The Rules & Guidelines


WYRM’s Gauntlet features a new writing or reviewing challenge every round. All are invited to enter the first round (until the deadline hits, or we are filled), 8 will move on to the second, 5 to the third, and just 3 to the final round. As you advance through the Gauntlet, fewer and fewer challengers will remain, so judging must become shrewder. Challenges are not announced in advance, but as a new round opens. So pay attention. Some of the challenges Gauntleteers have had to face in the past include: Write a short story from a unique prompt, write a freestyle story of any length, review a published story, review an unpublished story. (All entries are private, and go through our submission form.)

We know that’s pushing your creativity to the brink, but pressure can make all the difference, and we’ll add the following promise. Just as we ask you to meet our mean deadlines, WYRM will judge your stuff promptly to keep these rounds moving. We invented the Gauntlet Timeline, and we always adhere to it.

As for elimination, we cull the herd as the Gauntlet moves ahead. It can be rough, and it can lead to all-nighter judging sessions, but WYRMs are up to the reading workload. Once the Gauntlet has a solid number of entrants (to be known from now on as Gauntleteers) we’ll determine how many can advance to each round. The bottom line is, the air gets thinner the higher you go, and you better be at your best.

The only real rule is to let it all hang out. That means, give us your best shot and don’t worry what the neighbors think. That, of course, and please respect your fellow Gauntleteers and internet citizens in this forum. Trash talking doesn’t bother us, but if you give us a real reason–like harassment or plagiarism–we won’t hesitate to give you the boot.


There are a total of three (3) rounds, and then a final round. We like to mix things up now and again, but you should encounter challenges that expect you to either write or critique writing.

So, that’s four (4) in-your-face trials while you’re in the Gauntlet. This is our format:

Round 1 / 1st Challenge: 4 weeks to write

Round 2 / 2nd Challenge: 1 week to write

Round 3 / 3rd Challenge: 1 week to write

Round 4 / Final Challenge: 1 week to write


Want to enter the Gauntlet? You can sign up for the Gauntlet to become a Gauntleteer by visiting this page: Enter the Gauntlet. Or clicking on “Compete” in the navigation menu at the top of the page. When you’re done with the form, get ready to rock.



1. Give it your best shot and don’t worry about what someone else might think. You are punk rock enough.

2. Respect your fellow Gauntleteers and judges. Basically, don’t be a jerk.

3. No harassment. There’s no room for that.

4. No plagiarism. It’s not nice or fair.

5. You must sign up to be a Gauntleteer before we can actually include you in the contest. Click Here to Enter.

6. Follow the basic requirements of the current challenge.

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.