Rules & Prizes


  1. You must register by February 18, 2022. Registration fees are non-refundable.

  2. The contest runs for three days, from February 19-21, 2022. You must write and edit your entire manuscript within those 72-hours. If you get stuck, consult the survival guide.

  3. Write any story, in any genre you want. Your ballpark target length is 100 double-spaced pages. (About 25,000-30,000 words.)

  4. OPTIONAL: You may also qualify for the PANTSER PRIZE! This prize goes to the best story based on a premise we provide. (We will e-mail you 5 options just before the contest. HINT: each premise will encompass a different major literary genre.) This is for hardcore write-fighters who want to come in blind and hit the ground running. If you take this option, you’re still eligible for the Top 3, but you’re now also eligible for the Pantser Prize. (We will impose a one-prize-limit per entrant, so no single entry monopolizes the contest.) To qualify, simply include your chosen premise at the top of your manuscript.

  5. Save your completed manuscript as a Word document, and name it like so: 3DNC2022_YourName_BookTitle.doc (example: 3DNC2022_JaneDoh_AWalkToDismember.doc). Manuscripts should be double-spaced, begin with the title of the story, your name, and the same e-mail address you used to register. E-mail your submission to by the deadline, March 4, 2022.

  6. Please refrain from self-publishing or submitting your manuscript into any other contest until after we’ve declared the winners. Doing so will disqualify your entry.


  • 1st Prize: publishing contract + cash advance*

  • 2nd Prize: publishing contract + cash advance*

  • 3rd Prize: publishing contract + cash advance*

  • Pantser Prize: publishing contract + cash advance*

  • Top 5-10 Shortlisters: immortalized in the Write-Fighters Hall of Fame + feedback from at least one of the judges

*--Cash advances are in USD, and based on the total money in the pot. This varies, depending how many people register.

Here’s the breakdown from the first two years:

2020: The pot was $1000 USD, with $500 going to pay judges and advertising costs, and $500 awarded to the winners. The grand prize winner took home $200, while those tied for second place got $100 each.

2021: The pot was $725 USD. $200 went to the first place winner. Second place won $100. Third place won $75. The Pantser Prize was also $75. Each judge was given a $50 honorarium, and the remaining funds went to advertising costs.

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