freaking hard. Know that we are rooting for you, tough love and all.


    Gale Peterson

    Best of luck. I’m scared for you!



    I’m scared of this challenge. But fear not! It won’t be a story about three contestants being devoured symbolically and literally by the near-impossible. Nope.


    Like, literally literally or literally literally?

    That’s it! My entry will be about a terrifying horror that strikes fear into the heart of writers everywhere: a world where literally literally means literally.


    (More seriously, this is going to be a stretch for me. I don’t read or write much horror.)


    By the way, anyone writing for the challenge may be interested in this call for submissions, which pays 8 cents a word and closes on November 3rd:

    After Sundown
    A New Collection of Horror Stories Edited by Mark Morris (“…one of the finest horror writers at work today” – Clive Barker) After
    Sundown is an eclectic, vibrant collection of tales by contemporary writers, both established and new. Mark has approached an
    impressive range of authors (to be revealed at a later date…) but we’ve reserved space for four new stories from the online submissions. This is a prestigious anthology and will be published worldwide in hardcover, paperback, and later in a stunning, Flame Tree-style decorated edition. We’re looking for thrilling stories of suspense, delving into the dark spaces of the night, ideally between 2000 and 5000 words. Our standard rates apply.

    Submissions will open 21st of October, and close 3rd of November – please send to [email protected].
    We will aim to read each story and confirm its status within 4 months of the submission deadline.


    Flame Tree puts out really nice books!


    How are the rest of you doing?

    I haven’t had much time at all this week what with work and my parents visiting, and various other of life’s little curve-balls. But I managed to snag some hours for myself today and got out a good chunk of story first draft. Whew!

    Hope everyone else’s writing is going well, too. 🙂

    (But, you know. Not too well. Right? 😉 )



    I am lucky to host my favorite horror writer right now. He is sitting near me on the couch, and I am trying to soak the ambience.

    On the unlucky site, I am playing hostess and not writing. Yet.



    For my part, I am consistently horrifying myself with every scene I write. This could mean that I am writing a very scary story, or, which is more likely, that I am very easily spooked.



    I just finished and I am shaken. No idea if that means it’s good; I just thought I should write about what scares me if I am to have a chance. Mind you, urban legends and creepypasta’s are much scarier, but that felt like cheating.


    Nice work, Dimitra!

    I have one scene left to write, but opted to take a brief but also spooky detour this week. Now that’s out of the way, I’m looking forward to finishing up my entry here.

    Plenty of time left. 🙂


    Steven Lugo

    I can feel myself getting frightened already!

    2 days to go. I wonder if it really is enough time…



    I have submitted my story. Best of luck to all of us!


    Got my entry in! That last scene ended up being twice as long as I intended. Go figure, right?

    I hope to be able to polish it up and resubmit tomorrow, but the version that’s in now is finished, at least.

    Good luck, Red and Dimitra! 🙂

    FYI, I don’t think it really matters but the submit page says this at the top: “Just as a reminder, here’s what we’re currently working with for this round: TBA

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