2019 Iron Writer Challenge Rules
Since autumn of 2017, The Iron Writer Challenge (TIWC)has been on sabbatical. Simply put, it was time for me (at least) to step away from TIWC after five years time consuming, emotionally draining management. During the last ten months or so, I spent some time reflecting on where I wanted TIWC to go and if I even wanted to be a part of it.
The problem was the weekly challenges became a challenge as to who was the better writer, not a challenge to write. Additionally, too many problems arose. Much, if not all, of these problems were my fault and it became exhausting emotionally.
With that in mind, I decided to take some time off, give TIWC a rest, and ponder what I wanted to do with this project. When I started TIWC in February of 2013, I sincerely thought it would die on the vine in three months. To my surprise and bewilderment, it took off and grew far beyond my expectations.
Over the last year, I concluded I needed to change the focus of TIWC towards daily writing, with the goal of being in our annual anthology. Therefore, for 2019 (beginning in September of 2018), here are the basics. Remember, the challenge is write and improve your writing, not to be better than anyone else. The weekly challenge RULES are:
If you are not a part of TIWC and want to be, merely email me at email@example.com. There is no annual fees to be a part of TIWC. No commitment to write. I will not be culling the herd because of lack of activity as I have in the past. If the ‘deadwood’ mounts, so be it.
You will need to have a Facebook account. All group communications are in our Facebook group. If you email me a request to join TIWC, please include a link to your Facebook so I may find you easily and add you to the Facebook group. This is a must.
Every Thursday, except during the Christmas holidays, I will post a weekly challenge in the website. I may post it on a Friday or over the weekend, or even the following Monday. It all depends on my personal schedule.
Due to my schedule, I may post more than a single challenge on any given Thursday. If I am going on vacation and will be offline for a month, I may post a three or four weekly challenges on a single Thursday, all of which will have the same deadline. I may not post the stories to the website until I return three weeks later. Please be patient. You do not have to take the weekly challenge. If you can meet the deadline and like the prompts, go for it. Otherwise, you are not required to participate.
The weekly challenge word limit is 1000. ANY SUBMISSION OVER 1050 WILL BE REJECTED. I will not count it for you and then remind you if your submission is over the word limit. I will not ask you to edit it, I will not edit it for you. I do not have the time nor the inclination to do any of that.
The word limit is based on the word count my computer gives me using Microsoft Word. If your computer gives a count of 1049 and I get 1053, I will reject your submission without comment.
I can deal with pretty much any format. I prefer .docx, but I can work with others.
Keep the language in your story to PG-13. Why? Because I said so. I will not be reading each submission before posting to the website. If I find inappropriate language after the fact, the entire story will be deleted.
To submit a story, please use Messenger in Facebook. This process is easier for me to manage, see who has submitted, verify when a submission was received, etc. Hence the need for a Facebook account. Any submissions received via email will not be accepted.
If there are not submissions for a given challenge and the deadline has passed, that challenge will be considered nonetheless. However, if someone is writing that challenge and misses the deadline, please submit it to be added to the website. I do not want to waste your efforts.
Each weekly challenge will have 1-6 prompts. Rules regarding how many prompts and the use thereof will be given when the challenge is posted. You must include all given prompts in your story. If the prompt is not defined, clarified, restricted, such as with an associated link when the challenge is posted, the interpretation of the prompt is open to the writer and may be subtle. For example, if the emotion ‘anger’ is a prompt, you drop not have to write the word ‘anger’ or ‘angry’. The ‘anger’ may be revealed in dialogue.
Deadline is two weeks from the Thursday the weekly challenge is posted. However, if I post a give weekly challenge the following Saturday, the deadline is still two weeks from the previous Thursday.
I will post the deadline date with each challenge. I will post all submissions that meet the word limit and deadline on the website.
Posting to the website:
The submissions will be posted on this website after the deadline. Again, my personal schedule will affect when this done. I will try to do each Thursday, but I will not commit to it.
Stories posted to the website will not have your name attached to it until a week after the voting is completed. The reason for this is to eliminate any possible bias when voting (more on voting below).
Only the first five submissions received are eligible to be voted on. The one with the most votes will be included in the annual anthology.
To vote, merely message me in Facebook (hence the Facebook account requirement). Any votes sent to me via email will be utterly ignored. And I will not remind you to send it via Messenger.
When voting, please make sure you see all the prompts in the story. Sometimes the prompts may be subtle, not stated verbatim.
The anthology will be published in September or October of 2019.
If a winning story is deleted for language after posted, the story will be deleted and the story with the second most votes be in the anthology.
If there is a tie in the voting, the story submitted first wins.
If two submissions are received on the same day, the one with fewer words wins.
If you want feedback on your submission from the group, you are free to post your story in the Facebook group and request feedback in the comments of the post.
Any revenue from the sale of the anthology will be used to finance the website. I am in the process of moving the website from a personal server (my son’s) and pointing it back to WordPress, thus eliminating the $25 monthly fee. I do not know if this is wise or not at this point. I may move it back to the personal server. There are minuscule fees associated with the website (spam filters, etc), that amount to about $10 a month. If the sale of the anthology exceeds the costs of maintaining the website, we will find a way to distribute that money to the group at that time. If you have questions regarding the finances of the group, ask. I will provide any and all records to anyone in the group.
I do not plan on changing any of these rules this year. However, if I missed something of importance, please let me know and I may amend the rules.