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OUR SUMMER 2016 SHORT STORY CONTEST WINNERS

An Illustration For Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream Painted In 1793-1794 By Swiss Artist Johann Heinrich Füssli

An Illustration For Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream Painted In 1793-1794 By Swiss Artist Johann Heinrich Füssli

Midsummer Means It’s Time To Announce And Publish The Winning Stories In The Ghost Story Supernatural Fiction Award Contest. Happy Reading!

The international scope of The Ghost Story contest continues to expand. This time around, not only did we receive submissions from eight countries, but our Honorable Mention story is by an Australian writer, and one of our two Second Honorable Mention pieces comes to us from Finland.

There were also more submissions than ever before, and the high quality of so many of them made judging the contest a difficult task. In fact, we wound up with two Second Honorable Mentions not because we planned it that way, but because we loved them both, and in the end, despite the added expense of the extra prize money, we just could not bear to choose between them.

What is especially fascinating about the four stories we’re publishing here is the each one takes a completely different approach to the supernatural, and each uses the otherworldly for a different literary purpose. For instance, our overall winner—and recipient of the competition’s $1,000 cash award—presents us with a protagonist who is haunted by the traumas of his childhood as well as by the ghost of jazz musician Louis Armstrong, who serves as his own personal spirit guide. Our Honorable Mention story gives us a new mother whose fears for her baby’s safety coalesce into the physical form of a pair of strange children who appear on her doorstep in the middle of the night. One of our Second Honorable Mentions speculates about the problems, romantic and otherwise, that might be faced by someone who was born as a ghost, rather than having had to die to get that way, and our other Second Honorable Mention offers a harrowing situation—a mentally unbalanced teenager armed with a butcher knife—that is nonetheless so funny that we find ourselves laughing out loud every time we read it.

Come on inside to help us celebrate our winners, and to enjoy a chilling summertime read.

And if you’re planning to submit a supernatural story to the next Ghost Story contest, we’ll start accepting entries again at the beginning of August—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.

NOW THE REAL SUSPENSE BEGINS

Ghost HourGhost Hour. Illustration: Alice Popkorn

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 Midsummer’s Eve, in June. Visit our contest page for information about the next Ghost Story Supernatural Fiction Award competition.

BRITISH GHOST STORY SWEEP!

The Sun Sets At Stonehenge

The Sun Sets At Stonehenge

Writers From The United Kingdom Won All Three Prizes In The Screw Turn Flash Fiction Competition

Writers in Britain obviously have a knack for the supernatural. In The Ghost Story‘s new Screw Turn Flash Fiction Competition, which concluded January 31, all three cash awards for flash fiction (short-short stories of under 1,000 words) on a supernatural or magic realism theme went to authors living in England and Scotland.

Scroll down through TGS‘s Home Page to read these three fine stories.

Winning honors in the competition—and its $300 first prize—went to CL Dalkin, a librarian living on the south coast of England, for her story, “A Brief Respite.”

First Honorable Mention and a $100 cash award went to Barry Charman, of North London, for his story, “Palette.”

And Second Honorable Mention, with a $50 prize, was taken by Stuart Riding of Edinburgh, Scotland, for “Kitsune.”

Our next fiction contest is The Ghost Story Supernatural Fiction Award, for which we begin accepting submissions on February 15. Prizes are $1,000, $250, and $100 for full-length short stories of between 1.500 and 10,000 words.

A BRIEF RESPITE

WINNER
The 2016 Screw Turn Flash Fiction Competition

By CL DALKIN

It was over. After seven long years, he’d done it. Seven years of mad, unhinged, up-and-down emotions. A rollercoaster, his sister had said.

He’d ended it the only way he knew how. By packing a rucksack and walking out. Everything else belonged to her anyway. Just the shirt on his back—light as a feather, mate. It felt good. Closed the front door—click! And he was off. Very satisfying.

Oh, all right, there had been a bit of a fight. She’d flown at him—screaming, pleading—and he was propelled backwards, over the arm of the sofa, taking her with him. [click to continue…]