OFFICIAL EVENT Iwaku Horror Contest 2023


elegance is more important than suffering
Original poster
Posting Speed
  1. Multiple posts per week
  2. One post per week
Writing Levels
  1. Adept
  2. Advanced
  3. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Primarily Prefer Male
Slice-of-Life, Gothic, Horror, Fantasy

Greetings ghouls to Iwaku's Horror Contest!

I'm Wren, an avid horror fan and your host for this year's horror contest. Since spooky season is upon us, now is the perfect time for you to show off your talent in the horror genre and make your fellow Iwakians tremble in fear or general mindfuckery! Submit your most horrifying short story or poem and let's see who the nightmares infect.

There are many types of horror and plenty of ways to get creative with the genre, and while we don't wish to stifle your creativity, we do have to provide you some themes to make judging easier.

The themes are as follows:
- Uncanny Valley
- Isolated
- Obsession

You only need to incorporate one theme into your piece, but you are welcome to include multiple! Additionally, if you include an owl in your piece, you'll score special points with Owl Mom. Owl Mom Points will not earn you a higher ranking in this contest, but why not make her happy?

Submissions will be open September 15th to October 27th, closing at 11:59 PM CST, where they will then be posted publicly for the community to vote on. These votes will not determine the winners, but they will play a role in our judges' decisions.

Additionally, @MaryGold will do a public reading of the pieces (with the author's consent) in the Iwaku Discord Server on October 28th. The time will depend on how many submissions we receive, but we aim to read them in the late afternoon for the proper atmosphere.

Need a little incentive besides the possibility of sending shivers down spines? We have prizes!

@Reina and @Sorrelfur have graciously volunteered their time to help me with the judging this year, and we are all eager to read your submissions!

Feel free to ask any questions down below. Good luck to all of the entries!

  • All submissions must be under 2000 words. Any submission longer than this will be automatically disqualified. Please note that if your entry is longer than 1000 words, it might not get read out over call due to how long it would take (it'll depend on how many submissions come in!)
  • All submissions must follow Iwaku rules.
  • The submission should, of course, be your own work and not anyone else's. Fanfiction is allowed, provided that you state what fandom the work is based on. However, just know that the judges who do not know this fandom might not understand your piece fully when voting!
  • The submission should include at least one of the selected themes for the month.
  • The submission cannot contain explicit content. Mentions of such things may occur, but you cannot submit full smut. If there is anything potentially triggering (e.g., self-harm, suicide, etc) in your piece, please leave a trigger warning tag at the beginning as well.
To submit a piece, please PM me and title the PM "IHC ENTRY" with this little form filled out to go with it!

Title of the Piece:
Word Count:
Chosen Theme(s):
Chosen Format: (short story or poetry)

Remain anonymous?: Yes or No
Permission to read aloud during call?: Yes or No
We will be judging the pieces based on the incorporation of the chosen theme(s), the ease of reading, how complete the story is, and community vote. Grammar will not be a huge deciding factor in judging; we care more about the story you have to tell! We will try to have everything judged sometime in early November but please allow us time to discuss.

This year, the prizes are a free commission from @Dusk, a $50 steam card from @Manna Beast, and a $25 Etsy card. First winner will get first pick from these prizes, second will get second pick, and third will get what is remaining.

The prizes for winning can be transferred to someone else if you so choose, but you must tell any staff member that contacts you about winning before the prize is given.

The winners will receive a trophy and will also (with their permission) have their pieces placed in the IHC Showcasing thread!