BEST HALLOWEEN WRITING PROMPTS

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This week's contest:
Win $250

Fabulism with Shaelin Bishop

80 contest entries /
36 stories

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Contest #239 LIVE

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This week's theme: Fabulism with Shaelin Bishop


$250

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80

Contest entries

36

Stories

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The best Halloween writing prompts

Spooky scary skeletons and things that go bump in the night have one favorite night of the year: Halloween. And we love this holiday just as much, which is why we've curated our favorite Halloween writing prompts — the perfect inspiration for any writer who loves the macabre.

The options are endless. A tale of trick-or-treating gone wrong. A haunted house that turns out to be haunted for real. Ghost, goblins, and witches roaming the streets freely. Parties, decorations, costumes and facades all provide ample inspiration for a spooky holiday story. Since you're spoiled for choice, we've narrowed down our top story ideas for you.

Here are our top ten Halloween writing prompts:

  • Write about a group of witches meeting up on Halloween night.
  • Write about someone’s first Halloween as a ghost.
  • You have a few friends over for a Halloween party. You've just finished watching a scary movie when the power goes out and the door is slammed open. What happens next?
  • Write about a caveman who accidentally time travels to present-day Halloween, only to become unexpectedly popular in the town because of a surprising talent: pumpkin carving.
  • Write about a caveman who accidentally time travels to present-day Halloween, only to become unexpectedly popular in the town because of a surprising talent: pumpkin carving.
  • "Wow, great costume! How'd you make it?" you say to the kid dressed as the Grim Reaper, reaching a hand out to test the material of the mask. The mask doesn't come off. It's not a costume.
  • You are responsible for taking your neighbors' kids out to trick-or-treat, but you look outside and suddenly feel scared of the gloomy dark...
  • Write a story set in a haunted fairground on Halloween.
  • Write a story about someone spending the night in an old Victorian home-turned-hotel on Halloween.
  • Write a story about a family that goes pumpkin picking together.

Want some more tips for writing horror stories? You can check out the following free resources:

  • How to Master the 'Show, Don't Tell' Rule (free course) — Halloween stories are all about the atmosphere. And to capture atmosphere, you need to evoke all five senses. From the twinkling of a jack-o-lantern, to the scratchy interior of a monster costume, the sweetness of candy on your tongue, the sticky grab of cobwebs, or the chill of a wind whistling through a graveyard lit by the moon — all these sensations will immerse your reader in your story. Show, Don't Tell is the golden rule for descriptive writing, so check out our free course.
  • How to Write a Horror Story: 7 Tips for Writing Horror (blog post) — Our horror writing bible. If the story you're writing errs on the side of scary, this is where you'll find the best tips to pull it off.

Want more help learning how to write a dramatic short story? Check out How to Write a Short Story That Gets Published — a free, ten day course guiding you through the process of short story writing by Laura Mae Isaacman, a full-time editor who runs a book editing company in Brooklyn.

Ready to start writing? Check out Reedsy’s weekly short story contest, for the chance of winning $250! You can also check out our list of writing contests or our directory of literary magazines for more opportunities to submit your story.

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