WRITER'S GAMES

Frequently Asked Questions

Please check here to see if your question has already been answered. If you can't find what you're looking for here or in the Rules section, please email us at submissions@writersworkout.net. May the words flow to your victory.

GENERAL

Does the Writer's Games cost money?

Help! Where are the rules?

What are the rights requirements for participation?

How long do you maintain the rights to my entries?

Why do you maintain rights so long?

 

TIME ZONES, TIME ALLOTMENTS, AND TIMING

When are Events posted?

What if I miss the start of the Event?

How much time to do I have?

SUBMISSION HOW-TO AND FILE TYPES

Can I still participate if English is not my first language?

How should I format my entry?

What should I include with my entry?

What if I put the title information in the top margin?

Why is my entry disqualified if the Title Information is wrong?

Why can't I appeal a Title Information disqualification?

Why is The Writer's Workout so focused on formatting?

I wrote an entry, what do I do with it?

Can I send my entry in the body of the email?

Which file types are accepted?

 

EVENTS

How many Events are in each portion?

How long is this competition?

What are the word count limitations?

There are a ton of Events on the list, how do I know which Events to prepare?

I participated in the Writer's Games last year, will the Events be the same this year?

Can I submit fanfiction?

SCORING, WINNING, AND DISQUALIFIERS

How does the scoring work?

Can I still earn points if I don't win an Event?

How do I know my score?

What if I skip an Event?

Can I still win overall if I don't win any of the Events?

My beta reader and editor think my piece is amazing, why didn't it win?

Will I be disqualified if I submit fanfiction?

Will I be disqualified from the Games if one of my entries is disqualified?

Can I appeal a disqualification?

Can I contest my placement?

What are the prizes?

 

PARTICIPATION

Do I have to register?

How do I register?

Can I register for specific Events?

Can my beta reading team and editors read my entry before I submit?

I'm very busy and I can't be around the entire 72 hours. Do I have to drop out?

What if I register but I find out later I can't participate at all?

 

The Writer's Games FAQ was last updated:

March, 2018

Want to download or print this page? Check this handy document!

 

 

GENERAL

Does the Writer's Games cost money?

A: Nope! The Writer's Games is a free writing competition. There is no charge for participation and some of the judges have donated their entire year to provide a fun learning experience for writers around the world.

 

Where are the rules?

A: The rules are available on this website. Using the navigation above:

Writer's Games 2018 > Rules (here).

What are the rights requirements for participation?

A: When you register, you consent to keep every entry you submit private for the duration of the portion. This helps The Writer's Workout maintain a blind judgement process to protect your identity as a participant and keep the scoring fair. This means that the entries you submit must not be published anywhere (including a personal blog) until the overall winners are announced for that portion.

The Writer's Workout maintains publication rights to any winning entry that will appear in the anthology for the duration of one year.

 

How long do you maintain the rights to my entries?

A: For entries placing sixth or below in any scored Event, The Writer's Workout requests entries remain private until the end of the portion. This means that you may work on your piece using the feedback provided but may not publish the story anywhere (including a personal blog) until after the overall winners have been announced for that portion. Each portion is two months.

Entries in the unscored Practice Event are treated as an entry placing sixth or below in a scored Event and may not be published until after the overall winner announcement.

Entries placing fifth or higher in any scored Event will be published in the anthology. Rights to these entries are maintained by The Writer's Workout for one year.

 

Why do you maintain rights so long?

A: The Writer's Workout strives to provide honest judgement and feedback. When your entry is published or released to the public before the overall winner announcement, the judges have an opportunity to associate that piece with your participant number on the score sheet. While the judges work very hard to maintain an objective view of each entry, knowing who you are as a participant will sway even the strongest objectivity whether intentionally or unintentionally. Keeping details of your entries secret until after the overall winner announcement will help the judges stay fair and protect your identity.

 

 

TIME ZONES, TIME ALLOTMENTS, AND TIMING

When are Events posted?

A: All Events are posted at Midnight, UTC, between Friday and Saturday. You can check timeanddate.com/worldclock/converter to find out when Events are posted in your time zone.

  • Click "Add a City or Time Zone" and type UTC. Click to select UTC.

  • Click the day/date and select the nearest future Saturday.

  • Click the time and select 00 - 12 am.

  • Click "Add another city or time zone" and begin typing your location. A list will drop down, choose the location nearest you. The site will show you the time and day of Event postings in your location.

The Writer's Workout also provides countdown clocks on the Games page for your convenience and runs a Practice Event before the scored Events begin so you can be sure of the Event start/closing time.

 

What if I miss the start of the Event?

A: You don't have to be present for the start of the Event, just make sure you don't miss the deadline!

 

How much time to do I have?

A: Events last 72 hours (3 days), unless otherwise stated by the judges at the start of the Event.

 

 

SUBMISSION HOW-TO AND FILE TYPES

Can I still participate if English is not my first language?

A: Yes, though each entry must be submitted in English.

 

I wrote an entry, what do I do with it?

A: The judges accept entries formatted using the Chicago Manual of Style with some minor alterations. Check the Submissions page for further information. Formatting 101 guides are available for each of the three accepted file types.

Once your entry is properly formatted and the correct Title Information is included, submit your entry by email to submissions@writersworkout.net or upload it via the DropBox app on our Games page before the deadline. 

What should I include with my entry?

A: The Title Information is required in the BODY of the document for all entries. This is to ensure each entry receives the score it earns. It is for your benefit that this information is correct. The required Title Information is (IN THIS ORDER):

Name

Title of Entry

Event name (this will appear in ALL CAPS during the Event announcement)

Word Count

Additional information may be required, depending on the Event.

 

What if I put the Title Information in the top margin?

A: If Title Information is missing, incomplete, incorrect, or appears in the top margin or an area other than the body of the document, the entry is disqualified from the Event. It's your duty as a writer to make sure you submit your best work. Please review the Rules and Submissions pages for more information.

 

Why is my entry disqualified if the Title Information is wrong?

A: Title Information is by far the easiest part of this competition but it’s most often overlooked. It's explained in the Rules, listed with a sample in the Submissions guide, and included with each Event announcement. Title Information is how our impartial third party knows which entry was produced by which writer and how to appropriately create the judgement document. The Writer's Games is a unique competition in that even if your entry is disqualified, you will be notified, the judges will still read the entry, and you still receive feedback. With any other contest, you will not be informed that you submitted something incorrectly. The Writer's Workout strives to help you improve and be a better writer.

 

Why can’t I appeal a Title Information disqualification?

A: Title Information is how the impartial third party associates your piece with you. Examples of Title Information are provided in the Rules, Submissions guide, this FAQ page, and each Event announcement. The only excuse for incorrect Title Information is not paying attention.

Why is The Writer's Workout so focused on formatting?

A: Like the Title Information, your formatting is important! It's the presentation of all the hard work you put into your story. If you're querying an agent and you haven't followed their company's submission guide, they will delete your email. They won't even read your story. The Writer's Workout places emphasis on formatting to help you improve your packaging and follow the instructions not only for Writer's Games submissions but for submissions to other contests as well. At The Writer's Workout, we want to help you succeed no matter where you submit your work.


Can I send my entry in the body of the email?

A: No. Entries pasted into the body of the email will not be accepted due to the loss of formatting and other associated issues.

 

Which file types are accepted?

A: The judges accept attachments of .doc, .docx, and .odt. You may also send a link to your entry on Google Docs or utilize the DropBox feature on the Games page.

Please note if you are submitting a link to your Google Doc, you must follow the instructions on the Formatting 101 page for Google Docs. The Writer's Workout cannot accept invitations to edit due to the way Google Docs handles ownership and access of files.

 

 

EVENTS

How many Events are in this portion/How long is this competition?

A: Each portion of the Writer's Games includes one unscored Practice Event and five (5) scored Events. Each Event includes 72 hours to write, 90 hours to read and score, and two hours to celebrate the victor. Check the Calendar for exact dates on each Portion.

What's the word count limit?

A: Each Event has its own designated word count. Word count limits, core concepts, and other information necessary to succeed are included with each Event announcement.

 

There are a ton of Events on the list, how do I know which Events to prepare?

A: The list of possible Events is available so you can plan ahead and see the options available to the judges. The Events chosen for the year are kept secret until their announcement; that's part of the fun! Each Event listed is possible, but only six (6) Events will occur per portion, per year.

I participated in the Writer's Games last year, will the Events be the same this year?

A: No. While it is possible that some of the Events might appear again (we really like some of them), the judges try to choose Events that were not used in the previous year.

Can I submit fanfiction?

A: Fanfiction is not accepted for any Event or contest at The Writer's Workout. Submitting fanfiction is grounds for disqualification.

 

 

SCORING, WINNING, AND DISQUALIFIERS

How does the scoring work?

A: Each registrant is assigned a number by an impartial third party so the judges never see which writer is which number. The third party pastes all entries received into one document and replaces the author names with their assigned numbers. When all the names have been removed, this document is made available to the judges. Judges read each entry and decide on a numerical score based on the author's use of the Event's core concepts and adherence to the challenge. They also consider pacing, flow, character development, and whether or not the story is publication ready. Entries are never pitted against each other; they are judged individually on merit. Each entry is scored out of 10 points, with 10 being a perfect score. The judges' scores are then averaged together for each entry to obtain the Event Score for each writer. The writer with the highest Event Score wins that Event.

Each writer's Event Scores are then added to obtain the writer's Overall Score. At the end of five scored Events, the highest Overall Score wins that portion of the Games.

Can I still earn points if I don't win an Event?

A: Yes. Every qualified entry earns points regardless of placement.

 

How do I know my score?

A: Numerical scores are never released. The top five placing entries--those who will be published--are posted on the Games page. Requests for overall standing only may be made privately following the winner announcement for Event 3. To request your overall placement, send an email to submissions@writersworkout.net. Please note individual Event placements may not be released due to time constraints and volume.

 

What if I skip an Event?

A: Registered participants choose to skip Events without penalty. Keep in mind the scores accumulate, so you are less likely to win overall if you miss an Event but if you're not feeling it that week, you can skip and continue in the competition.

 

Can I win overall if I don't win any of the Events?

A: YES! If your scores are consistently high, you participate in every Event, and you earn the rare bonus points, you can win overall without winning any of the Events.

My beta reader and editor think my piece is amazing, why didn't it win?

A: Entries for The Writer's Games should never be reviewed in whole or in part by anyone other than YOU, the author. The Individual portion is a challenge to see what you alone can produce on your own given a surprise challenge and 72 hours. While every piece is different, some pieces more effectively convey the purpose and more clearly utilize the core concepts of the Event at hand. As this is a competition, only one entry can win each Event.

 

Will I be disqualified if I submit fanfiction?

A: Yes. Submitting fanfiction to any contest conducted by The Writer's Workout will lead to automatic disqualification from the Event. If you consistently submit fanfiction for each Event, you will be disqualified from the Games for the remainder of the year (including other portions).

Will I be disqualified from the Games if one of my entries is disqualified?

A: No. If one of your entries is disqualified, you will not receive any points for that entry. Entry disqualification has no negative effect on your score and is similar to skipping an Event... but you still receive feedback! The judges will offer a brief explanation of your entry disqualification, suggest ways to improve, and include feedback for your entry. You may continue to participate in future Events for the portion.

If you are disqualified from the Writer's Games overall, you will be notified via email and a detailed explanation of your disqualification will be included. For more information on disqualifiers, please read Rule 7 of the Rules.

Can I appeal a disqualification?

A: Maybe. Entries are disqualified more often than we'd prefer so if your entry was disqualified for concept or challenge adherence, you are encouraged to appeal. However, missing/incorrect Title Information is a frequent reason entries are disqualified and appeals for Title Information disqualification are not accepted. 

To appeal your disqualification on the grounds of challenge or concept, send an email to Theresa.Green@writersworkout.net. Include the title of your entry, grounds provided by the judges, and why you feel your entry should qualify. Please keep in mind this process takes a long time and while your entry may have been a great story, it may not have adhered to the challenge at hand. 

Can I contest my placement?

A: Maybe. While we encourage everyone to keep track of their progress and make every effort to present their best work, many different factors support the judges' scores. Judges score entries based on understanding and expression of the Event's core concepts and adherence to the challenge. Pacing, flow, and character development play a secondary role in scoring. Keep in mind even though you submitted your very best work, it may not be the most effective piece submitted for that challenge. Still, mistakes happen. If you feel you wrote an amazing entry that should have won, send an email to Theresa.Green@writersworkout.net. The judges will review the entries and rescore. 

 

What are the prizes?

A: Prizes for the Individual portion change every year. For 2018, The Writer's Workout has listed the prizes for the top three overall winners at the end of the Tips and Events page. These prizes apply to both of the Individual portions equally.

 

 

PARTICIPATION

Do I have to register?

A: YES. You must register to participate. Registration secures your space on the score sheet and provides The Writer's Workout with consent to publish your winning entry(ies). Once the Games begin, the score sheet is closed and no more participants may be added.

How do I register?

A: When open, registration is linked on the active Games page. Simply fill out the Google Form and click submit. Check your email address for your automated receipt; a welcome email will follow in a few days.

Can I register for specific Events?

A: No. The Writer's Games is an all-or-nothing competition. You are encouraged to try all of the Events. If you know in advance that you will miss an Event, don't worry, people choose to skip Events for various reasons. This will not negatively impact your score. For more information on how the Games works, review the How it Works page.

 

Can my beta reading team and editors read my entry before I submit?
A: NO. The Writer's Games is a challenge to see what you alone can produce on your own given a surprise challenge and 72 hours. While we commend those writers who have a support system for their writing, not every writer has this luxury. To maintain fairness for this competition, entries for The Writer's Games should never be reviewed in whole or in part by anyone other than YOU, the author, prior to submission.

 

I'm very busy and I can't be around the entire 72 hours. Do I have to drop out?

A: Not at all. No one can be expected to be available for the entire 72 hours. This competition is designed to fit into your life: that's why you have three whole days to create your entry.

What if I register but I find out later I can't participate at all?

A: If you find you are unable to participate, please notify Theresa Green by email at Theresa.Green@writersworkout.net. Your space will be given to someone on the waiting list.