If you still have questions on how the competition works after reading through this section, make sure to check out the Frequently Asked Questions page.
Genre, Location & Object Assignment:
All stories must be created within the competition periods listed below and must include the genre, location and object assignment. The story must be written in the assigned genre. The list of potential genres is Action/Adventure, Comedy, Crime Caper, Drama, Fairy Tale, Fantasy, Ghost Story, Historical Fiction, Horror, Mystery, Political Satire, Romance, Romantic Comedy, Sci-Fi, Spy, Suspense, Thriller, and Open Genre. The assigned location (ex. baseball stadium) must be the predominant location used in the story. The assigned object (ex. toothbrush) must be used at some point in the story.
Challenge #1 : August 19-21, 2011 :
Writers are placed randomly in groups. There are 20 groups in the 1st round. Each group is assigned a genre, a location and an object that must be included in the story. Once the judging is complete, writers receive points based on what place they end up in the challenge (see below):
Challenge #2 : September 23-25, 2011 :
Writers compete in the same group they were placed in for Challenge #1. Writers receive a new assigned genre, location and object which must be included in the story. Writers receive points based on what place they end up in the challenge. The total points from Challenge #1 and #2 are added together, and the top 5 writers in each group advance to the 2nd Round.
For example, if a writer comes in 4th place (18 points) in Challenge #1 and 13th place (3 points) in Challenge #2, than his/her total points for the 1st Round is 21 points. If 21 points is among the top 5 highest point totals in the group, than the writer will advance to the 2nd round of the competition. The points writers accumulate in the 1st Round are only to determine which writers advance to the 2nd Round, and have no effect on the judging in the 2nd or 3rd rounds.
Challenge #3 : October 21-23, 2011 :
The 100 writers that advanced out of the 1st Round will be divided into 5 groups. Each group is assigned a genre, location, and object and have 2 days to submit a 1,000 word story. The top 5 writers from each group will advance to the 3rd and final round.
Challenge #4 : November 18-20, 2011 :
The 25 writers that advanced out of the 2nd Round will participate in the final writing challenge. They are assigned a new genre, location, and object and again have 2 days to submit a 1,000 word story. The judges choose winners and they'll share in thousands in cash and prizes.