Do you like scary stories?



From October 5 to October 30, take part in the Penn State Short Edition autumn contest. Submit your short story or poem to have the chance to be published in our Penn State Short Story dispensers across the Commonwealth! Nothing is easier: read the rules below and submit your short story or poem.


Our autumn contest theme is:

"The Witching Hour"


To be accepted, your short story or poem must be significantly tied to this theme and be vetted by our Short Edition Editorial Board.


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. As a reminder, submission lengths are:

  • Short story (maximum of 8,000 characters, including spaces)
  • Poetry (maximum of 6,000 characters)

Please review our full writing guidelines for more information.


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 hmf14@psu.edu.


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