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Despite some mud-slinging and low blows in the comments section, many of the authors that made it past our Deathmatch 2017 lightning round found themselves offering words of congratulations and support to each other as the votes narrowed in and a few surprise wins squeaked (squoke?) into the final four stories of Deathmatch 2017.

Interestingly, stories by Vicky Savage and Rachel Rosenberg made it through to this week’s round of the brutal literary bracket, despite these two authors having declared their resignation from the contest at different times during the quarter finals. This has led some in the comment sections to ask if their forfeitures were sincere, symbolic, or strategic…

Meanwhile, comment board Good Guy P.D. Walter‘s remains the only dude-identified person left (correct us if we’re wrong!) in the ring, a testament to his sweetness after some of the crueller comments in the last round seemed to target women in not-exactly-cool ways. The quieter but steadily successful Susan Read rounds out the bunch.

Their fate is in your hands, readers and voters — have at it at deathmatch.ca!! Thanks as always to our fabulous sponsors Seneca College for making this all happen!