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Rules

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Register

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Switch to ${x}:

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Switch to ${x}:

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Important Dates

Start Writing!
Receive and re-draw prompts
Prompts Locked-In after ${numLockInHours}

You have ${daysToWrite} Days to finish writing

${date}
${time}

Submit ${storyOrScript}

${num} ${wordOrPage} limit (not including title page)

Name or address cannot be written anywhere

${date}
${time}

Read, Give Feedback, and Judge
You are assigned to Judge 5 Duels
Each Duel is available at ${assignTime}; and,

Complete it by ${dueTime} (within 47 hours)

date range

Winners Announced!
All feedback is released to participants
The four genre winners split the cash prize pool

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How It All Works

Start Writing!

${writingRange}

At ${startTime}, receive prompts and start writing. You have ${daysToWrite} days to write a ${maxPages} ${pageOrWord} ${storyOrScript} using the prompts.

You may redraw your prompts for the first ${hoursToLockIn}, after which your prompts are Locked-In.

You can submit your ${storyOrScript} any time before the deadline.

Submit ${Story}

${submitDate}

By ${submitTime}, you must have submitted your ${storyOrScript} using the form provided on the Battle page.

The entry must be entirely anonymous, so your name or address cannot appear anywhere in the uploaded document including the title page.

See the Official Rules Doc for formatting requirements.

Your ${storyOrScript} will only ever be competing against others in its same Genre.

Judge Duels

${judgeRange}

A Duel is between two ${storiesOrScripts} where a Judge reads, gives feedback, then decides which ${storyOrScript} is better. A Duel must be completed within 47 hours from the assigned start time which typically take less than 30 min to complete.

In order to be eligible to win, you must complete the 5 randomly assigned Duels, unless at checkout, you have selected and paid to opt-out of judging.

Winners Announced!

${winnerDate}

All ${storiesOrScripts} are separated into their respective genres and each compete in a single-elimination tournament specific to its genre.

The first Duel determines the placement of each ${storyOrScript} to kick-off the tournament (also called "seeding"). The ${storiesOrScripts} are planted into the bracket where (barring any upsets), the best ${storiesOrScripts} will Duel later in the competition.

${capStoriesOrScripts} face off in best-of-five Duels to progress in the tournament. As soon as the Final Two ${storiesOrScripts} are chosen for each tournament by the participant judges (including you), the Professional Judges take over and determine the Four Winners - one from each Genre.

The Four Winners split the CASH prize pool equally and all feedback from fellow writers and professionals are released to the participants.

Genre and Prompts

Genre

Genre is a special prompt that can only be redrawn once. There are four genres per battle that are revealed to everyone when the battle begins, along with their definitions.

A genre from each of the four types:

Speculative (Sci-Fi, Horror, etc.)
Plot-driven (Mystery, Thriller, etc.)
Comedic (Comedy, Rom-Com, etc.)
Serious (Drama, Western, etc.)

Note: we tend to have fun with sub-genres, so expect at least two of the genres to be atypical. This keeps the contest fresh and writers on their toes!

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${prompt}

${description}

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${prompt}

${description}

Official Rules and Participant Agreement

Click HERE to read the Official Rules PDF document.

Join Today!

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Register

Spartan Judge

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Love Judging?

When participants opt-out of judging duels, those duels are randomly distributed among approved Spartan Judges that are participating in the battle. The dates in which each individual Spartan Judge have two duels instead of the normal one duel will be indicated on their Duel Schedule.

Apply to be a Spartan Judge, and receive up-to double the number of Duels per battle. Get paid in credit on the site for each extra Duel you complete. 5 extra Duels is enough credit to join a battle.

Note: that you have to already be registered and have a story submitted in a Battle to be selected as a Spartan Judge.

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FAQs

Who owns the story or script I write?

You do. However, if you win, we have the right to publish your entry in the Past Winners section of our website. Exceptions can be made if you do not want your story or script to be read by the public. Contact the admin in this case at admin@writingbattle.com -- We're easy.

How do you ensure that people judge fairly?

Participants are never judging entries that their own story or script is in competition with since they only read entries in different genres than their own. The winning entry from each genre split the cash prize pool equally. Each of the winners from the four genres are equal.

Who can join this competition?

This is an international competition, so anyone can join from anywhere in the world (18 years or older). Prize money will be converted from USD into whatever currency you prefer.

What are the genres for the upcoming Battle?

Genres are kept secret until each battle starts. The list of four potential genres are emailed to all participants at the same time.

Sorry... what the heck is a Duel again?

A Duel is between two stories or two scripts. It is a Face-Off, where a Judge reads both entries, gives feedback to each, and then chooses which one is "stronger."

Is it possible to draw the same card twice?

No. We keep a history of all the prompts you have received during the current battle. You will never get the same prompt when re-drawing a card.

Can I use the previous prompts after drawing new ones?

No. In the spirit of the challenge of this competition, every time you draw cards you risk drawing a prompt even less inspiring than the one it replaced. You must use whichever prompts you hold after Lock-In.

Can I use an alias?

Yes. Please check “Use an Alias” when editing your public profile. We will use the name in your public profile, or your alias if you prefer. Make sure you update your public profile before the winners of the battle are decided.

How do I submit my story or script?

Entry submissions are done on our website, https://www.writingbattle.com/battle through a custom easy-to-use online form.

How are the entries distributed to readers?

Everything is done on writingbattle.com -- During a Duel, a Judge will click a button to read your entry, the button opens a temporary link to your writing. There is no way for the Judge to know whose entry they were reading, and there is no way for the writer to know who wrote the feedback.

Is everything done on the website?

Yes. Everything. No data ever goes to another service. You never have to leave the website. This means we have full control of security and the privacy of everyone's script and public data. Not to name names, but this was a weak spot we found in similar short screenwriting contests.

How do you ensure anonymity?

Most commonly, people will accidently put their name and address information on the title page. It happens. We all are so used to putting our information on the title page. In the Screenwriting competition, we autogenerate a title page for you. The metadata is also stripped from the pdf. If a title page already exists on the pdf you submitted, our software replaces the title page with the autogenerated one. We always keep your original pdf on record, but the pdf that Arbitrators read is the auto-generated version. Don't worry... the title page we generate is pretty. You will get to preview it when you submit your PDF.

For our Prose competitions, the documents are vetted beforehand and the participants are disqualified if their name or address appears anywhere in the document.

What if someone puts their contact information somewhere else in the document?

Judges are encouraged not to award these entries with a win. If we find a script or story that reveals the writer's identity, then that entrant will be disqualified.

One of the entries I read does not follow the Official Rules. What should I do?
Email admin@writingbattle.com with the title of the script or story in question, and which rule you think it broke. Do not email about someone not using a prompt. Let the judging process filter those out.

Who are the judges?
You are. All participants are also judges. It is designed so that participants should be fair since you are only judging stories or scripts in different genres than your own -- so you are not ever competing with the entries that you read. The Professional Judges will be announced before the battle starts.

Will the submissions be 100% anonymous to those judges?
Yes! We are in full control of the data on the website, which means people will never know who wrote the story or script they are judging, or who wrote the feedback.

What are the judging criteria?
Judges only choose which entry "wins" over another entry. How do they choose which entry wins? That's up to the Judge, but it should be in the vein of which entry is "stronger."

There is an exception with the First Duel, where we ask for a Score for Seeding purposes only. The score is on a scale from 0 to 10 -- 10 being 'Masterful.' The Score does not effect the Duel, and instead is used in a formula that helps determine Rank going into the Single Elimination Tournament.

The entry I'm reading is great, but I don't think the writer used the prompts. Should I still choose it as the "winner?"

We can't tell you how to choose a winner. It is possible that the prompt is super abstract and went over your head (which in that case it was a poor decision by the writer to do that). Up to you.

I still have time. Can I re-submit a new draft of my story or script?

Yes! The last document you upload will be used in the battle.

What if I change the title or logline in a Screenwriting competition? Will the auto-generated title page change?

Definitely. In the Screenwriting competition, every time you change your title or logline, the title page also changes.

Does the writing have to be in English?

Assuming most of the judges will be English writers/speakers, then this is probably a good idea. If a Judge cannot read your story or script, then that is not their fault, and they are likely going to vote for the other entry in the Duel. 

This seems like TOO MUCH fun. What do you recommend I do?

Join all of the battles and share the site with your friends and family on social media to get the word out!