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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 contact us.

May the words flow to your victory.

The Writer's Games FAQ was last updated:

March 2022


For cost, rules, feedback, rights requirements, and acceptances information.


Time Zones, Allotments, and Timing

For scheduling and portion information.


For language, submissions, file types, and formatting information.



For Events, Mock Events, announcements, word counts, and fanfiction information.

Scoring, Winning, and Disqualification

For scoring, disqualification, appeals, and victory information.



For registration, skipping, readers and editors, and transfer information.





  • The Writer's Games is a free writing competition. There is no charge for participation and every accepted entry receives critique.


  • The rules are available here or by using the navigation above: Writer's Games > Rules


  • Feedback is included as part of registration. Anyone who registers may opt in for the standard-length critiques for free or opt out of critiques for the competition. We send your feedback privately via email at the end of the competition. 

  • Extended Critiques: Occasionally, we're able to offer longer critiques for a small fee and with very limited availability. Extended Critiques include three times the length of the standard critique per judge for all your accepted entries.  


Rights Requirements

  • 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. Entries you submit must not be published anywhere (including a personal blog) until the overall winners are announced for that portion.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.


Why do you maintain rights so long?

  • 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, it is possible for the judges 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.

What do you mean by "accepted entry"?

  • Any entry submitted by a registered participant before the Event deadline is accepted for that Event. If the entry fails to meet the Event parameters, it will be disqualified. Judges still critique disqualified entries to help you improve. 

    • Entries including religious, political, or erotic themes are not accepted. The judges will not read the piece and the author will not receive feedback for that piece. Participants may continue to enter future Events.

    • Entries pasted into the body of the email are not accepted. Please check the Submissions section below for more information. Participants may continue to enter future Events.

    • Entries including more than the maximum allowed word count (excluding Title Information) are not accepted. The judges will not read the piece and the author will not receive feedback for that piece. Participants may continue to enter future Events. If you're using the most recent version of Microsoft Word, please check the Word Counts section below. 



Time Zones, Allotments, and Timing


  • All Events begin at Midnight, UTC, between Friday and Saturday. Events last 72 hours (3 days).

  • You can check 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 runs a Practice Event before the scored Events begin so you can be sure of the Event start/closing time.



  • Each portion of The Writer's Games includes six Events over consecutive weeks. Registration is required for each portion as a whole: all six Events included. Registration opens the month before each portion begins. Please check the Calendar for upcoming portion information. 

  • 2022: To make room for some other amazing writing opportunities, we're running one massive portion in 2022.


What if I miss the announcement?

  • You don't have to be present for the start of the Event, just don't miss the deadline!





  • Entries to The Writer's Games must be submitted in English.

  • Characters may speak another language without immediate translation but the bulk of your entry must be English.



  • Writer's Games entries are accepted via email to or through the DropBox app on the Writer's Games page.

  • The following file types are accepted: .doc, .docx, .odt.

  • Emailed entries must be sent as attachments. Entries pasted into the body of the email are not accepted.



  • You can find the same formatting instructions in the following places: Writer's Games in-season page, Rules, Submissions, this popup, and below:

    • Arial or Times New Roman, size 10 or 12pt, black text only.

    • Single spaced

    • 1" empty margins on all four sides

    • 0.5" (12mm) or Tab indentations for all paragraphs

    • Blank line for scene breaks

    • Do not include a secondary title of your entry.

  • All submissions to The Writer's Workout must include the proper Title Information at the start of the document, aligned left:


Title of Entry

Event Name 

Word Count

  • Entries not meeting the general formatting requirements lose points during judgement. Entries not including Title Information in the order listed above will be disqualified.

  • While your formatting is important (no matter where your send your work), it's not something to stress too much about. Keep it simple, delete the frills. We will send you feedback on your formatting and Title Information during the Practice Event to help you improve for the scored Events.




What is an Event?

  • An Event is a challenge in the Writer's Games. Each portion includes six Events over consecutive weeks. While the first Event is for practice, the following five are scored with publication for the winners. Entries to all six Events receive critique from multiple judges. Entries to the Practice Event also include formatting assistance to make sure your future entries receive their full point value.

  • The complete list of Events is here on the Tips & Events page. Events are kept secret until their scheduled announcement, to help provide a fair experience for all participants.

  • Two Mock Events occur during the registration month. They're open to the public as a teaser of what's to come in the portion. Mock Event entries help train the judges. Feedback from Mock Event entries is released at the end of the portion.

Event Announcements

  • When it's time for an Event to begin, you'll find the Event announcement on the Writer's Games page and in the forum. 

  • Keep in mind some Events require additional information not included in the definition. Pay close attention to the announcement on the Writer's Games page. You may ask questions in the forum. 

Word Counts

  • The word count varies for each Event, so read the announcement closely. Most Events include a maximum of 5,000 words.

  • If you're using the newest version of Microsoft Word, please understand this new version does not calculate word count correctly. Older versions (pre-2010) still function and count properly. Free, accurate word counters are available online. 

    • Understand that if your submission is over the maximum word count, we cannot accept it.​

Recurring Events

  • It's possible that some of the Events in the previous year may appear again the following year, but no two Writer's Games portions are the same. The Event definitions are available to help writers generate ideas but the announcement of each Event is always new. Likewise, the judges change each portion.


  • Fanfiction is not accepted for any Event or other published challenge at The Writer's Workout. Submitting fanfiction is grounds for disqualification.




Scoring, Winning, and Disqualification


  • Scoring for The Writer's Games is blind. We remove participant names before the judges see the entries. Judges read entries in batches and use a ten-point sliding scale. Scores are based on the use and clarity of the Event's Core Concepts. Points may be added for exceptional display of other foundations of writing which have not been requested by the Event.

  • An entry's individual judge scores are averaged to find the Event score. Throughout the Games, Event scores are added to find the participant's Overall score. Every accepted entry carries a score regardless of placement.


  • Writer's Games is not an elimination challenge. If one of your entries is disqualified, you receive a score of 0 for that Event. The judges will still critique your entry and you may continue to enter future Events. Entry disqualification has no negative effect on your score or participation.

  • For more information on disqualifiers, please read Rule 7 of the Rules.


  • If your entry is disqualified for not meeting the challenge requirements, you may appeal on the grounds of concept. To appeal this type of disqualification, email Theresa at Include the title of your entry, Event, 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. 

  • If your entry is disqualified for incorrect Title Information, you may not appeal. Review the submissions guidelines and try again for the next Event. We will notify you during the Writer's Games if your Title Information is correct so you may improve for the next Event.


  • Winning depends on each writer's idea of the word. The Writer's Games offers several measurements of success: creating a work of fiction in 72 hours, submitting a piece for blind judgement, trying a genre that scared you, submitting for all six Events in a row, scoring in the top five for an Event, scoring in the top ten overall, and feedback showing a marked improvement over six weeks. 

  • Judges focus on the Core Concepts of each Event during scoring; pay close attention to how your entry handles these key elements of fiction. Your score may receive an additional boost from other foundations of writing or from the overall quality of your piece. However, if your entry is well-written but ignores one or both of the Event's Core Concepts, it will score low.


  • The top five highest scored entries from each Event are compiled in a volume of the anthology, 72 Hours of Insanity. At the end of all six Events, writers with the top three highest scores are interviewed and receive a physical copy of the portion's anthology. 

  • Additional prizes are subject to sponsorship and donations. 





  • Registration is required for participation in each portion of The Writer's Games. Your registration secures your space on the score sheet, determines your eligibility for feedback, and provides your consent to publish your winning entry. 

  • Volume is dependent on several factors that change each portion. If we're at capacity for the portion, you may add your name to the waiting list. If we're not able to accommodate you for the current portion, your space is guaranteed for the next potion. The waiting list is only available during registration months. 

  • To register: click the registration button on the in-season Writer's Games page, fill out the form, and click submit. You'll receive an automated copy of your form. You're all set! 


  • Participants choose to skip Events for various reasons with no negative impact to their scores. You do not need to notify the team if you choose to skip an Event; you can continue with the next Event as normal.

Beta Teams and Editors

  • The Writer's Games is designed to show you what you alone can do. Some writers have teams of people to help refine their work but others are not so lucky. To provide all writers the same opportunity for success, support readers and editors are not allowed prior to submission. 

  • If your entry wins an Event, our editing team will provide additional comments. You'll have time to use these comments and your feedback to improve your entry before publication.


  • If you find you're unable to participate, please notify Theresa by email at prior to the start of the Practice Event. Your space will be given to someone on the waiting list. This list is first come, first served so you may not designate your space to a specific person. Please note no updates can be made to the score sheet once the Practice Event has begun. 

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