1. The contest is open to original unpublished works of fiction up to 3,000 words.
2. Top 16 stories will be selected by the Broken Pencil fiction team. These 16 stories will compete in a weekend-long royal rumble. Readers will be able to vote for 1 story every hour, and all 16 stories will share one conglomerated comment feed. The 8 stories that receive the most votes will become the quarter-finalists, and move on to the one-on-one portion of the competition.
3. Finalists and winner will be determined by voting on the Broken Pencil website in a series of group and one-on-one challenges between finalists’ stories. The finalists are encouraged to solicit votes for their stories in any way they can think of, provided it’s legal and doesn’t involve undermining the principle of one vote per one person every hour – that means no clickbots!
4. Commenters/voters must register their email to create a profile. The authors of the stories can also be commenters/voters. With a profile you can “up-vote” the comments you like most. As a commenter, receiving up-votes will increase the potency of your vote. If you receive 50 up-votes across any number of comments, each of your votes from then on will be worth double. There are several milestones based on up-voted comments that would further increase the weight of your vote. You cannot up-vote yourself. The most engaged critics will have a stronger impact on the outcome. On top of vote power, the top commenters in each round will receive a subscription to Broken Pencil Magazine. The top commenter overall will be profiled in the Deathmatch Spring issue of Broken Pencil Magazine.
5. First place winner receives the complete Indie Writers Makeover – consultations and feedback sessions with top Canadian publishing professionals! A consultation with the soon to be announced book publisher; a consultation with a literary agent; plus a consultation with an acclaimed writer. They will read your work and give you feedback on your writing, your career and what to do next! Plus publication in the Spring 2015 issue of Broken Pencil and
$200 $400 (we’ve doubled the prize this year!). The top three finalists receive $100, a Broken Pencil Prize Pack worth $100, and publication in the issue. The four stories receive a Broken Pencil Prize Pack.
6. Entry fee is $25, by credit card or PayPal, through Broken Pencil’s automated submission system. We really don’t want to deal with snail mail anymore, but if you’re desperate drop us a line and we can probably accommodate you.
7. Entry fee includes a one-year subscription to Broken Pencil, or a one-year extension for current subscribers. US and International addresses will receive the full-color digital edition subscription
8. Proper manuscript format for submissions can be found on the Submission Guidelines page of the Broken Pencil website. All entrants agree to be added to the Broken Pencil email list; you can unsubscribe at any time.
9. All entrants must agree to have their submissions posted on the Broken Pencil website to be voted on and discussed by visitors to the site; writers whose stories are chosen for the voting rounds must agree to actively participate in the comments section while their story is being judged in order to promote and advocate for their entry. Remember: this is an anything goes contest; comments from visitors to the site can be hurtful. Be prepared for battle, and don’t say we didn’t warn you.
10. All writers whose stories make the Top 16 must agree to have their submissions printed in the magazine at a later date with compensation, posted on the website indefinitely without further compensation, and/or reprinted in physical or electronic format in a Broken Pencil anthology, on the Broken Pencil App “The Nub” and licensed by Broken Pencil to 3rd party databases without additional permissions or compensation required.
11. All rounds will conclude on Sunday nights at 11:59 pm. New rounds will begin the next day — Monday — at 12 noon.
12. No stories about Santa Claus. We are serious. Stories about Santa Claus will be instantly disqualified. But we will keep your money.
For deadlines and other information, click on this year’s Deathmatch. For questions about Deathmatch, email email@example.com.
Official hashtag: #bpdeathmatch