Hello, Thrill Seekers and Pranksters!
What, me? I-I’m not scared! Nothing scares me! Not roller coasters, not scary movies, nothing! What about you? Are you sc-scared? Yeah, m-me neither! I just hope nothing jumps out at us, because…
This week’s Writing Group prompt is:
A Reason to Scream
RULES AND GUIDELINES BELOW!
Make sure you scroll down and read them if you haven’t! You may not be eligible if you don’t!
What a perfect prompt to close out this spooky season. And a very fitting prompt, might I add. What defines spooky season more than monsters and tricks? Why, the screams caused by these things of course!
Let’s explore some causes for screaming, shall we? There’s the classic, of course; a group of friends exploring a haunted house. Is it the sort put on by a scout group for fundraising, or is it the kind that everyone talks about but never dares to go near? The scares found within either are very different, after all. Is it all just people in costumes and animated wall decor, or is there someone, or maybe even something, that wasn’t part of the plan? Maybe you decide to visit the local Halloween festival with your lovely date. You have some cheap scares from the dressed up staff, play some games and have some fun. Then happen across a competition where the scariest competitor wins anything from a free game to a dinner coupon… or even a special after-hours tour of the park.
Perhaps the reason you have is less theatric. After all, who wouldn’t scream when coming face to face with actual undead in their backyard? Or perhaps the monster under the bed decided it was finally time to up their game a little. Maybe you’re just tidying up after closing the restaurant, only to see one customer is still seated at their table… and they look oddly transparent. Or maybe your screams are simply caused by the screams of another who had the daylights scared out of them, like your arachnophobic classmate finding a spider on their pencil case, or someone’s partner sneaking up on them with a creepy mask.
There’s plenty of reasons for screaming. Some are good and just in fun, others, not so much. It all depends on the circumstances leading up to it.
So don your masks, practice your monstrous noises, and get the spooky lighting ready.
Let the scaring begin!
Remember, this is part of our weekly Writing Group stream! Submit a little piece following the rules and guidelines below, and there’s a chance your entry will be read live on stream! In addition, we’ll discuss it for a minute and give you some feedback.
The whole purpose of this is to show off the creativity of the community, while also helping each other to become better writers. Lean into that spirit! Get ready not just to share what you’ve got, but to give back to the other writers here as well.
Rules and Guidelines
We read at least four stories during each stream, two of which come from the public post, and two of which come from the much smaller private post. Submissions are randomly selected by a bot, but likes on your post will improve your chances of selection, so be sure to share your submission on social media!
Text and Formatting
- English only.
- Prose only, no poetry or lyrics.
- Use proper spelling, grammar, and syntax.
- Your piece must be between 250-350 words (you can use this website to see your wordcount).
- Use two paragraph breaks between each paragraph so that they have a proper space between them (press “enter” or “return” twice).
- Include a submission title and an author name (doesn’t have to be your real name). Do not include any additional symbols or flourishes in this part of your submission. Format them exactly as you see in this example, or your submission may not be eligible: Example Submission.
- No additional text styling (such as italics or bold text). Do not use asterisks, hyphens, or any other symbol to indicate whether text should be bold, italic, or styled in any other way. CAPS are okay, though.
What to Submit
- Keep submissions “safe-for-work”; be sparing with sexuality, violence, and profanity.
- Try to focus on making your submission a single meaningful moment rather than an entire story.
- Write something brand new; no re-submitting past entries or pieces written for other purposes
- No fan fiction whatsoever. Take inspiration from whatever you’d like, but be transformative and creative with it. By submitting, you also agree that your piece does not infringe on any existing copyrights or trademarks, and you have full license to use it.
- Submissions must be self-contained (everything essential to understanding the piece is contained within the context of the piece itself—no mandatory reading outside the piece required. e.g., if you want to write two different pieces in the same setting or larger narrative, you cannot rely on information from one piece to fill in for the other—they must both give that context independently).
- One submission per participant.
- Submit your entry in a comment on this post.
- Submissions close at 12:00pm CST each Friday.
- You must like and leave a review on two other submissions to be eligible. Your reviews must be at least 50 words long, and must be left directly on the submission you are reviewing, not on another comment. If you’re submitting to the private post, feel free to leave these reviews on either the private or the public post. The two submissions you like need not be the same as the submissions you review.
- Be constructive and uplifting. These submissions are not for a professional market, and shouldn’t be treated as such. We do this, first and foremost, for the joy of the craft. Help other writers to feel like their work is valuable, and be considerate and gentle with critique when you offer it. Authors who leave particularly abrasive or disheartening remarks on this post will be disqualified from selection for readings.
- Use the same e-mail for your posts, reviews, and likes, or you may be rendered ineligible (you may change your username or author name between posts without problem, however).
- You may submit to either or both the public/private groups if you have access, but if you decide to submit to both, only the private group submission will be eligible.
- Understand that by submitting here, you are giving us permission to read your submission aloud live on stream and upload public, archived recordings of said stream to our social media platforms. You will always be credited, but only by the author name you supply as per these rules. No other links or attributions are guaranteed.
Comments on this post that aren’t submissions will be deleted, except for replies/reviews left on existing submissions.