The Halloween Short Fiction Contest is returning to campus for its second year.
Alyssa Johnson, former assistant director of the Writing Center, initiated the contest to have students see the Writing Center as more than a place to submit papers and get grammar help.
The contest consists of horror fiction stories submitted by students to the Writing Center.
Dr. Cole Bennett, director of the Writing Center and professor of language and literature, said he was uncertain of the number of submissions they would receive.
“We didn’t know what we would get,” Bennett said. “But we had probably 20 entries.”
The contest is back this year, but with a new rule. Unlike last year, when the story requirement was 400 to 1500 words, writers now have to create stories no longer than 1200 words.
“This year, we’re emphasizing the short story aspect of it,” said Julie Johnson, assistant director of the Writing Center and graduate english major from Fort Worth. “So it can be challenging to limit the length of the story. But often it’s more fun to try and pack in a lot of info in a short amount of time or short amount of space.”
A special guest will judge the story submissions. Johnson said their identity is a secret, but the guest is excited to judge the stories.
Bennett said because last year’s flyer did not specify that contestants must be ACU students, Kevin Seamon, a New York resident sent in a short story,”Glen’s Bend”, and won the contest. This year, flyers specified ACU enrollment as a requirement to participate in the contest.
“He had a great story that was pretty scary,” Bennett said. “It was about a character who was an antisocial type who sat in front of his trailer home near a rural highway and secretly shot people.”
Bennett said this year’s prize has not been determined yet, and that The Shinnery Review is interested in publishing the winner and possibly runner-ups.
Students who choose to participate must submit their horror fiction stories to the Writing Center at firstname.lastname@example.org by Oct. 22.