Baltimore County Public Library Sponsors Ghost Story Contest

August 13, 2019 | By Baltimore County Public Library

Image of a cemetery with a ghost hovering above along with text stating Tales of the Dead short story contest

In 2016, Baltimore County Public Library introduced the Tales of the Dead Short Horror Story Contest. The contest was inspired by a ghost story writing challenge 200 years ago, which led to the creation of Frankenstein's monster and the first modern vampire story.

In the spirit of that contest and in conjunction with A Toast Among Ghosts, the Foundation for Baltimore County Public Library's annual Poe-themed festival, the library is once again challenging you to write your own original horror story. Anything that goes bump in the night is fair game—ghosts, ghouls, goblins—whatever frightens you. Just frighten us!


While the event is 21 and up only, writers under 21 can enter too! There are two categories: Adult (21 and up) and Under 21. Criteria for judging includes originality, fear factor and quality of writing. Entries must be received by Friday, September 13. The winning stories will be published on the Foundation website. Winners will be notified on Friday, September 20. View the full contest rules.

Adult Category 

First, second and third place adult winners will be selected by a panel of judges, including librarians and published authors. The adult winners will receive two tickets for themselves and a guest to attend A Toast Among Ghosts on Saturday, October 6, where the winners will be invited to read their stories around the ghost story fire pit. 

Under 21 Category

One winner will be selected in the Under 21 category. Criteria for judging is the same as for adults. The winner will receive a prize package including an A Toast Among Ghosts T-shirt, books and a gift card. 

Category: Programming and Events