Just curious -- why the 3000 word minimum? That seems unreasonable given that this is a challenge. I'd say 1000 words is more reasonable. For one thing it's easier on reviewers. For another, this makes the contest unattractive to people who revise their stories.
I don't know about you, but I don't write by finishing the first 500 words, then the next, then the next. I bang out a rough draft then revise. A finished three thousand word story in two weeks is asking a lot of people who have other things to do but write for this contest.
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Week 1 1/2 - 500 words Week 2 1/2 - 2000 words (thats 500 already seen words + 1500 new words) Week 3 1/2 - 3000 to 5000 words (500 + 1500 + [1000(min) to 3000(max)] = 3000 to 5000)
The minimum of 3000 is so the final stage has a reasonable amount of material to make the final judgement.
As to the story writing method, I do something similar to you, in that first drafts are often significantly altered in later drafts. However, that is the purpose of challenges - to challenge people to write under the artificial constraints, to experiment.
And, as experiments go, this challenge may flop or it may unearth some gems that wouldn't have been written otherwise. Each challenge is a little different and each person can, and does, make their choice to participate or not. Some (like my fellow Perceptives on the Myers-Briggs scale) even look for the challenges to spur their writing on. So all I can say is, why not have a go? Treat it as fun - it's not the end of the world (er, actually, it is).
Edited to add - I reserve the right to split the challenge into groups to reduce reading requirements, if a large number of enties are entered. We'll cross that bridge if it happens.
Also, the level of critiques are generally a single paragraph, giving an indication of any major issues the reader had with the story, or how they felt it worked. They are not usually detailed (part of the challenge is to be insightful within a single paragraph).