Gauntlet to be Crowdfunded

gauntlet orig

Here’s some exciting news, Ink readers and WYRM’s Gauntlet alum. We’re going to try something crazy, something new, something that requires delicate handling in the face of danger. When things get that rough, I turn to my favorite web designer and creative ally, the multi-talented, and quite unstoppable, Khanh Mai. And we’d like to announce that headline once more: WYRM’s Gauntlet to be crowdfunded!

At least, ‘tis the plan.

At this point, we WYRMs do not know all the details, except that we aim to do this through IndieGoGo since we feel it has a good chance of standing out against other writing-related projects there. ‘IndieGoGo’ suits us as we run the ultimate indie writing competition, after all. (I won’t have to look into the camera and tell you to accept no imitations).

We are looking at the month of July to commence, but this is still tentative. Whatever the results, the Gauntlet itself will still be run this fall.

For those who may not know, WYRM’s Gauntlet is a competition for both writers and critics, with four rounds of mind-bending challenges, time limits, and trash talk. We are open to persons of all skill levels, as our primary goal is to support new talents. However, we are not susceptible to flattery.

In the past, prizes have totaled $275, but with crowdfunding, we’d love to up the ante. If you’d like to support your fellow writers and critics, stay tuned for more on the project!

See you out there,


A Word with Stewart C Baker

Stewart C Baker _SMP9993


Ink’s My Thing is happy to welcome spec fic author Stewart C Baker for a quick chat. He’s bound to make it fun, so let’s make him feel at home. What do you need to know about Stewart? First, he is of the most recent crop of Writers of the Future winners, also a writer of haiku, and a perennial contender in our favorite competition, WYRM’s Gauntlet.

His work has appeared in Nature, Flash Fiction Online, and is forthcoming in Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show. His most recent contribution to speculative letters will be in the colorfully named anthology No Sh!t There I Was edited by Rachael Acks, the Kickstarter of which can still be supported, if we act quickly. Since he’s lived in so many places (from Japan to England to the Pacific Northwest) he simply tells people he’s from the internet.

(Seems legit…)

For all of these diverse adventures Stewart is known, but I first and foremost think of him as the one guy who instantly recognized my NES Bubble Bobble avatar on social media. If you work with or around him, you’ll learn one thing for sure about Stewart. He always brings his sense of humor.

Continue reading…

This is the Gauntlet

It’s time to forget all you thought you knew about writing contests. Why? Because WYRM’s Gauntlet, Literature’s challenge of legend, is back. We don’t ask for entry fees, and don’t even ask that you be particularly patient. We just ask for your best, and your commitment to take on our crazy rounds. It could be your year to survive. Learn more from our home away from home: WYRM’s Gauntlet.

WYRM’s Gauntlet, the History Lesson

 WYRM’s Gauntlet

[looks over at his 2 subscribers] (Let’s see if we can’t get that number up by the end of this thing…)
[clears throat] In the beginning, there were writing contests. Yes. Some asked for entry fees, either turning the challenge into a business, or doing so to collect funds in a pot to be given to the winners later on. Others did not, but like their peers, asked hopeful writers to throw up a Hail Mary—one story—and the only thing that could determine their chance of victory, or their summary dismissal.

The contests offered publication in a market that perhaps you had heard of, or perhaps you had not, but which they encouraged you to purchase either way. Some did not offer this, but offered prize money instead. Some did not offer either, though the best of these ancient ‘writing contests’ offered both. Unfortunately, in all cases, hopeful writers endured a cold, distant relationship with their judges, who themselves worked for cold, distant publishing houses, or whose lack of interest betrayed their own goals of celebrity, and nothing more. Some rebelled, but it was safe to say that in these times, if you were a hopeful writer, it was better to be lucky than good.

There were writing workshops, bless them, institutions that were designed to grow writers, and hone their skills. However, in these dark ages of literature, vast sums of money were required to operate and visit these workshops, and new, idealistic writers were required to travel great distances to learn. Some received scholarships to attend. These individuals were both lucky and good.

The rest of them—the rest of us—were the damned.

With no other recourse, most turned to each other, and the 21st Century-style writing group was forged. One of these was WYRM, whose acronym ‘Where You Really Matter’ described both its frustration and its promise to writers like themselves, who did not come from privilege, and did not give up despite the times in which they were thrust.

Their focus, unlike their predecessors or even their peers, was to be on improving critique skills. For, while They can get away with saying beginners are not very good writers (at least not yet), They will never be able to claim that beginners are not capable of critical thinking.

One day, WYRM announced that a Gauntlet was coming, which presented the new contest format of critique and fiction-writing, and things were never the same.

Yes, there are still writing contests. There are still writing workshops. But none of them get down quite like this. Instead of the distant judges of yesteryear, you will be dealing with people who, like you, are not too far removed to relate to the struggle. (The struggle is real.)


Some key things:

WYRM’s Gauntlet is not a market for fiction, but a tournament for readers, writers, and critics of all skill levels.
• There is no entry fee.
• Not only do we offer cash prizes for three winners, we also offer an in-depth critique on a piece (short story or chapter) of the winners’ choice.
• You’ll have lots of fun.


I am now prepared to take your questions.