Iron Writer Code

The Iron Writer Code

(okay, more or less guidelines than actual rules)

Every Thursday a new challenge is announced.

I generally will announce each week’s challenge about 2 AM Thursday, MST. However, if I am vacationing, ill, or just plain in a foul mood, I may not post the challenge until sometime Thursday afternoon.

Each challenge consist of the following:

Flash Fiction

One flash fiction story consisting of 500 words (does not include the story title nor the author’s name). However, a 5% overage is acceptable. Meaning 525 gets you in, 526 and your are out.


Four Authors

Each challenge will consist of 4 authors. On occasion, an author will withdraw at the last minute. When that happens, I attempt to find another author to walk the plank.

Four Elements

Each story must include 4 randomly (and maliciously conceived) elements. I email the elements to the authors the same time I post the challenge, meaning around 2AM Thursday. I attempt to make each challenge somewhat simple and always fun. The object is to not have a polished, publishable story in 4 days. The object is to shake a little creativity from the coconut. Have fun with it. Get wild. Be strange.

Unless the elements are strictly defined (as when an image or website link is provided), the elements may be defined in any way the author desires.

But note this: While the elements are meant to be fun for the challenges, The Iron Writer Tournament is totally different. I make the elements as difficult as I can for the tournament. Why, you ask? Tell me this, are you an Iron Writer or scurvy?

Four Day Deadline

The story is due back to me 100 hours later. Meaning, by Sunday, midnight, your time zone. However, as I do not drink rum, I know that when I release the elements, it is already Thursday 10AM somewhere in the world and it might be where you l. So, if the story is due Sunday night and you are in, say, Port Royal, you only get 85 hours or so (whatever, I ain’t looking it up). Therefore, I will accept stories until sometime Monday morning, when I get up, maybe around noon. The following Thursday the stories on published on the website and are open for voting for the next seven days.

If you win:

Each set of stories includes a poll where a reader may vote for their favorite story. Voting ends one week after the stories are posted.

The challenge winner is invited to participate in the next Iron Writer Solstice/Equinox Tournament Challenge. There are 16 authors in the Solstice/Equinox Tournament.

The winner of the Iron Writer Solstice/Equinox Tournament Challenge is invited to participate in the annual Iron Writer Tournament of Champions (April of each year).

As of this date (you can guess what day it is, but it don’t matter), there are no prizes for winning a challenge, other than the invite to the next tournament. The same for those 4 writers who accept the tournament invitation and win the first round. But I beg you, look at it this way: It is a credential. A real, bona fide credential. Winning a solstice/equinox challenge is not easy. Nor is winning the Tournament of Champions. To accomplish that, you are truly an Iron Writer.

However, as the website grows and the ads bring some revenue to the site, there will be a cash award to the annual winner. Currently, there have been no ad sales (nada, nits, none). My hope/goal is to also have cash awards for the solstice/equinox winners at some point. If the rum holds, perhaps the weekly challenge winners might get something, someday, but remember there is a cost for doing all this. Right now, my pockets, like the rum kegs, are empty.


You keep all copyrights, with 2 exceptions. Your submission gets to stay on the site. Second, we do an annual anthology and all the booty goes to the annual champion, unless there is more than we can carry. In that case, those who fight best get a share.

If you missed all this, I hope you kept the email you originally got when you joined us. That has all the legal stuff.

Oh, everything is  more or less guidelines and are subject to change.. yes, even that.

Welcome to the Iron Writer,


4 thoughts on “Iron Writer Code

  1. Brian… have you gone through my story?
    Did you like it ?
    Some comments, please , would be most appreciated.
    I enjoyed the entire 4 day mental excursion … wild n tearful ( of joy, ofcourse ).

    • Deepashry, sorry for taking so long to get back to you. Of a truth, I noticed your query last week then forgot to reply. My apologies. I was neither impressed nor unimpressed. I found no errors (as I understand them, if I understand them at all), in the sentence construction, story arc, etc. I was just not blown away. I think the reason is I tend to the absurd or violent in flash fiction. I look for over the top, almost unbelievable. Or someone getting killed. That always grabs my attention.

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