Rules & Prizes


  1. You must register by the entry deadline. Fees are non-refundable.

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

  3. You must write and edit your entire manuscript within 72-hours! That is the challenge. If you get stuck, consult the survival guide.

  4. OPTIONAL: If the official 3-day period doesn’t work for you, you may write your book on any 3 consecutive days, provided you still get your manuscript in by the submission deadline. Please plan accordingly.

  5. There is also an optional PANTSER PRIZE for the best story based on a premise we provide. We will post and e-mail you 5 options just before the contest. (PRO TIP: premises tend to be compatible with multiple literary genres. The sky is the limit!) 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. (We will impose a one-prize-limit per entrant, so no single entry monopolizes the contest.) To qualify, simply include your chosen premise in the filename, as instructed below.

  6. SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS: Save your completed manuscript as a Word document. Name it like so: 3DNC2023_P#_BookTitle.doc (e.g.: 3DNC2023_P0_JoanOfArcSavesMarsFromTheEvilWeevilPeople.doc). Please note: the “P#” signifies which pantser premise you chose. So “P1” means you chose premise #1, “P2” means you chose premise #2, and so on. “P0” means you made your own premise. Manuscripts should be double-spaced, and begin with the full title of your story. Please leave your name out of the manuscript! (So we can judge blind.) But make sure your name and book title appear together in the body of your submission e-mail! (So we can find the winners!) Finally, e-mail your submission to by the submission deadline.

  7. 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.

Prize distribution in past 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.

2022: The pot was $675 USD. First Prize: $200. Second: $125. Third: $100. Each judge got a $50 honorarium, and Facebook took a $50 cut.

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