The Wacky Pumpkin - A Halloween Writing Contest!

Hey Wacky Writers!

Put your wizard hats on, grab your jack-o’-lanterns and come on in! We are hereby opening a short story competition in honor of the spookiest time of the year: The Wacky Pumpkin Contest!

The prizes for such a bone-chilling contest include custom emojis, boo-tiful new badges, a hauntingly free art piece inspired by the grand winner’s entry, wicked free feedback from the judges, and oh-so-frighteningly-much more! We just could not contain ourselves from bringing all the Wacky Writers some ghoulishly delightful prizes this year.

You can submit your spooktacular story starting now, until October 16th. Each dreadful entry can only have a maximum of 500 words (the spirits we summoned are fickle and that word count is just right to keep them entertained). Remember - since submissions must be sent in before the Halloween night, none of that spooky magic can change anything! Once you hit submit, that’s it! Ah, the horror!

We will crown the winners of The Wacky Pumpkin Contest on All Hallows’ Eve under the full moon. There, each winning entry will be magically powered and featured as winners upon the mystical Wacky Writers blog and social media.

Any of that sound like a fang-tastic time? Well, come take a look at what the first Wacky Pumpkin Contest has to offer! We won’t bite much .


  • We accept English manuscripts of any genre (with the exceptions of erotica, poetry, plays, and screenplays) up to 500 words long. Titles are not included in the word count. Submissions must abide by our Code of Conduct.
  • 1 submission per person.
  • The submission must be an original work that follows one of the prompts given below and that has not been published previously.
  • Your submission has to be entered through this Google Form until Friday - October 16, 2020
    9:00:00 PM. Submissions cannot be altered after entry. Submissions after the deadline or submitted in other ways are not eligible.
  • The short stories will be judged by the five judges on grammar/spelling, vocabulary, writing technique/style, plot & originality, and how well the chosen prompt was followed.
  • The winners will be announced on October 31st.
  • You must be a member of the Wacky Writers forum to join. Making an account is free.
  • Wacky Writers moderators are not eligible to enter the contest.
  • By entering this contest, you grant Wacky Writers the right to publish the short story under your name on the official site. All rights are otherwise yours.


The first prize winner will receive:

  • Your entry featured as the winner on the official Wacky Writers blog & social media.
  • An ad free forums experience for 30 days.
  • A free graphic pack for a published story (on any writing platform) OR a cover + character art for your winning entry.
  • Positive feedback on your submission.
  • A special badge on the forums.
  • A custom emoji on the forums.

The second prize winner will receive:

  • Your entry featured as a winner on the official Wacky Writers blog & social media.
  • Positive feedback on your submission.
  • A special badge on the forums.
  • A custom emoji on the forums.

The third prize winner will receive:

  • Your entry featured as a winner on the official Wacky Writers blog & social media.
  • Positive feedback on your submission.
  • A special badge on the forums.


Ashen (@Forever_D_A)
Ink (@W.L.Ink)
Jane (@FireAlwaysReturns)
Jay (@JCRohrer)
Mari (@alcoholandcaffeine)


1. On the day that the spirit world and the living world are as close as possible, someone crosses to the wrong side.

2. A black cat on a black night can get into more mischief than you might think.

3. All Hallows’ Eve offers a writer more inspiration than they can handle.

4. This date is going pretty bad, so you go to the restroom only to come face to face with a lonely ghost.

5. October 31st, 2530: there seems to be more at play than light tricks and holograms during the 130th edition of the Samhain Neon Fest.

The button, mystically, no longer clicks…


Got any questions? :jack_o_lantern: Let us know below :point_down:


can it be poetry in prose?


As mentioned in our guidelines, we are unable to accept poetry submissions at the moment. That’s simply because poetry is its own thing and would be judged differently from a short story, which we cannot accommodate at this time. That being said, maybe we can just hold a poetry contest one day… :eyes:


poetry in prose is like a short story, only … fluffier with the descriptions?

and more abstract in thought.

:eyes: :eyes:
tell me more.
:eyes: :eyes:


Does it have a plot, storyline, characters, inciting incident etc? If not, then no, sorry :laughing: We can’t work in a poetry section right now, but it’s a good idea for the future, and when I know more, I will be sure to tell you :blush:


It does, subtly. the movement is focused on a certain character and their journey through a chimney.

they have no name, no face, only a voice.


I obviously can’t stop you from submitting but we’ll be screening the responses anonymously and whatever you do submit will be judged as a short story, and graded accordingly.


okay! thanks!

It’s a hybrid


How strict is that word count? I can’t seem to get mine below 700/


So, we can give like 5-10 words over 500, but 700 would be too much over the word limit.

Happy to hear that you are writing for the contest, though! We cannot wait to read your entry :relaxed:

1 Like

Are we bound to just the prompts here, or can we come up with something else? Great idea, by the way! I love this!

Edit: nevermind, I reread the rules :rofl: Answered my own question.


Happy to hear you’re so excited! We decided to go for prompts because A) it makes judging easier and B) a story based on a prompt we made up is more likely to be new, previously unpublished content. I hope at least one or two of the prompts are generic enough to let your mind run, though!



  • can there be non-graphic implied murder/implied killing/death… i mean, you said ghost in the prompt so -
  • can i have lgbtq characters?
  • what if i suck at titles

eh, I don’t think I have to worry abt these. I’m just entering for fun it’s not like I have any chance at winning lol
thank you for hosting this, it’s super cool

  1. Yes! Violence is allowed - within reason - so implying it is more than fine.
  2. Most definitely. There will be no exclusion here.
  3. Titles don’t matter too much, it’s mainly so both of us have something to call your work

Good luck with your entry! Fun is the most important, but you never know.


thank you for the fast reply!! these were helpful answers :))


If it helps, the max rating for the story should be something like PG-13.


I stopped writing a story that I stopped writing another story for, to enter something that was miraculously 500 words exactly. I love/hate short challenges :blush:


I, uh…Thank you? :joy: So you have a 500-word story ready to submit?