Header image, Spooky Story Contest

Entering the Contest

Each year in October, Tulsa Library hosts the Spooky Story Contest for students in Tulsa County ages 8-18. 

Check back next October for our 2024 contest!

You can find collections of past winning stories below.

Spooky Story Contest FAQs

2023 Contest Promotional Materials

Educators and others who want to promote the contest may request promotional materials from their local library, or can use these files:

2023 Spooky Story Contest Entry Form (to attach to print entries)

2023 Spooky Story Contest Poster: 11x7 | 8.5x11

2023 Spooky Story Contest Social Media Graphic

Remember, young writers may enter the contest online, starting October 1, 2023.

Who can enter the contest?

You may enter the contest if you are: 

  • Between the ages of 8 and 18 by the last day of the contest, and
  • Live in Tulsa County
    • Or attend school in Tulsa County
    • Or have a non-expired Tulsa City-County Library nonresident library card.

What are the age divisions/requirements?

  • There are three age divisions: 8-11, 12-14, and 15-18
  • All submissions must be original works of no more than 3,500 words.
  • All submissions must be accompanied by an entry form.
  • Only one entry will be accepted per contestant.
  • Entries must be text based; no illustrations.

How should I format my entry?

Make sure your entry adheres to the following rules. Manuscripts that are illegible, single-spaced, or that otherwise don't meet the following requirements will not be judged.

Double-space and TYPE or PRINT LEGIBLY in blue or black ink on 8 1/2" by 11" (standard) paper. Do not use lined notebook paper.

Include the title and page number in the upper right-hand corner of every page, including the first page.

If submitting in person, a completed and signed entry form MUST accompany each individual entry.

How do I enter the contest?

Before you submit your entry:

  • Double-check that you have adhered to all the instructions regarding entries.
  • If submitting by mail or at your library, staple your manuscript and completed entry form together.
  • Don't be late! The deadline for entries in the 2023 contest is October 31, 2023.

Eligible entrants can enter their work in the contest by submitting entries:

  • In person at any library location, with a separate entry form for each entry
  • Online, by uploading their entry as a PDF file at this webpage
  • By mail, with a separate entry form for each entry (though all entries with their forms may be mailed in one envelope):

Attn: Spooky Story Contest
Schusterman-Benson Library
3333 E 32nd Pl
Tulsa, OK 74135

Do not send your only copy of your entry. Keep a copy for yourself. Manuscripts will not be returned.

How are entries judged?

All entries are judged on the basis of content, originality, and quality of expression.

When/how are winners notified?

Winners will be notified by the email and/or phone contact they provide by the end of November after the contest.

Can teachers enter their students' work?

If you are a teacher submitting students' works, make sure that you have the current year's entry form and that each student completes and signs an entry form for each of their entries. Entries with incomplete forms are not judged. Please determine that your students' manuscripts comply with all contest rules before submitting.

What do winners receive?

Their story will be published in a physical anthology that is designed and illustrated in-house, and several copies will be added to Tulsa City-County Library's permanent collection! The books are available to purchase for a very reasonable sum via the pay-to-print publisher we utilize; however, we are unable to provide gratis copies of the book to winners.

Link to check out the books through the Library website here:
2019 Spooky Story Contest
2021 Spooky Story Contest
2022 Spooky Story Contest
2023 Spooky Story Contest 

Can more than one person work on the same entry?

Yes! However, if students work together on a story then they cannot submit individual stories for consideration during that year. Entry forms for each writer should accompany the submission.

Past Winning Entries

2023 Winners

2022 Winners

2021 Winners