On the way to my parents’ house, I pass an insane asylum. It has all the key characteristics to making it creepy.
Broken windows? Check.
Overgrown, crumbling porch? Check.
Mysterious past? Check.
By “mysterious,” I mean that everyone I talk to has a different story about it. Most people say that one time “long ago,” the inmates rebelled and its been closed ever since. Of course there are stories about those inmates still trapped inside. Not sure how they could still be trapped with broken doors…
Some people tell me they used to sneak inside. Some say evil things happened inside. There is a huge chain-link fence surrounding the rambling building right now, so no one can sneak inside anymore.
When looking it up, there is very little information about the abandoned psychiatric center.
Driving by it so often inspired so many thoughts for a story. Did I want to write about an inmate? Would it be a work of historic fiction or a mystery?
A ghost story took form, and along came HAWTHORNE HIGH. What happens if an old psychiatric center is transformed into a haunted high school? Find out in this young adult novella.
Jordan Elizabeth is a young adult author who is obsessed with history and ghosts. You can connect with Jordan via her website, JordanElizabethBooks.com.
The 2019 WordCrafter Paranormal Short Fiction Contest was a success. We had several entries and most are now featured in “Whispers of the Past”, the first anthology to be published by WordCrafter, along with the winning story, “A Peaceful Life I’ve Never Known” by Jeff Bowles. I anticipate seeing entries from some of these same authors for the 2020 WordCrafter Short Fiction Contest and I hope you all will enter as well.
You can buy Whispers of the Past here: https://books2read.com/u/38EGEL
With that in mind, I’m excited to tell you about next year’s contest. The theme for The 2020 WordCrafter Short Fiction Contest is paranormal western. That’s right. WordCrafter Press is looking for western ghost stories! This is going to be a fun contest, so get writing. Each entry must contain elements of the western genre and elements of the paranormal genre, but beyond that, your imaginations are the only limits. All submissions must be original works which cannot be found online for free. (Amazon is quite a stickler on this one.) Like last year, there will be a $5 entry fee. In addition to publication the 2020 anthology, the winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card.
- Submit paranormal, speculative fiction, or horror with a western flare. I want to read your story!
- Stories should be less than 10,000 words and have paranormal and western elements.
- Flash fiction is accepted as long as it is a complete story, with beginning, middle and end.
- Submit stories in a word doc, double spaced with legible 12 pt font, in standard manuscript format.
- Submit stories to email@example.com with Submission: [Your Title] in the subject line. You will receive instructions to submit your $5 entry fee with confirmation of receipt.
- If you receive an invitation for the anthology, you will also be asked to submit a short author bio and photo.
- No simultaneous submissions. You should receive a reply within 45 – 60 days.
- Multiple submissions are accepted with appropriate entry fee for each individual story.
I’m hoping to release the anthology around Halloween again, so get your submissions in by April 30th. Above is the draft for the cover, title yet to be announced and suggestions are welcomed. I was pleased with the results of last year’s contest and the resulting anthology, and I’m anticipating the one for 2020 will be even better. So, send me your stories and let the contest begin!
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Broomsticks and Burials, by Lily Webb, is a paranormal mystery cozy and a really fun read. Once you buy in to a magic place that only those with paranormal talents can see, the rest comes easy.
Zoe Clarke is an out of work journalist, and when she gets an offer to work on the newspaper in Moon Grove, she can hardly refuse, even though it requires her to pull up stakes and move to a town she’s never even seen on a map. Right away she notices something different about Moon Grove. Maybe it’s the anchorman who transforms from a wolf to show her around that tips her off, but she worries she may not be right for the job. After all, she has no paranormal talents, so she shouldn’t even be able to see Moon Grove. Or does she?
When she finds that her predecessor was murdered, creating the opening for her, she starts looking into the mysterious circumstances even though several people warn her off, a broken broomstick at the scene her only clue. But, once she gets started, the plot thickens and she just can’t stop until the mystery is solved and she’s discovered that she belongs in Moon Grove more than she ever could have imagined.
Broomsticks and Burials is a light-hearted cozy mystery that’s fun to read. I give it four quills.
Kaye Lynne Booth does honest book reviews on Writing to be Read in exchange for ARCs. Have a book you’d like reviewed? Contact Kaye at kayebooth(at)yahoo(dot)com.