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  • One author challenges or invites another to a writing duel of a specified duration (the default is three hours). The two authors select a mutually acceptable referee who arranges the match.

  • The referee may announce any house rules and set forth judging criteria.

  • Prior to the duel, each duellist sends the referee three Challenge Words. The referee supplies a further three Challenge Words for a total of nine. The three words contributed by each participant words may be unrelated or may form a phrase.

  • The referee may start the contestants simultaneously or at different times according to the convenience of the three participants. It is necessary only that an author does not have access to the nine challenge words before starting the duel and that the referee can establish, by reference to e-mail time-stamps, that the agreed duration was not exceeded.

  • At each writer's appointed start time, the referee sends an e-mail to that writer containing the nine Challenge Words. The time-stamp of this e-mail is that writer’s start time.

  • The duellists must each compose a piece that makes reference to all nine Challenge Words. The words can be used directly in the text of the story or the story may contain concepts defined by one or more words.

    For example, if the challenge is "husband catches wife", a story could simply contain each of the words "husband", "catches", and "wife" somewhere in the text, or could include a scene where a husband catches a wife, without necessarily using any of the challenge words.

    Failure to incorporate all nine challenge words meaningfully in the story may result in a forfeit, or loss of honour, at the referee’s discretion.

  • Duellists must e-mail a copy of their story to the referee before the expiry of the agreed duration of the duel. the time-stamp of the submitting e-mail shall be the time of the submission.

  • The referee declares a winner, based on the referee’s own subjective opinion of the stories and posts both stories as one post to ASSM. No appeals. Entertain or die.

Note - Mat Twassel requested: "Would you consider putting the required words at the end of the post instead of the beginning? For me, they get in the way at the beginning. If they're at the end and someone wants to know them in advance they can easily skip to the end to find them. "

| Background | | Main | | Duels | | Time Zones |