What is the 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

Since 2008, Broken Pencil: the magazine of zine culture and the independent arts, has been running the world’s most audacious short story contest.  In the Deathmatch short story contest, the top stories as selected by Broken Pencil are pitted against each other in our online arena. The winning story is decided by Broken Pencil readers themselves, through a vote on the official magazine website. In the online arena, anyone and everyone can read the stories and vote on which one deserves to reign supreme. The authors will be in constant communication with their audience through the comment boards, and they can hype up their own story, or trash-talk their opponent’s writing. The winning story moves on to the next round until there are only two stories left, battling it out for ultimate victory! With over 100,000 votes cast, the Deathmatch is a high stakes struggle for literary bragging rights!

The winners and runners-up get published in Broken Pencil, plus cash prizes and prize packs. The ultimate winner also gets the unique Indie Writers Makeover in which they met face to face with a publisher, a literary agent and an acclaimed writer. They will comment on the work, guide you on entering the publishing industry, and tell you what to do next.

For deadlines and other information, visit the main Deathmatch page. For questions about Deathmatch, email [email protected].