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this-is-the-only-way-outImage: Leslie Lawrenson

Halloween Is When We Announce And Publish The Winning Stories In The Ghost Story Supernatural Fiction Award Contest. Happy Reading!

You can skip right to the winning stories. Or, you can read on. . . .

Each time we reopen our biannual competition to submissions—every spring and summer, in other words—we stress very emphatically that traditional ghost stories are just one of the many types of tales eligible to win The Ghost Story Supernatural Fiction Award. In fact, we’re eager to read anything written on a supernatural theme or containing a supernatural element, regardless of whether it contains an actual ghost. What we’re most insistent on is good writing and a gripping story. And our most recent competition perfectly exemplifies these very values.

None of the tales we’re publishing this time around—Not the Winner, Honorable Mention, or Second Honorable Mention—features a single old-school spook. Instead, all of the stories fall into a broader category that perhaps we could call “psychological fantasy.” In other words, most of the supernatural events featured within them appear to occur almost entirely in the minds of the people who experience them. In one of these stories, the protagonist is bedeviled by internal demons he thought he’d left far behind him; in another, a man at the end of his life confabulates a disturbing and unforgiving image of God; and in the last, isolation, uncertainty, and an ancient tragedy cause two characters to be strongly affected by their imaginations in very different ways.

Fiction of any kind is at its best when it’s not predictable, and all three of these award-winning pieces will keep you guessing until the very end. Congratulations to their authors—and many thanks to photographer Leslie Lawrenson for his wonderful illustrations.

Come on inside to help us celebrate our winners, and to enjoy a Halloween read that is at once chilling and thought-provoking.

Our next contest is the annual Screw Turn Flash Fiction Competition for stories of 1,000 words or fewer. Keep your eyes peeled, because we’ll start accepting flash fiction submissions in mid December.

And if you’re planning to submit a full-length supernatural story to the next Ghost Story contest, we’ll start taking entries for those again in March—and we’re looking forward to reading yours!

Finally, if you’d like to leave a comment, or to discuss our stories or the contest in general, please visit our Facebook page.

Ghost Train. Photo: Jesse Draper

Ghost Train. Photo: Jesse Draper

Submissions Closed!

The Ghost Story Supernatural Fiction Award competition is now closed to submissions. Response was fantastic, with story entries pouring in from around the world. Thanks to everyone who participated. We’ll be announcing (and publishing) our winner and two honorable mentions on October 31. Visit our contest page for information about the next Ghost Story Supernatural Fiction Award competition.


NOW CLOSED: The Ghost Story Supernatural Fiction Award

With prizes of $1,000, $250, and $100, our fall fiction award competition for full length short stories on a supernatural theme is now open to submissions. Please visit our contest page for guidelines and further information. Good luck!

BTW . . . if you’d like to learn about other international contests for uncanny fiction, Almond Press, in the UK, curates an extensive list.


Folk Horror, In Poetry

Folk Horror, In Poetry

This terrific anthology published in Durham, England contains an entire section of haikus related to ghosts and the supernatural by The Ghost Story’s editor, Paul Guernsey, and many other poets with an interest in the uncanny. Have a look.