Storybird Scribes October Challenge: Horror!

It’s October. That means two things. One, school is not going away anytime soon. It’s here to stay until the holidays. And two, Halloween.

For some, Halloween simply means “free candy.” But for those of us with a little more imagination, Halloween means something else: horror.

Artwork by Jevs

Not just horror like in the movies, but horror in that creepy, unsettling, and spooky tone. Like when you reach under the couch to get the remote and your finger pierces an old apple and that warm, wet feeling sends a shiver down your spine. Or the dark, wet leaves on your window after a storm that look like a face, begging to enter the house.

Every one of us has that moment when we flinched, screamed, or recoiled because something was there. Something we didn’t expect or couldn’t explain.

Art by Jamin Still

So horror is the theme of this month’s Storybird Scribes. We want your stories of a sublime, unsettling, and inescapable moment in a character’s life. And we want it in one single chapter story.

That’s the second part of this challenge: using ONLY the longform format, and ONLY one chapter, this fright fest must be delivered as flash fiction. Aim between 500-1000 words (though you can have a bit more or less).

Keep it short, keep it simple, and make it scary.

October Challenge: Horror!

Artwork by Claudio Cerri


1. Theme of the month: Horror - Write a short, flash fiction, horror story in a single longform chapter. As always, in order to appear in our public library, your story must follow our community guidelines. And just as a reminder, stories published from Student accounts are only visible to members of the class you are in. You must have a Regular account for your story to be featured on our blog.

2. Choose your artwork – Browse our library of images to find the artwork that inspires you. Select an artist to be your illustrator, or search for a theme (like “scary“) to use multiple images.

3. Tag - The tag for this month’s writing challenge is horrorflash. You can use any title you choose, but when you publish your book or chapter, make sure you add the tag horrorflash (all one word) on the Book Details page. Here’s a screenshot to show you where to put it:

The deadline to submit a story for consideration is October 28th. This is a challenge, not a contest, so there are no winners. At the end of the month, we will post a roundup of stories (like this) that gave us serious goosebumps.

Chapters submitted to our monthly challenges will be moderated in our normal queues: there will not be faster moderation for non-Premium members. We will do our best to get your stories approved in a timely fashion, but the best way to get your stories published quickly is to upgrade your membership.

Don’t have time to write? No worries! You can participate in the club by reading the stories here and voting up your favorite books with hearts and comments.

We can’t wait to read your stories!

Our guest judge this month is Mark Ury, co-founder and CEO of Storybird. He was so excited about the launch of Storybird Scribes that he was already suggesting the theme for October only 20 minutes after we announced September’s challenge. He’s been waiting ALL MONTH for this, so don’t let him down you guys.

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