Recently, we had a reader of the blog voice a concern about sending in their story. It went something like this:
I’m kind of interested in entering your writing contest, BUT…
…my ghost story isn’t scary – does that disqualify it?
Here’s the answer:
You should send it!
The CONTEST is very lenient about what we’ll accept. GOOD WRITING is the key there.
The resulting ANTHOLOGY will also have a wide margin for stories we accept, and the majority I choose will be in the scary realm.
Once I feel we have enough scary/strict horror stories for the anthology, I will allow people to join who have other stories that might be sentimental or even funny, but that aren’t strictly scary and still fall under the general banner of scary/Horror.
The rationale there (in the anthology) is, while we want to serve the target in the genre, I still like variety in an anthology. Once 50% or 75% of the stories have done that (say 15 or 16, maybe more) – then why not open the doors to other stuff that’s generally in the genre but not strictly scary?
scary is relative.
If I want to scare Jenny with my story, I have a big hairy spider crawl over the lip of a sleeping woman.
If I want to scare Harvey, I mention his ex-wife.
Scary is relative; HORROR is a genre under which scary falls, usually, so HORROR is the theme of the contest and the anthology, but
NOT every story must be scary to get in.
We learned last time in the Box Under The Bed that saying “scary” put a few reviewers off. Saying “horror” should alleviate some of that.
If they are scared, so much the better.
The CONTEST serves as a vehicle for writer types to try something new or send in something they want considered, possibly to get a lot of eyeballs and publicity, definitely to get a helpful critique, but also to generate stories for an anthology – because we have so many talented writers out there!