Enter Tales of the Dead IV

August 1, 2022

Baltimore County Public Library once again challenges you to write your own original horror story. The sixth annual Tales of the Dead Short Horror Story Contest runs August 1 through September 18. Winners will be announced on October 3. The theme this year is “MoonLit Masquerade.” All entries should feature a mask and/or the moon in some way. 

There are two categories: Over 21 and Under 21. First, second and third place adult winners will be selected by a panel of judges including librarians, published authors and community leaders. Criteria for judging includes originality, fear factor and quality of writing.  

The adult winners and one guest each will receive VIP tickets to A Toast Among Ghosts, Foundation for Baltimore County Public Library’s annual Poe-themed festival held on October 15 at the Reisterstown Branch, where the winners will be invited to read their stories around the Ghost Story Fire Pit. Entries must be received by 5 p.m., September 18. The winning stories will be published on the Foundation website. Winners will be notified on October 3. 

While A Toast Among Ghosts is 21+ only, writers under 21 can enter too! The winners are invited to read at a special reception at the Reisterstown Branch (date and time TBD) and receive a prize package including one (1) A Toast Among Ghosts T-shirt and a gift card. Criteria for judging is the same as for adults. 

The Tales of the Dead Short Horror Story Contest started in 2016, inspired by the 1816 ghost story challenge that led to the creation of Frankenstein’s monster and the first modern vampire story. The contest is held in conjunction with A Toast Among Ghosts. 

Full contest entry rules.