It seems that no-one knows where the tradition of telling ghost stories at Christmas came from. It was certainly around during Victorian England when Charles Dickens wrote “A Christmas Carol”. Dickens himself called his famous novella “A Ghost Story for Christmas”. The tradition probably goes back many years before this, when telling stories around a blazing hearth was the entertainment as the nights grew longer.
In this noble tradition, we are once more running our Ghost Story Competition for publication at Christmas time. Take a leaf out of your ancestors’ book and tell chilling tales for Christmas entertainment.
The competition is open to all ages, with a category for adults, and the Ghost Osa Prize for Children.
Far be it from us to tell you how to write your stories! Everybody has their own voice and we look forward to hearing it when we receive your entries. However, here are a few general tips and guidance that you might find useful...
The word limit is 4000 words. However, a good story doesn’t need to be close to this word count. If you can put your story across well in 500 words, then go ahead and enter it!
The prompts and videos we have shared on social media are only designed to give you ideas, your ghost story might have nothing to do with it and that's absolutely fine!
You don’t have to write a scary ghost story. We are looking for something that transports us to that magical place where readers go – something extra special. You don't have to buy previous anthologies, but it might give you an idea of the sort of things our judges are looking for.
Instead of always writing about what your character can see, sometimes it’s good to use your other senses too (hear, smell, taste, feel).
The judges will be looking for a finished, polished product so ensure you have proofread your work. Sometimes it’s better to ask someone else to proofread.
This free eBook of our own ghostly experiences might give you some pointers!