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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Press Release Fun: Night Fall Scary Story Writing Contest

Lerner Books has a fun writing contest up and running these days.  It’s for teens, but some tweens might be interested as well.  If you happen to know any creative kids, this might be something they’d enjoy.  To wit:

Enter our Night Fall™ Scary Story Writing Contest!

Contest Rules

View the Thaw eBook for free until October 31, 2010.

After reading Thaw—our free Night Fall™ eBook—we want YOU to become an author and create a creepy ending to a scary story just like the tales told in our new Night Fall series.

Taking cues from horror films and video games, Night Fall™ is high-interest, contemporary, horror fiction that is perfect for teen readers. Featuring YA themes and a highly accessible reading level, each story features teenagers from a small New England town called Bridgewater. Strange and awful things happen in Bridgewater, and readers will be lucky to escape with their sanity.

The winner of the Night Fall™ Scary Story Writing Contest will win all of these fantastic prizes:

  • Two complete sets of all six books in the Night Fall™ series—one for the winner and one for the winner’s school library
  • Editorial advice in a letter from the editorial director of Darby Creek
  • The winning story will be published on the Lerner Books Blog
  • The winner’s name will become a character in an upcoming Night Fall™ novel

To enter, use the writing prompt below to write your scary story in 500 words or less, fill in the rest of the form fields, and submit.

Meredith zipped her bag and set it down. The long main hallway was empty on either side of her. Classes had ended two hours earlier, and the rest of debate club was already on its way home. She stuffed the debate captain’s binder in her locker and pushed the door shut.

She walked slowly toward the exit at end of the hallway, flicking padlocks with her finger and listening to them clang against locker doors as she went. Between the clangs, Meredith heard what sounded like footsteps. She stopped and looked over her shoulder. The hall was empty as far as she could see. She gripped the last lock she’d flicked in her hand to stop it from making more noise. But no one was behind her.

Meredith started to walk again, more quickly this time, until she felt her phone vibrate near the top of her backpack. A text from her mom: ENCHILADAS 2NITE! R U BRINGING NE1 FROM DEB8? Meredith winced. “N-E-1, mom? Really?” she half-whispered. Even though the school was probably empty, Meredith felt weird about how loud her voice sounded when she was alone in the halls—like she was in a cave or something. She glanced at the flickering EXIT sign over the doors maybe twenty lockers ahead.

Nope. Not today. See y—. Meredith quit texting mid-reply. More footsteps, she was almost sure. Once more she peered down the dim hallway. Nobody there. “Whatever,” Meredith muttered, shaking her head. Then she saw them: black, almost inky-looking footprints, larger than hers, in a trail that ended a few lockers away.

See more information, including contest rules, here.

About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.


  1. Bridget Heos says:

    Thanks for sharing this. It will be great for my junior high creative writing class. I think horror is hard to teach–this will help!

  2. Thanks as well, for posting this! My niece would be interested in entering, along with many of the writing students I mentor in afterschool clubs. Thanks!