The WriteHive Horror Contest 2021 will be hosted by Cass Kim, a talented horror writer and the organizer of two horror anthologies.

Find info for 2021’s contest here

*** Information below this line is out of date. Links may not function.***

Sign up for the newsletter!

Announcing the top ten moving on to the next round!

Thank you to all the writers who submitted scary, freaky, odd, and downright incredible short stories to WriteHive 2020. I really appreciate the “plastic curled” nightmares.

Each submitting writer read and voted on five other stories. Each story received an equal number of reads. It was close but the day has come!

Please support the following writers as they move on to the next round! Take a look at their stories and, if available, leave them an encouraging comment.

These stories have been sent to our four excellent judges. The final three winners will be announced during WriteHive 2020, the weekend of April 18-19. Join the conference (it’s free!) and network with more amazing authors.
Congratulations to these ten writers
**Listed in alphabetical order…

The Loneliest Monster by Henry Black
The monster wanders the streets of her town, striking fear into the hearts of all who pass her. Is there more to her than meets the eye?

Wax Smile by Catherine Bloom
There’s a new employee in the office. He’s supposed to be normal. He’s supposed to put you at ease. He’s not supposed to smile so much.
Contain Her by Ashley Casey
The container sways, and Seraphina prays for a savior, for Mutya to rescue her. Will the darkness come when she calls?
The Stink by Shayna Grissom
A woman cleaning her deceased mother’s home encounters a smell she can’t quite wash off.
The Vibrancy of Melancholia by Joel Donato Jacob
An embittered businessman inherits the family business but his acumen for innovation takes him on a path to damnation.
The Wind by Sarah D. Meiklejohn
A young woman clearing out her deceased grandmother’s home becomes suspicious that someone–or something–may be lurking in the dark.
The Suspect by Kyle Robinson
After a grisly murder, Detective Prescott finds himself interrogating a man whose past reveals clues about nightmarish abilities. Has Prescott found the murderer, and what is Malcolm Clark capable of?
Low Tide by RW Scott
Follows a sanitation worker in a future city devastated by a plague.
Flowers for Deborah by William Sterling
Everybody has to pay their respects at Deborah’s funeral, but the event is taking its toll on her husband, Matt.
All in a Night’s Work by Charles Welch
What could be going on at a local crematorium near you, because nightmares are real…
If your story didn’t make the top ten this time, please join us again next year! Keep on writing!

What is WriteHive 2020?

WriteHive 2020 is a writer’s conference with panels, workshops, Q&A’s, chatrooms, AMA’s, and more–entirely online and completely free! It will take place April 18th-19th, 2020.

Follow WriteHive on Twitter @Write_Hive

To help cover expenses, please visit

What is the Horror Writing Contest?

The Horror Writing Contest is a WriteHive 2020 competition open to all authors. The top three winners will be announced during WriteHive, so the actual writing, submitting, and voting will begin in January.

Submissions will be between 500 and 1,000 words, and WILL BE IN RESPONSE TO A PROMPT RELEASED ON JANUARY 3rd, 2020!

The writing prompt is: “The plastic curled…”

These words do not have to be included exactly but part of what you will be judged on is how well you respond to the prompt so keep that in mind.

The top three winners will be announced during WriteHive and receive a signed, print book from the judge of their choice, free of charge!

Your submission will be read by a minimum of five other authors who have also submitted a story. It will also be read by the organizer and a few volunteers (please email if you’re interested in helping read and vote on ALL the submissions!)

Through a voting process (see below), the top ten stories will be selected and they will be sent to our horror judges (see below). These judges will provide a short critique of each story and will choose their top three. The top three winners will be announced during WriteHive and receive a signed, print book or review from the judge of their choice, free of charge!

What are the Submission Guidelines?

Submissions due: January 27th, 2020, or before.

Length: 500-1,000 words, no exceptions.

Topic: THE HORROR PROMPT WILL BE RELEASED ON JAN. 3rd. All submissions must respond to this prompt.

Format: Webpage. You will provide the link* (see what must be included in the email to the organizer). This makes it easier on the Horror Contest organizer because they won’t have to store, resave, or shuffle documents online. It will also direct traffic to your website–you’re welcome. A maximum of one photo is allowed with your story.

Send to: See what must be included in the submission email below.

Cost to submit: FREE!

*If you don’t have a website or wattpad and don’t want to create one for this contest, I am happy (as the organizer) to post it for you on my website. I will post it (no revisions, sorry) on or shortly after January 28th, 2020, and I will take it down after WriteHive weekend. You will, of course, be given complete credit but visitors to my site are prompted to join my newsletter. If that bothers you, you may want to consider creating your own site or ask a friend if you can guest post on their site.

What do I need to include in my submission email?

Please copy and paste the following information into the email sent to

(Subject line): Author Name’s Horror Submission (ex: Mallory Kelly’s Horror Submission)


Title of submission:

Brief description or hook in 200 characters or less:

Link to submission:

YES or NO, I want to receive feedback from readers.

I am permitting WriteHive 2020 to distribute the above information in connection with their Horror Writing Contest. I understand that my piece will be available online and will be read and voted on by many readers and judges. I release WriteHive 2020 and its organizers from responsibility should my work be plagiarized or distributed by anyone other than WriteHive 2020. By submitting, I also agree to read and vote on five other stories assigned to me and understand I will be disqualified from final judging if I fail to reply with my vote by February 15th, 2020. My full name typed here constitutes my signature:

Any submissions received after January 27, 2020, Mountain Standard Time, will not be accepted. No exceptions!

What is my reading responsibility after submitting?

Every author who submits will be required to read and vote on five stories submitted by other authors. Links to these five assigned stories will be emailed to you by the organizer. This process ensures that all stories receive a roughly equal number of reads. Your assigned stories will be sent via email to you on or shortly after January 28th.

After you have read the five stories, you must email the organizer with a list, numbered 1-5 with #1 being your favorite story and #5 being your least favorite story. If I do not receive your reply by February 15th, 2020, your story will be disqualified from further judging.

Who can vote on submissions?

  1. Every author who has submitted will be required to vote on a minimum of five stories (see above).
  2. I’m looking for volunteers who, along with the organizer, will read and vote on every submission. These volunteers will also provide a short critique if the author has requested it.
  3. ANYONE. However, if you want to vote on stories you will need to either email the organizer at or direct message @author_mkelly on Twitter. You will be sent five stories to read and then email back with a list, numbered 1-5 with #1 being your favorite and #5 being your least favorite. The stories will be sent to you on or after January 28th, 2020, and your votes must be returned no later than February 15th, 2020, Mountain Standard Time.

Voting is structured carefully this way so that all submitted stories will receive a roughly equal number of reads and votes. This also prevents the writing contest from becoming a popularity contest where the person with the most Twitter followers gets the most votes.

What happens after reader voting?

After readers have voted, the organizer will tally the votes. The winning ten stories will be announced on February 18th, 2020, and the organizer will be sending their links to the celebrity horror judges.

Every author who wished to receive feedback will be sent their feedback via email.

The judges will have until April to read, critique, and vote on the stories. They will be communicating with the organizer and the three winning stories will be announced during WriteHive weekend. The winners will let the organizer know which book they want from which of the judges, and WriteHive will pay for it to be signed and shipped from the judge to the winner.

Horror Contest Judges


“Few stories start with death. Often, it starts with grief.”

– The Girl from the Well, Rin Chupeco
Author of The Girl from the Well series, The Bone Witch series, and new release The Never Tilting World, Rin Chupeco is a respected name in horror.
Despite an unsettling resemblance to Japanese revenants, Rin always maintains her sense of hummus. Born and raised in Manila, Philippines, she keeps four pets: a dog, two birds, and a husband.
A fan of Peter Straub, Stephen King, Shirley Jackson, Edgar Allan Poe, and Christopher Pike, Rin draws inspiration for her own terrifying tales from Asian cultures and creates positive roles and outcomes for her female characters.
Check out her website:
Follow her on Twitter and Goodreads

Rin is offering a signed book to the winners of the contest.


“Smoke rose from the barrel of the gun like a serpent crawling up from its wicker basket.”
– Family Man, Andrew Lennon

Andrew Lennon is a bestselling author of horror and thriller books and is fast becoming a recognized name. Along with his own novels, he has been featured in several best-selling anthologies, and his works appear in anthologies alongside horror royalty such as Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, and Clive Barker. For his lengthy list of publications, view Andrew’s Amazon page.

Always a big horror movie and game fan, Andrew developed a taste for reading in his mid-twenties with help from his wife. She introduced him to Stephen King and he discovered a love for Thomas Ligotti and Ryan C. Thomas. While reading their work, he got the idea for A Life to Waste.

He enjoys spending time with his wife Hazel and their children in his home in the North West of England.

Check out his website:

Follow him on Twitter and Goodreads

Andrew is offering a signed book to the winners of the contest.


Patrick R. McDonough co-owns Dead Head Reviews, an active group of horror reviewers committed to promoting the up and coming in the horror genre.

Patrick writes fiction and is pursuing the short story market. He loves hard rock and heavy metal, slasher/serial killer stories, dark sci-fi, and dark crime.

He lives in South Jersey with his wife and legion of fur babies (1 pig, 1 dog, 1 cat, 2 chinchillas, and 1 koi fish).

Visit the Dead Heads review site:

Follow Patrick on Twitter

Patrick is offering a Dead Heads review of an already published book to the winners.


Elle Turpitt is an editor and review contributor at Dead Head Reviews, an active and diverse group of horror reviewers committed to promoting the up and coming in the horror genre.

Elle is always reading and has loved writing since the time she could hold a pen. She loves video games, horror, and dark fantasy, though she will read anything. She is working on several short stories and has had a few published. In addition to reviews on her website and for Dead Head Reviews, Elle offers a beta reading service.

Elle studied Creative Writing at the University of Hull and lives near the coast in South Wales.

Check out her website:

Visit the Dead Heads review site:

Follow Elle on Twitter

Elle is offering a Dead Heads review of an already published book to one winner.

***Note that there will be a voting period from submitting authors and other volunteers to vote the top ten stories. Judges will be reading ONLY these ten stories and from these ten stories will choose the top three. Each of these top three winners will choose ONE prize from ONE judge.***

How can I stay up to date with the Horror Writing Contest?

On Twitter: @Write_Hive or @author_mkelly

Sign up for the newsletter

Who is the organizer?

Mallory Kelly is heading the Horror Writing Contest for WriteHive 2020 (that’s why you’re on my page). I will not be submitting to the contest.

You may contact WriteHive admin at and other organizers on Twitter:

Joshua Lee Ronin @joshualeeronin

Tyler Zeoli @TylerZeoli