The ICDAR 2017 Competition on Historical Document Writer Identification is dedicated to record the most recent advances made in the field of writer identification. The goal of the writer identification task is the retrieval of pages, which have been written by the same author. The test dataset used in this competition consists of 3600 handwritten pages originating from 13th to 20th century. It contains manuscripts from 720 different writers where each writer contributed five pages. This paper describes the dataset, as well as the details of the competition. Five different institutions submitted six methods which were ranked using identification and retrieval metrics. The paper describes the competition details including the dataset, the evaluation measures used as well as a short description of each submitted method.