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Scary Story Writing Contest

2023 Scary Story Writing Contest

2023 marks Portland Public Library’s Inaugural Scary Story Writing Contest! Time to get scary and enter for a chance to win a prize and showcase your story on our website. We want to be extra scared this Halloween, so send us your most bone-chilling story!

Contest Eligibility:

  • The contest is open to anyone who is eligible for a Portland Public Library card. You do not need to have a library card to enter—though we’d love to get you one!
  • There are two categories: one for teens (ages 12-19, or sixth grade through twelfth grade) and one for adults (over age 19). You will select your category when submitting your story.

Submission Details:

  • Stories must be less than 2,000 words and must be submitted after completing the submission form (below).
  • Stories must be originally created by the contestant.
  • One entry per person.
  • Submissions will be anonymized for judging.
  • Entries must follow our rules of conduct. Stories that contain hate speech, extreme violence, and/or abusive language will be disqualified. (If you would feel comfortable reading it aloud to a general audience, then it will most likely qualify!) If you have questions, please contact us.
  • Submissions will be accepted from September 1 through Halloween (October 31). Winners will be selected by the end of 2023.


Winners will receive a gift card to a local business. We will also publish your story on the Portland Public Library website!