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Official Contest Rules for Deathmatch

Online Battle to the End!

To enter the Indie Illustrators’ Deathmatch contest

  • Illustrate the beginning section of the short story.
  •  Entries will be accepted through Submittable. The first entry is $17.99, additional entries are $8.99.
  • All entrants will receive a one-year subscription to Broken Pencil: Magazine of Zine Culture and the Independent Arts.
  • Entrants will be informed if they are part of the top 20 by January 15, 2021.

How the Contest Works

  • The top 20 illustrations will be selected by the Broken Pencil editors.
  • They will then be pitted against each other in our online arena for a weekend-long Battle Royale.
  • Readers come to the site, read the story and vote for their favourite illustration.
  • The top 10 illustrations will move on to the next round.
  • Once the top 10 are selected, the next section of the story will be revealed. Illustrators will have two and a half days to complete their illustration before these are pitted against each other again in our online arena.
  • Any illustrations not received before the deadline of each round will be disqualified.
  • Competitors will continue to be eliminated by public voting, going from 20 to 10 to 5 until there are only 2 illustrators left, battling it out for ultimate victory! Each round, a new section of the story will be unveiled for the surviving entrants to illustrate.
  • Commitment to participate: All entrants agree to have their submissions posted on the Broken Pencil website to be voted on and discussed by visitors to the site; artists whose works are chosen for the voting rounds must agree to actively participate in the comments section while their story is being judged in order to promote and advocate for their entry. Entrants must be available throughout the month of February 2021 to participate in the Deathmatch.

Voting in the Deathmatch

  • Winners of the rounds are determined by voting on the Broken Pencil website. The contestants and anyone else is encouraged to solicit votes for their stories in any way they can think of, provided it’s legal and doesn’t involve undermining the principle of one vote per one person every hour – that means no clickbots!
  • Commenters/voters must register on the site in order to vote. The authors of the stories are also commenters/voters. Once you are registered and logged in, you can vote, comment and “up-vote” the comments you like most. As a commenter, receiving up-votes will increase the potency of your vote. If you receive 50 upvotes on your comments, each of your story votes from then on will be worth double. There are several other milestones based on up-voted comments that will further increase the weight of a vote. The most engaged critics will have a stronger impact on the outcome. On top of vote power, the top commenters in each round will receive a subscription to Broken Pencil Magazine.
  • By registering a profile in order to vote/comment in the Deathmatch, you are agreeing to be added to the Deathmatch/Broken Pencil newsletter mailing lists. You can unsubscribe at any time after you receive your first newsletter.

And the Winner Gets….

  • First place winner receives: $500 cash prize; their illustrations appearing alongside the story in Broken Pencil Magazine Spring issue; consultation with the Broken Pencil editors, and meeting with Indie Illustrator guest judge Jenn Woodall about their work and career. Plus the opportunity to possibly illustrate a cover of an upcoming issue of the magazine (pending approval of the editors) and more!
  • The next top three finalists receive a Broken Pencil Prize Pack worth $100, and publication of their illustrations in the Spring issue of Broken Pencil.

For questions about Deathmatch, email [email protected].

Official hashtag: #bpdeathmatch

Rights Agreement: Entrants to the contest agree that they are licensing Broken Pencil and Deathmatch use of their illustration online and in print in perpetuity, usage limited to the context of the Indie Illustrator’s Deathmatch contest. All usage will be credited to the illustrator, who otherwise retains full rights to their work.