Can you scare someone in 10 lines?!



Think you can scare everyone senseless in only 10 lines? Then  you’ve got nothing to lose..!

In 1816, Lord Byron suggested to P.B. Shelley, Mary Shelley, John Pollidori and their friends that they have a competition, to see who could write the most terrifying ghost story. Mary Shelley wrote the story that would become Frankenstein, and Polidori’s The Vampyre was one of the most important inspirations for Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

This Hallowe’en at Essex, we’re paying tribute to that great gothic game, with a ghost story competition of our own.

Your “ghost story” can be about anything you like – as long as it falls, however broadly, into the category “horror”. That might be psychological, it might be gory, or it might be a straight-forwaward, run-for-your-life thriller.

The only other rule is, it can’t be more than 10 lines in length. Long sentences or short, poetry or prose, that’s up to you.

Your submission will feature on the main university blog and shared across Facebook and Twitter, so your terrifying tale will spread screams far and wide! Send your hell-raising horrors to

Advice For New Writers

  • Start in the middle. You don’t have much time available to you, so don’t spend too long trying to set the scene – just get stuck in!
  • Death to all modifiers (it’s Hallowe’en, after all!). Try not to use too many adjectives: again, you’ll be wasting words, when what you really need to do is get the story moving.

Good Luck – now Get Your Spook On!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s