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The Castles 5th Annual Halloween Short Story Contest

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The Castle’s 5th Annual Halloween Short Story Contest.

There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call the……….




This year’s contest theme should put the characters in bizarre and terrifying situations they would never expect to see in the real world.

The Rules

(*New this year)

  1. Castle Roland's 5th Annual Halloween Short Story Contest timeline

    1. Submissions Open Date: September 15, 2018 Midnight Eastern Standard Time
    2. Submission Deadline: October 14th, 2018 Midnight Eastern Standard Time
    3. Forum Member Voting start: October 15th, 2018
    4. Forum member Voting conclusion: October 28th, 2018 Midnight Eastern Standard Time
    5. Winners Announced in Special Halloween Edition of The Castle Herald and a Special Halloween Update: October 31, 2018
  2. Story Guidelines:

    1. Stories should be edited and polished. They will be posted exactly as you send them.
    2. Stories should contain a Halloween Theme. Embrace it and have a blast with it.
    3. Stories should be more than  15,000 words and less than 45,000 words
    4. Submissions must be sent to *Contests@castleroland.net  Submissions sent to any other email address with be returned as disqualified. This is to maintain the anonymity of the stories so it's a true blind vote.
    5. *Authors of submissions must not publicly announce their intention to submit a story, to maintain the anonymity of the stories for a true blind vote
    6. Authors are a requested to send an email to contests@castleroland.net to declare their intention of writing.
      1. This is to ensure we have some idea of how many to expect
      2. This will also be used for promotional material.
    7. All submission will be posted to a special members only forum on the Castle Roland Community Forum Site and will be posted without author name and title. They will be listed as a numbered submission for example
      1. Halloween Story #1
      2. Halloween Story #2
  3. Judging

    1. The Forum members will be asked to Judge the stories based on the following Criteria.
    2. Theme: Does the Story Reflect a Halloween theme
    3. Content: Was the story gripping and Enjoyable
    4. Character Development: Were you able to connect to the  main characters
    5. Plot: Did the Author develop a strong plot within the restrictions of the of the contest.
    6. Would you recommend this story to others
    7. The votes will be totaled and averaged by the number of voters for each story
    8. The three highest averaging stories will be declared the winners
  4. *Entry Fee:

    1. $10 per story
    2. Entry Fee is payable through Paypal as a donation.
    3. Under special instructions please include the phrase “For contest entry”
    4. Prizes will be paid out through Paypal
  5. *Prizes:
    1. First Place 50% of entry fees
    2. Second Place 25% of entry fees
    3. Third Place 10% of entry fees
    4. 15% of entry fees goes to Castle Roland as a fundraiser
  6. *Participation without paying the entry fee:

    1. Anyone can submit a story for the Castle Halloween Special.
    2. Submissions without the entry fee will be posted on the forums and/or story website during the month of October.
    3. These submissions will receive special features and promotions
    4. These submission will be scheduled periodically throughout the Castle’s Halloween Celebration as determined by Ken Barber The Castle’s Community Outreach Director and Al Norris the Castle’s Webmaster.
  7. Administration of the contest

    1. The Contest will be administered by Ken Barber and Al Norris
    2. All questions should be submitted to *contests@castleroland.net.
  8. *Publicity and copyrights

    1. Authors retain all rights to submitted works with the following exceptions
      1. Castleroland.net reserves the right to post, promote and present all submitted stories through its website and forums.
      2. Castleroland.net and its officers may decide to remove any submission from its website and forums at any time without notice
      3. Castleroland reserves the right to use any submissions in promotions and specials in the future without advanced noticed.
    2. Authors agree to not publish or post their Halloween Contest Submission on any site or media other than Castle Roland for a minimum of 6 months after the contests ends.
    3. Contest official end date: November 1, 2018
    4. Stories are no longer held as exclusive to Castle Roland on May 1, 2019
    5. Castle Roland does not have the right to release submissions to other online hosting services or publishers without express written permission from the author.
    6. Authors must be recognized as the original creator in any future promotions and/or specials.

Good luck and have fun
May the Odds ever be in your favor

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Previous Halloween and Christmas stories on the Castle Roland site have been among the best short stores I've encounter since I finished the collected works of Mark Twain. Seriously, I'm not kidding. There's a lot of talent out there, and I hope to see it respond to this challenge. The current theme, "Halloween in the Twilight Zone" is a tautology, but that's what is going to make this contest a lot of fun, and a lot of fright. I hope a story set in an alternate reality (as most of mine are) will be considered a story in the Twilight Zone.

May the Muses be with you all!


PS: Anyone wanting a line editor before you post, contact me at boh.translators@gmail.com. As a frustrated English teacher (US or UK), I may be able to offer some suggestions. If I do not reply quickly, it is because I'm overwhelmed.

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I have two questions for the committee concerning this story competition. Both are linked to the theme.

1.  Will each story need to begin with a traditional Twilight Zone opening and closing paragraph?

2. Will each story need to have some sort of either morality element or lesson about making choices?

Other than that, sounds like it should be fun.

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