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Rules

Important Dates

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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,

Must be completed by ${dueTime} the following day

date range

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

date

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.

After Lock-In, you can submit your ${storyOrScript} at any time.

Submit ${Story}

${submitDate}

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

A one page title page is allowed, but not required.

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 23 hours from the assigned start time.

In order to be eligible to win, you must complete the 5 randomly assigned Duels.

Duels typically take less than an hour to complete and no more than one Duel shall be assigned in any given 48 hour period.

The ${storiesOrScripts} assigned to you will always be in different Genres than your own ${storyOrScript}, so you are never in competition with the ${storiesOrScripts} that you judge.

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 couple Duels determine 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-three 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

Place

Something significant must happen at this place in your story. There are no constraints on how long your characters have to spend there.

Object

The object must appear physically in your story and must be significant in one way or another.

Genre

You will never be disqualified from this competition because an admin thinks your writing doesn't perfectly fit a genre; however, you may turn off judges if they were expecting a Comedy, but got Carrie. Use your best judgement.

Note: Genre is a special prompt that can not be re-drawn unless you use a Genre Swap item. This is to encourage participants to write in Genres they may not be comfortable with. Genre Swaps can be exchanged for 5 Battle Coins.

Official Rules and Participant Agreement

Click HERE to read the Official Rules PDF document.

FAQs

Who owns the story or script I write?

You do. However, if you win, we have the right to show 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. Meaning... there are four equal winners.

Who can join this competition?

This is an international competition, so anyone over the age of 18 from the start of the Battle can join from anywhere in the world. Prize money will be converted from USD into whatever currency you prefer.

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 any points. 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 is the judging criteria?
There is no 'scoring' in a Duel, so 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."

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!