2007 Halloween

Before I announce the results, I want to thank all of you very, very much for participating in this contest. While I run these contests mainly for fun, they also serve a couple of legitimate writing purposes: to give you feedback from readers (your target audience), feedback from a publisher’s perspective, and to practice getting your work in front of others. Submitting is a nerve-wracking experience for most writers and you get over the fear by doing it.

Every single entry in this contest had things in it that I really liked. I tried to mention the strongest points in my comments on each post. I also listed things you should watch out for, things that might keep me from reading more were they a “real” submission.

I recognize that I seriously crippled your writing by giving you only two paragraphs to set up your story and provide enough of a hook to entice your audience to keep reading. This is really tough to do. In many cases, I’m sure you would have taken more time, given us more depth and developed the scene more completely had you been submitting the first chapter. Therefore, if I suggested that you do that, please do not see that as a criticism of your entry, but rather an indication that I felt there was undeveloped potential there.

If you want to take credit for your work, please identify yourself in the comments section of your post.

Now for the awards.

Reader’s Choice

First Place with 7 votes: Entry #22 submitted by Patricia Wiles

Honorable mentions, a four way tie with 4 votes each (in chronological order):

Entry #6 submitted by Karlene Browning

Entry #8 submitted by Jeff Savage

Entry #9 submitted by Michael Keyton

Entry #21 submitted by Melanie Goldmund

Publisher’s Choice
(Ones I’d be most likely to ask for more…)

First Place: Entry #21 submitted by Melanie Goldmund
This one went immediately to creepy, had wonderful descriptive imagery, and could be developed into a great story/novel. Even though the paragraphs were long and it would read better if separated into more than two, this entry embodied the spirit of horror in a classic style. It gave us a great beginning and I see lots of potential.

Honorable mentions:
Entry #13 submitted by David Woolley
This is a great start to a tween horror novel. With all the inappropriate teen horror out there right now, I’d love to see something like this developed into a scary novel that I wouldn’t be embarrassed to give to my children, nieces and nephews. (If you finish it, let me know.)

Entry #8 submitted by Jeff Savage
This has wonderful descriptive language and a very strong beginning. It would make a great prologue for something really cool. I’d love to read more. (And I don’t care if you call it a prologue or chapter one, it’s still a set up to a story, not the beginning of the story itself.)

First Place Winners: Please send me your mailing address and the title of the book you’d like for your prize—a classic horror book of your choice (must be available in paperback and easy to find). If your entry is the beginning of a full story you may send the entire story to me and I will post it here and also include a link back to your blog or website. (Include the link in your e-mail.)

If you are not one of the first place winners, but you have the rest of your story posted on your blog or website, feel free to post the link in the comments section of your entry.

Advance notice of upcoming Christmas Story Contest:
I’m going to run a Christmas story contest, beginning December 1st. I will post the full stories. Word count limit is 1500 words (although you can do less). I will be dividing the entries into two categories: published authors and unpublished authors, with Readers Choice and Publishers Choice prizes in both categories. Start writing now. I’ll publish more details in a few weeks.

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Okay, that’s the last of them. Start voting!

You can review contest guidelines and voting rules here.

Click the label “07 Halloween” at the bottom of this post to bring up all contest submissions.

UPDATED: Got a few e-mails asking for clarification.

1. Post vote in the comments section of the post you’re voting for.

2. Examples of a vote I will count:
“I VOTE for this one.”
“This one gets my VOTE.”
“VOTING for this.”
Notice the common thread? Put the word VOTE in it.

3. Examples of a vote I will not count (because I don’t know it’s a vote):
“Lovely images.”
“This one was really spooky.”
“This one made me shudder.”

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Scare-Your-Pants-Off #22

October 30, 2007

Marsha sat in John’s recliner – head bowed, an empty jar between her dry palms. The darkness acted as a whetstone, honing her senses to a fine edge. She detected the Chanel No. 5 lingering on his sweater; his footsteps in the hall irritated her as much as the grind of a dentist’s drill. He’d […]

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Submission Deadline Tonight

October 29, 2007

Just a reminder that all submissions for the Scare-Your-Pants-Off contest must be received by midnight tonight, as indicated by the time stamp on your e-mail. I will post the last of them tomorrow as early in the day as I can. Voting starts at 12:01 a.m. on the 30th, but you might want to wait […]

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Scare-Your-Pants-Off #21

October 29, 2007

The morning fog was thicker in the cemetary, and the only sound Claudia could hear was the purring of the buggy’s wheels as they rolled over the fallen leaves on the path. Even Tim was quiet. She wondered if he’d fallen asleep, and leaned down to check, but he was awake, sucking his two middle […]

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Scare-Your-Pants-Off #20

October 26, 2007

I pushed the shopping cart next to the driver’s side of the car and unlocked the doors. As I opened the door, a wave of heat assaulted me. I quickly started the car and turned the air conditioner on full blast. I left my door open to let some of the heat escape and carefully […]

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Scare-Your-Pants-Off #19

October 25, 2007

Lonnie checked her image in the mirror, noting the dark circles under her eyes that even makeup couldn’t hide. She quickly looked away, picked up her tote bag and hurried to the car. She couldn’t be late. She was not unprepared for this ordeal, though her dreams had taunted her otherwise in various bone-chilling scenarios […]

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Scare-Your-Pants-Off #18

October 25, 2007

At exactly 6:33 a.m. on Saturday, April 6, Suzette’s husband announced on his Web site the revelation that proved without a doubt that he was the Davidic servant, the one mighty and strong; that the Second Coming would take place by the end of the year; and that all previouspretenders to the position are now […]

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Scare-Your-Pants-Off #17

October 25, 2007

The late October storm drew Samantha to the window above the kitchen sink. The new neighbor pulled into his driveway and slipped inside, but not before glancing over the hedge toward the window. He was a single man. Probably mid-thirties with a large collection of old-time Boston Red Sox baseball caps and an identical gray […]

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Wet Your Pants Scary* (aka #16)

October 23, 2007

A large mass of cosmic debris fell from the sky and plummeted deep into Lake Hi-Land, located in southeastern Michigan. The water mass that was displaced by the asteroid plumed high in an enormous fountain as waves with tsunami strength dispersed in all directions. The rolling water swept over bridges, drenched farmland and washed over […]

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Scare-Your-Pants-Off #15

October 23, 2007

Emi prayed it was only the pulse of dense rain against her bedroom window that had wakened her. That the noise, the whispered slide of someone opening the bureau in her mother’s bedroom, wasn’t real. But she knew, knew with all the instant terror that coursed through her veins, it was real. And when she […]

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Scare-Your-Pants-Off #14

October 23, 2007

I awoke with a start and rolled over so violently that I screamed out as pain blossomed in my leg. I sat up and massaged my cramped leg and looked around to see what had yanked me out of a deep sleep. I swung around and tenderly put pressure on my leg, and that’s when […]

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Scare-Your-Pants-Off #13

October 23, 2007

“Mr. Skelton?” Jenny stepped through the weather-worn wooden gate and inside the yard. “Is anyone here?” A critter ran through the nutgrass without showing its head above the unkempt overgrowth. Jenny pressed the plate of double chocolate chip cookies against her red sweater. Why did she ever agree to deliver these for mother? No one […]

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Scare-Your-Pants-Off #12

October 23, 2007

Ragan rocked on the old porch pondering his nightmares from the night before. He had hoped the sunrise would have calmed the fearful feeling within him, but so far the morning dawn had only served to make his mood darker still. Some men had normal grandmothers. Ones that baked them cookies and made sure that […]

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