As the crisp chill of fall settles over IU South Bend, tantalizing tales of terror and tension fill the air. The Halloween season is officially in full swing and many students will get the opportunity to embrace this with an appropriately themed writing contest.
Analecta’s “Spooktacular” is a contest in which students will get the opportunity to exercise their darker side and possibly get featured on the journal’s blog.
This is the first in a series of monthly, themed writing prompts that the organizers hope will help boost awareness for the student-run publication.
Scott Morgan, secretary of the IU South Bend creative writing club and co-editor of the literary and visual arts journal, said, “This [Halloween] has always been the most intriguing time of year where people can get really creative and spooky. I personally plan on entering the contest myself.”
The idea is for a new theme and new style of writing for each month through the month of April. The organizers hope this will help to not only grab the attention of new poets and authors, but also help keep interest from contest to contest.
This month, contestants are prompted to write about Washington Irving’s short story “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” a tale in which the devilish Headless Horseman haunts the small Dutch town of Sleepy Hollow, and terrorizes the clever schoolteacher Ichabod Crane.
Analecta is currently accepting all entries, and will continue to do so until 11:59 p.m. Oct. 28. These entries are to be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lucas Burkett, editor of the literary arts journal, said, “We will announce the winners and post their story on our blog, iusbanalecta.wordpress.com, by Halloween. There will be a small prize to the winner.”
The contestants will have two writing styles to choose from to submit for this event. The first is an erasure, a poem in which one takes select words from the base writing and rearranges them to create an original work that is 15 lines in length. The second option is a point of view short story of 1,000 words, known as a flash fiction. With this option contestants will be asked to write from the perspective of a character from Irving’s short story.
Burkett encourages contestants to avoid making their subject the main character of the story, Ichabod Crane, to avoid simply summarizing the story. However, if a contestant wants to attempt to bring a fresh new perspective to the character Ichabod, the main character is not off limits, Burkett said.
Writers are encouraged to try to follow the parameters. But the organizers won’t necessarily penalize writers for straying a bit. Students are encouraged, of course, to take this opportunity to embrace the festivities of the season and get a little spooky.
“I really look forward to seeing how people will conjure the Halloween spirit this season on our campus,” Morgan said. “I can’t be the only person who walks around in costume.”