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art by Patrick Burgomaster

Do you have what it takes to compete in the world’s most dangerous story competition?



This year, for the first time ever, Deathmatch is open to fiction, non-fiction, poetry and comics entries (up to 2,000 words.)

Winners receive the Indie Writer’s Makeover, which includes a consultation with literary agent Sam Hiyate, a meeting with Globe & Mail culture columnist and novelist Russell Smith, and a meeting with one of Canada’s leading small-press publishers, BookThug!

Plus $200 cash and publication in the Spring 2015 edition of Broken Pencil.

DEADLINE: DECEMBER 21, 2014 at 11:59pm





1. Contest is open to original unpublished work in any genre (including fiction, non-fiction, poetry, comics, whatever you got), up to 2,000 words.

2. Top 8 Stories will be selected by the Broken Pencil fiction team; finalists and winner will be determined by voting on the Broken Pencil website in a series of one-on-one challenges between finalists’ stories. The finalists are 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!

3. First place winner receives the complete Indie Writers Makeover – consultations and feedback sessions with top Canadian publishing professionals including literary agent Sam Hiyate, author/columnist Russell Smith and eminent small-press publisher BookThug! Plus publication in the Spring 2015 issue of Broken Pencil and $150. The top three finalists receive $100, a Broken Pencil Prize Pack worth $100, and publication in the issue. The four remaining stories out of the Top 8 receive a Broken Pencil Prize Pack.

4. Entry fee is $25, by credit card or PayPal, through Broken Pencil’automated submission system. We really don’t want to deal with snail mail anymore, but if you’re desperate drop us a line and we can probably accommodate you. Entry fee includes a one-year subscription to Broken Pencil, or a one-year extension for current subscribers. Proper manuscript format for submissions can be found on the Submission Guidelines page of the Broken Pencil website. All entrants agree to be added to the Broken Pencil email list; you can unsubscibe at any time.

5. All entrants must agree to have their submissions posted on the Broken Pencil website to be voted on and discussed by visitors to the site; writers whose stories 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. Remember: this is an anything goes contest; comments from visitors to the site can be hurtful. Be prepared for battle, and don’t say we didn’t warn you.

6. All writers whose stories make the Top 8 must agree to have their submissions printed in the magazine at a later date with compensation, posted on the website indefinitely without further compensation, and/or reprinted in physical or electronic format in a Broken Pencil anthology, on the Broken Pencil App “The Nub” and licensed by Broken Pencil to 3rd party databases without additional permissions or compensation required. All writers/creators/participants and voters agree to an automatic opt-in to the Broken Pencil monthly e-newsletter. (You are free to unsubscribe at any time.)

7. No stories about Santa Claus. We are serious. Stories about Santa Claus will be instantly disqualified. But we will keep your money.

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