In 2016, Baltimore County Public Library introduced the Tales of the Dead Short Horror Story Contest. The contest was inspired by a ghost story writing challenge 200 years ago which led to the creation of Frankenstein’s monster and the first modern vampire story. In the spirit of that contest, and in conjunction with A Toast Among Ghosts, the Foundation for Baltimore County Public Library’s annual Poe-themed festival, the library is once again challenging you to write your own original horror story. Anything that goes bump in the night is fair game — ghosts, ghouls, goblins…whatever frightens you. Just frighten us!
There are two categories: Adult (21+) and Under 21. First, second and third place adult winners will be selected by a panel of judges including librarians and published authors. Criteria for judging includes originality, fear factor and quality of writing.
The adult winners and one guest each will receive tickets to A Toast Among Ghosts on Saturday, October 6, where the winners will be invited to read their stories around the ghost story fire pit. Entries must be received by September 21. The winning stories will be published on the Foundation website. Winners will be notified on September 28.
While the event is 21+ only, writers under 21 can enter too! The winner will receive a prize package including an A Toast Among Ghosts T-shirt, books and a gift card. One winner will be selected in the Under 21 category. Criteria for judging is the same as for adults.