About Deathmatch

Since 2008, Broken Pencil: the magazine of zine culture and the independent arts, has been running the world’s most audacious short story contest — The Indie Writers’ Deathmatch Short Story Contest.

“This is definitely not a contest for sensitive writer types. If you can’t handle the thought of your short story being smacked down by online voters, then you’ll want to stay well clear of this one. Think Literary Survivor. On an island. Surrounded by a sea of sharks.”
– Jennifer Moss, The Vancouver Sun

Deathmatch By Year


The Zinester's Deathmatch

Broken Pencil Presents the Zinester’s Deathmatch!
Zinester's Deathmatch 101!
They Fought Their Way to the Top! All the Past Winners of Deathmatch


The Indie Illustrator's Deathmatch

Broken Pencil Presents the Indie Illustrator’s Deathmatch!
Q&A: Judge Jenn Woodall talks Illustrator’s Deathmatch & More
Listen to Broken Pencil’s Q&A With This Year’s Deathmatch Author!


The Indie Writer's Deathmatch

Deathmatch 2019 is done! And the winner is… Charlotte Joyce Kidd
Seven Stories Founder Dan Simon to Give Advice As Part of Deathmatch Prize
Who Should Have Won Last Year’s Deathmatch?


The Indie Writer's Deathmatch

FB Live Event: Winter Updates and Deathmatch 2018!
BP Indie Writers Deathmatch Short Story Contest Finals
Deathmatch story titles that piqued our interest