Do you like scary stories? 

Our next writing contest will begin Monday, October 5. Our fall writing contest theme is: The Witching Hour.

We’re all afraid of something. For this contest, the Editorial Board wants to see your specters, your ghouls, and your ghosts. As the sun sets beyond the horizon and the witching hour settles upon us, cast a spell with the tales of things that go bump in the night--the legend of the haunted house hidden in the woods, the myth of the monster hiding under the bed. The Editorial Board requests stories that linger in darkened corners and creep through dim-lit halls, the ones that you almost dare not speak in hushed tones around flickering campfires. Take your cobweb-covered nightmares and spin it into something that will make us want to sleep with the light on. Like we said, we’re all afraid of something. So, before you submit, think to yourself: What are you afraid of? 

Submissions for this contest will open October 5 and you'll have until Friday, October 30 to submit your scariest story. Stories submitted should be no more than 8,000 characters (including spaces) and poems should be a maximum of 6,000 characters.

These story stories and poems will have the chance to be published in our Penn State Short Story dispensers across the Commonwealth. Stories and poems accepted by our Editorial Board will be published on our Short Edition website and the public will be able to vote for their favorites. Five student winners will be chosen from across the Commonwealth and each will win $100 and have their story or poem published on our dispensers. Honorable mentions will also be chosen and those authors will also have their story or poem published on our dispensers.

Questions about this contest can be directed to Hailley Fargo, Student Engagement Coordinator, University Libraries at