Gauntlet Judges

Judges don’t take excuses, hear hard-luck cases, or grade on a scale. They are nerdy and wordly-wise creatures who will inspect your mechanics, but who are also lovers of vivid characters and memorable plots. They want a reviewer to be in-depth, but don’t mind a little humor either. Our list of judges may look different year-by-year, but they all have one thing in common: They’re awesome. These are our judges.


Steven Lugo
Steven is a writer and WYRM from New England who used to write articles about comics, pro wrestling, and gratefully-forgotten newspaper filler. His fiction has appeared in magazines such as Kaleidotrope, and he is proud to have been here since the beginning. He…kind of works a lot. He finds this whole Gauntlet thing fun.


Chy Burch
Chy is an avid reader, writer, and pin-carrying WYRM from southeast Texas. Her favorite stories have one common thread: magnetic characters. And sometimes clever phrases that fit seamlessly into the narrative. The last six words of that previous sentence are highly important. Win this judge over with insightful reviews that show personality and humanity. And try to look like you’re having fun, will you?


Gale Peterson
Writer (Novelist, playwright, Artist, Designer, Photographer) When you have lived and worked as long as I have you will experience many jobs-careers, decade by decade: Stage to Film to Digital to Internet and beyond? I am still learning and exploring. From writers I look for logic, motivation, justification and a flow that captures my imagination. I love that words create images.


Stephanie Cassey


Tobias Backman

lives in Denmark, Europe. By day he makes medicine and by night he makes up stories (but it’s okay. He writes them down, so he’s an author not a crazy person). He claims to write short stories because his head is so full of original ideas, but really it’s because he has the attention span of a goldfish. Someone even crazier than Tobias himself has decided to publish his fiction, so you can read some of it at Every Day Fiction.

Previous Judges & Special Thanks

These were the judges, guests, lurkers behind the scenes and rockstars who came and ruled Gauntlets Past. Their names might not be on this year’s roster, but you never know.

Beth Sadler, Chelsea Crutchley, Khanh Mai, Cathy Douglas, Sheila Beebe

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.

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