If you're looking for a writing warm-up for NaNoWriMo, or just a way to give your muse a kick in the mojo, here's a no-fee two-week writing challenge competition that takes place in four rounds:
"WYRM’s Gauntlet features a new writing or reviewing challenge every round. All are invited to enter the first round (until the deadline hits, or we are filled), 8 will move on to the second, 5 to the third, and just 3 to the final round. As you advance through the Gauntlet, fewer and fewer challengers will remain, so judging must become shrewder. Challenges are not announced in advance, but as a new round opens. So pay attention. Some of the challenges Gauntleteers have had to face in the past include: Write a short story from a unique prompt, write a freestyle story of any length, review a published story, review an unpublished story. (All entries are private, and go through our submission form.)
We know that’s pushing your creativity to the brink, but pressure can make all the difference, and we’ll add the following promise. Just as we ask you to meet our mean deadlines, WYRM will judge your stuff promptly to keep these rounds moving. We invented the Gauntlet Timeline, and we always adhere to it.
As for elimination, we cull the herd as the Gauntlet moves ahead. It can be rough, and it can lead to all-nighter judging sessions, but WYRMs are up to the reading workload. Once the Gauntlet has a solid number of entrants (to be known from now on as Gauntleteers) we’ll determine how many can advance to each round. The bottom line is, the air gets thinner the higher you go, and you better be at your best.
The only real rule is to let it all hang out. That means, give us your best shot and don’t worry what the neighbors think. That, of course, and please respect your fellow Gauntleteers and internet citizens in this forum. Trash talking doesn’t bother us, but if you give us a real reason–like hate speech or plagiarism–we won’t hesitate to give you the boot."
According to Ralan.com there is no word limit, and the prizes are: "1st=$150; 2nd=$75; 3rd=$50, +in-depth critique for all 3." No reprints, electronic submissions only, see guidelines for more details. Round 1 opens on October 12th, 2015 (do not submit before that date); Deadline: October 26th, 2015.