For the Writing Challenge, titles and author's notes do not count (but author's notes should be kept brief). If a scripture is written out at the end of an entry, that also does not count.
In the body of your work, numerals and abbreviations would count as words. We have a word count checker who checks each entry on MS Word's word counter, and anything with a space on each side is considered a "word" by MS Word.
That being said, there is a VERY small grace margin with the word count. If your entry is over, but within that margin, it is still accepted. However, if you think you are over, you are encouraged to trim a few words before submitting.
We do everything possible to accept each entry, so if you submit an entry that is over the word count and it is early enough in the challenge week, you'll be notified and given an opportunity to resubmit.