Ends on

$17.99 USD, $10.99 USD

Welcome to the first ever Broken Pencil Indie Illustrator's Deathmatch!

 After more than a decade of pitting writers' short stories against each other head to head, 2021 opens up an entirely new arena for visual artists of all stripes to prove their prowess by illustrating an evolving piece of fiction, bit by bit by bit. 

Enter your illustration for the first segment of our exclusive story to qualify for the next round of simultaneous illustration frenzy!  Details below. 

  1. To enter, submit up to four illustrations for the first section of the short story provided at deathmatch.ca
  2. The top 20 illustrators will be notified that they qualify to move onto the next round. Everyone in the top 20 will get 72 hours to illustrate the subsequent section of the story, round by round, until the story is complete and a champion is elected. 
  3. Finalists and winners will be determined by public voting hosted on the Broken Pencil website in three rounds of bracket-style elimination (quarter finals, semi-finals, finals). 
  4. Competing illustrators are encouraged to solicit votes for their stories in any way they can think of, provided it’s legal and doesn’t involve undermining the principle of one vote per one person every hour – that means no clickbots!


The overall champ receives

  •  $500 cash! 
  • Portfolio feature in Broken Pencil Magazine 's Spring Issue
  • The Complete Illustrator's Makeover: A consultation with an accomplished art director; an eminent contemporary illustrator; and with the writer of the story himself! They will provide feedback and direction for your work and be available to answer questions and offer insights into the biz.

The top three finalists receive:

  • A Broken Pencil Prize Pack of swag, zines and more worth $100
  • Publication of Deathmatch illustrations in the Spring 2021 issue of Broken Pencil


The entry fee is $17.99 which includes a one-year subscription to Broken Pencil

Existing subscribers can either select this option to receive a one-year extension to their subscription (at a steep discount), or can pay $10.99 to enter without receiving any subscription update in return. 

Members of the BP Zine League, our continuous support community, can enter the contest free of charge — check your email for information about accessing this exclusive option. If you'd like to join the Zine League and receive year-round discounts, exclusive content, free zines, and a bunch of awesome swag, check out brokenpencil.com/zineleague and sign up!

International addresses will receive the full color digital edition subscription  

Commitment to participate

All entrants agree to have their submissions posted on the Broken Pencil website to be voted on and discussed by visitors to the site; artists whose works are chosen for the voting rounds must agree to actively participate in the comments section while their story is being judged in order to promote and advocate for their entry. 

Entrants must be available throughout the month of February 2021 to participate in the Deathmatch. 

Remember: this is an anything goes contest; comments from visitors to the site can be critical, glorious, hurtful, or totally bizarre. Be prepared for battle, and don’t say we didn’t warn you.

All writers whose stories make the Top 20 agree to have their submissions printed in the magazine at a later date with compensation, posted on the website indefinitely without further compensation, and/or reprinted in physical or electronic format in a Broken Pencil anthology, on any Broken Pencil App and licensed by Broken Pencil to 3rd party databases without additional permissions or compensation required.

We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.