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The Indie Writer’s Deathmatch Lightning Round has begun!

16 stories go head to head in a two-day all out literary showdown! But only half make the cut — the lightning round consists of the top 16 stories as chosen by Broken Pencil, all of them competing for votes. The top 8 go on to the semi-finals. The rest go home!

Who will survive the first phase of the Battle Royale? Will it be the botulist backyard wrestling of Phage Match? Or will the voices we all hear finally win out thanks to The Last Ragamok? Will Ramones fans rally behind I Want You Around? Or will speculative fictioneers champion the day of Welcome to The Future?

These stories — and the others we haven’t even mentioned yet! — each offer something unique, and each writer has their own right to claim greatness. But by Monday morning, while eight sound their battle cries for three more weeks of competition, eight will be sent back to square one to plan for next year.

Readers will be able to vote for 1 story every hour, and all 16 stories will share one conglomerated comment feed. Commenters/voters must register their email to create a profile.

The winner gets the full Indie Writer’s Makeover, including a consultation with writer and radio legend Jonathan Goldstein, Veronica Liu of Seven Stories Press and Literary agent Chris Bucci — plus $400 cash and everlasting glory.

It’s all happening at — get it on the action now!