Submit Your Story

Entry Fee:
$5 per submission until August 1st /$10 late submission until September 1st/deadline (postmarked by, or received through the website), with up to 3 submissions per author. (A maximum of 500 submissions will be accepted. Notification of cut-off will be posted on the website.)

First Prize: $200
Second Prize: $100
Third Prize: $50

Heritage Award: $25 (Awarded to a resident of Polk County, NC; award winner will also be eligible for top 3 awards).

All 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners will receive an award certificate and voucher for overnight accommodations.

Each winning entry will be read to an audience October 31st, 2017, Halloween Night (preferably, by the author) at Tryon Arts & Crafts School at their Black & White Art Gallery Show.

Judging will be Blind: Submissions must include 2 Title Pages: one (a file by itself, if sending electronically) with the ghost story’s title, author’s name, contact information (address, phone, email), and a short biography (for promotional purposes).

The other Title Page, attached to the story, should contain only the Title with no personally identifying author information. The story itself should also have no identifying author information (i.e., headers or footers; the title may appear in headers or footers at the author’s discretion). Entries should be double-spaced, in 12-point type, with numbered pages, and not exceed 5,500 words. If sending electronically, the preferred format is PDF, and file information must include the title of the work only. Failure to adhere to the rules will risk disqualification.

Eligibility: Open to any resident of the USA (TACS’ staff members, board members, judges, and their immediate families are ineligible).

Guidelines: The story must be original unpublished work by the author and include a ghost, spirit, paranormal activity, mysterious circumstance or a folklore tale that could be perceived as a ghost story. Note: The setting does not have to be North Carolina.

Submissions may be sent electronically to:

Include author’s name and ghost story title if paying via PayPal.

If sending physical copies, (please adhere to the information above regarding title pages/personal information), send 2 bound copies of the story with check or money order payable to Tryon Arts & Crafts School, and mail to:

Tryon Arts & Crafts School
Attn: Ghost Story Contest
373 Harmon Field Rd
Tryon, NC 28782

Winners will be notified by phone and/or email no later than October 17, 2017 in order to arrange possible travel to the event. Finalists’ names will be posted on the TACS’ website. For any questions, please email

Judged Criteria: Originality, creativity, scare-tactic, eerie mood/setting and writing craft. Special attention goes to works in a storytelling oral tradition. The scariest story wins!

Rights: All rights remain with the author. TACS makes no claim of copyright. By submitting, authors grant permission for winning stories to be published on the TACS website, and TACS’ usage of stories/parts of stories for publicity purposes. Winning authors are urged to include TACS’ The Apparitionist: Ghost Story Competition in the awards section of future biographies.