The return of Ghastly Ghost Stories

Melissa Stagnaro

The Evening Sun is once again doing Ghastly Ghost Stories, our annual Halloween fiction contest. This year, I have the job of judging this frightful competition. Assisting me will be a panel of celebrity judges including acclaimed children’s author Suzanne Bloom, horror writer Dustin Warburton and former Evening Sun reporter Jessica Lewis.

As the deadline (such an apropos term in this case) approaches, we find that we have fewer entries than we had hoped for. So I am appealing you, our readers, for your help in boosting our submissions. Do you think you could help us spread the word and help us inspire kids and adults alike to do a little creative writing?

Maybe you know a budding young author or harbor a secret desire to see your work in print. If you are a teacher or administrator, perhaps this is a project that might interest your students, whether it be for credit, extra credit or just for fun.

And don’t be shy about forwarding this information to any and all you think would be interested. When it comes to Ghastly Ghost Stories, the more entries the better. (The scarier the better, too – don’t be afraid to scare the socks off us!)

This year we’ll be giving out prizes in several different categories based on age: fifth and sixth grade, seventh and eighth grade, ninth through twelfth grade, and adult. The ghastliest ghost story in each category (and I mean that in a good way) will have their story published in The Pumpkin Vine, and get some other cool prizes.

Entries should be 1,500 words or less and must be submitted via email to, with the subject line “Ghastly Ghost Stories.” Attachments should be in a rich text format, and its important to include contact information and age, asa well as school district and grade, if applicable.

To be considered, stories must be submitted by Friday, October 16.

If you have any questions regarding this contest, please don’t hesitate to contact me at (607) 337-3071 or via email at

Thank you in advance for your help, and Happy Halloween!