Halloween is just a few short weeks away. And we're getting ready for the season with the Fall Writing Contest! Share your best scary story with us for the chance to win frightfully rewarding prizes!
Ever sat around a campfire and told a scary story? Or held a flashlight to your face on a dark night and tried to freak out your friends with a creepy tale?
There’s no better time than the fall for spooky stories. The days are getting shorter, the weather is getting cooler, and of course, Halloween is coming soon.
If you love to write horror stories, this might be your favorite time of the year. If horror isn’t your thing, though, you might need a prompt to inspire you.
And we’ve got you covered! Try this prompt (it’s also the theme of the Fall Writing Contest!):
Your Haunting Writing Prompt
This writing prompt is just one word: haunted.
Need some ideas to get you started? Use one of these questions to inspire you:
- What—or who—is haunted? Is it a house? Or something else?
- Why would something be haunted?
- What’s doing the haunting? What does it want?
- What if being haunted were a good thing (or at least useful)?
- What if something were just a little bit haunted?
- How could you stop being haunted?
- Or how could you start being haunted?
- How will you define “haunted”?
4 Thrilling Reasons to Enter Your Story in the Fall Writing Contest
You don’t have to be a horror writer to win big this fall. We invite writers of all genres to enter your best haunting tale in our Fall Writing Contest!
Why should you enter? Here are four reasons:
1. You’ll write a haunting story just in time for Halloween.
You can write a short story in just a few hours. Get started writing now, and you’ll have a great short story to share with your readers just in time for Halloween!
2. You’ll get published—guaranteed.
That’s right: every story entered in this contest will get published by Short Fiction Break, our sister literary magazine. In late October, you can send your readers the link to your PUBLISHED haunting story!
Don’t want your story to be published? It’s easy to opt out of publication when you submit your story to the judges.
3. You’ll get feedback to make your story the best it can be.
This is more than a writing contest. It’s also a mini-writing course.
When you enter the writing contest, you’ll get access to The Write Practice Pro, our premium workshopping community. There, you’ll share drafts of your story and get helpful feedback from other writers.
You’ll also get to read other writers’ entries and give them feedback. And you might be surprised at how much this helps you improve your own writing!
Plus, when you enter the contest, you can sign up to receive feedback directly from the contest judges. That’s right: a judge on the official panel will tell you exactly why your story was or wasn’t selected as the winner. They’ll also give you critique to help you make your next story even better.
4. You could win a prize!
The winners of this contest will receive over $1,200 worth of prizes!
These prizes include featured publication, a year of membership in our community, and even cash.
Want to win? Enter the contest now »
Your Turn: Write Your Haunting Story
A writing prompt on its own isn't very interesting. Even a contest isn’t interesting without stories to read.
The exciting part is the story this inspires you to create.
Now, it’s your turn. Pull out a paper and pencil. Open up a blank document. And haunt us with your best story.
And don’t forget to enter it in the contest for the chance to win!
The esteemed judges of the Fall Writing Contest are waiting to publish your story—plus consider it for the grand prize!
The contest is open for entry until September 29. The sooner you enter, though, the more time you'll have to write and edit your best story!
What ideas does the prompt “haunted” inspire for you? Let us know in the comments.
Take fifteen minutes to write a new story based on the contest theme: “haunted.”
When you’re done, post your story in the practice box below. After you share, be sure to give feedback to three other writers.
And if your story has you feeling inspired, enter the writing contest for a chance to win!
Alice Sudlow is the Editor-in-Chief of The Write Practice and a Story Grid certified developmental editor. Her specialty is in crafting transformative character arcs in young adult novels. She also has a keen eye for comma splices, misplaced hyphens, and well-turned sentences, and is known for her eagle-eyed copywriter skills. Get her free guide to how to edit your novel at alicesudlow.com.