Announcing The Costumed Curses Flash Fiction Contest!


Are you longing to celebrate the season? To put on fanciful makeup and scare the bejebus out of the people who know you? And do you ever wish you could scare more than just your neighbors and friends?

I heard those secret yearnings.

And because I heard those secret yearnings, I’ve teamed up with the fabulous Emmie Mears to bring you a creeptacular flash fiction extravaganza.

Costumed Curses Flash Fiction Contest

When: 15 October at 0900 EDT until 27 October at 2359

Genre: Fantasy and all sub-genres. Dark fantasy, urban fantasy, horror fantasy, epic fantasy, contemporary fantasy, fairy tale fantasy, dystopian fantasy, whatever. (No sci-fi this time, sorry!)

Theme: Curses masquerading as blessings, granted wishes, deepest desires, secret yearnings. Take a gift and twist it. Take a wish and make it rot. Grant a deep desire and watch it burn.

Length: 500 words.

How to Enter: There will be a post bearing eerie similarity to this one that goes up at 0900 sharp on 15 October. On that day, you may post your entry in the comments WITH THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION (this is where I find out who reads the submission guidelines):

  • Your NAME

If these things are not included, you will have to drink from the Cup of the Blind, which will erode your entry into nothingness. Meaning, you will be disqualified and will have to wear the Cone of Shame.

*No, we won’t use your email address for anything other than notifying winners, distributing prizes. No, we won’t give it to evil cyber stalkers. No, we are not evil cyber stalkers. Does anyone use the word “cyber” anymore?

Prizes: Super snazzy prizes will include an Amazon gift card, manuscript critiques, goody bags (when was the last time you got goodies in the POST?! Alas, these will have to be limited to US residents only because we’re broke), and mucho de bragging rights. And some sweet badges which will be revealed later. Muahahaha! Winners will be crowned as follows:

  • 1st Place — HERO
  • 2nd Place — WARRIOR
  • 3rd Place — MINION

Your Judges: C’est moi, of course, and Emmie Mears. We will be judging the posts on originality, use of the theme, quality of writing, and general badassery. R-rated stories are fine, but we’re not looking for erotica. Some sex is okay, but remember the theme and ask if it’s necessary. Don’t shoot for shock value. Wow us with your story and how you weave in the prompt.

What are you waiting for? Start writing! And feel free to talk it up on Twitter using the #CostumedCurses hashtag! See you Monday!

Love and kisses!



Scare Me

I’m currently writing a semi-scary short involving ghosts and seances and all around creepiness, and I have more frightful works planned for later this month (stay tuned!).

‘Tis the season, after all.


And it occurs to me, now that I’ve started my ghosty short story, that I know not the first thing about writing horror or ghost stories or scary works generally. I don’t watch many horror films, I’ve read maybe three horror books in my life. I just don’t go there very often.

If I stretch, I can say it’s because horror movies and books upset me more than they do others. I stayed awake nearly all night after watching The Ring. I saw The Shining as a semi-youngster, and it didn’t bother me, but when I saw it again in college, it troubled me so much I turned it off. I still get a little weirded out if I see a random pile of rocks in the woods, and I’d never laugh at a myth of a creepy New England murderer-witch.

It’s definitely something that came with age. I liked being frightened by Scary Stories to Read in the Dark as a kid, but it was fun-fright, not genuine. Eventually, I grew out of those, and as a teenager, I fell asleep in horror movies. Something about the long silences and dark scenes: they just knocked me unconscious. But for some reason I got jumpier as I got older, and I haven’t seen a new horror movie in ages.

I did see The Grudge last year, and it didn’t frighten me.

I have no idea: my fright-factor is completely hit or miss.

And since I have no idea how to frighten myself, I don’t know how to frighten others, either. So tell me: what makes a story or a movie scary to you? What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever read or seen? Do you have any good horror-writing tips?