Back in 2012, I started a contest known as Scare E, where I sent out a call for the best horror fiction from today’s up-and-comers as well as the completely unknowns. Now it’s a new year, and I need another horror fix.
The rules are simple:
1. Your story must be no shorter than three thousand words and no longer than ten thousand.
2. Your story must be your own original work.
3. Your story must never have been published. It can be an old story, or a story that you’ve won other contests with, but it cannot have been up for sale anywhere at any time. I will check. And remember, cache copies are a thing. If you’ve had it up for sale, I will find out.
4. Your story must be well edited. I only want the cleanest manuscripts. I don’t care how you format it, what font you use, or if your mother told you it’s the swellest story in all of Christendom; if your story is unedited it will be disqualified and deleted. Great ideas are simply that; great ideas. I want great stories; and great stories are edited stories.
5. Your story must be scary. My personal preference is quiet, unsettling horror, but sometimes I’m in the mood for a bit of disturbia or gore. If you choose to bloody things up or drift off into the surreal, you must be on your game and do it well. The thing lurking in the shadows is far scarier to me than a creature tearing someone’s head off. Also, you might face an uphill battle if your tale involves vampires, werewolves, or zombies. I’m quite tired of overused monsters. I’m not saying great stories cannot include those things, but you should be careful not to revisit old tropes without a bucketful of originality behind you. Consider yourselves forewarned.
Ze contest opens for submissions on October 1st and closes on the 21st day of the same month. If you don’t math good, this means you have exactly three weeks to get your stories in to me after the contest opens. As soon as the clock strikes Midnight (12:00am CST) on October 21st, I’m closing her down. All stories submitted after that time will go directly to my junk folder, where a ravenous cyber troll will feast upon your hard work and crap out piles of useless kilobytes. The winner will be announced at high noon on Halloween (October 31st, 2014). One talented (not lucky, but talented) individual will win a $50 Amazon gift card or five Audible credits. It’s up to the winner which one they prefer. Due to restrictions on international rewards, this contest is only available to residents of the United States. I hate this, believe me, but I am unable to award gift cards and credits to persons residing outside of the US. Blame the Mighty ‘Zon, not me.
This year, as a special added bonus, the winner will also receive a professional cover and formatting so that they can upload their piece to Amazon.com and sell their story for further profit.
The rest is up to you. Get to writing, and I’ll see you back here on October 1st! May the horror be with you!