Halloween Horrors 2017

It’s that time of year once again, boils and ghouls! Time for Horror And Sons’ 3rd Annual Halloween Horrors Reader Submission Series. I know… long name, right?

Let’s start this by briefly remembering the 1st 2 years of this event. I started the Halloween Horrors series in 2015 (then unnamed) as not only a means of boosting reader interaction, but also as a way to possibly help all of us get a little more into the Halloween “spirit”, hopefully building just a touch more excitement for the holiday that so many of us love and anxiously await each and every year.

The 1st year saw us receive 6 entries (7, if you count my own piece), all of which came from friends or from bloggers that I had already developed a friendly relationship with. One came from my wife. I think forgetting to mention that would get me in trouble. She’s still pretty proud of her Golden Girls reference.

Despite the low turn out, I was more than pleased. The site’s numbers saw a slight boost. Nothing went horribly awry. In my eyes, the event was a “success”, but I quickly started to realize just how successful it really was when every single one of the contributors told me how much fun they had being involved and that they looked forward to returning for a second year.

Unfortunately, due to a “computer error” (technically a “computer USER error”), all of 2015’s submissions were lost. Fortunately, most of the participants had kept their submission emails and we were able to re-post the saved entries as a “lead up” to 2016’s event. I think my own entry was the only one permanently lost, but you weren’t missing much there.

2016’s event turned out to be an even larger success, more so than I had anticipated. Not only did all of the previous year’s participants return, but the response from new readers and old friends alike was overwhelming. In total, 24 pieces (plus my own) were received. Halloween Horrors 2016 also proved once again to be a large boost in visibility for Horror And Sons, with site numbers for the month reaching almost triple any other month prior. Sure, there were a few minor hiccups along the way, but it was a fantastic experience. It was, undeniably, a learning experience as well.

Enough of that nonsense…. Let’s get down to business!!!

For the 3rd year of Horror And Sons’ Halloween Horrors, I felt that it was time to change things up, if only just a little. While having the first 2 years of the series focused on our favorite films to watch during the Halloween season was a lot of fun (and there is undoubtedly many more pieces to be written on that topic), it was time for a fresh approach. I wanted a topic that would be easily accessible to all interested parties, but would be expansive enough to provide countless possibilities. And then it hit me…

“We’ve spent 2 years talking about these movies and TV shows. Why not focus on the characters that make these tales so memorable and compelling?”

That brings us to this year’s theme, ghoulies!

 Fiends, Freaks, And Final Girls!

This year, I want you to submit a piece focusing on one character from the wide-ranging genre of “horror”. However, we don’t want to read a generic piece on just any old character. We want to hear about the characters that affect you! You can tell us who your favorite horror character is and why they are so important to you. Maybe you want to tell us about the one that scares you the most. Maybe one particular character is the one that made you a horror fan in the first place. Whatever it is, tell us about it…. but please, MAKE IT INTERESTING! Maybe you have a theory about a character that we’ve never heard before that you want to share with the world (or the very small fraction of it that actually reads this website). It’s up to YOU to make us want to finish reading it!

Your character can come from the worlds of film, television, literature, comics, and even video games. They can be the “hero” or the “villain”. It doesn’t really matter who or WHAT they are as long as they are undeniably a “horror” character or personality (although exceptions can be made for really clever concepts). I do ask that you try your hardest to relate your topic back to the holiday of Halloween, but we aren’t going to sweat it this time if you don’t.

Of course, there is a “catch”. During the first 2 Halloween Horrors events, participants were banned from writing about John Carpenter’s Halloween. This year, all of that film’s characters will be available to write about. However, to make things a little more difficult and hopefully a little less obvious, Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees are BANNED topics this year. That said, every other character from both of their franchises will be accepted as topics.

And to help you find that “inspiration”, here are some acceptable characters.

And now for the important part…. THE RULES!!!!

  • 29 Spots will be available. Only one entry per participant.
  • Entries must be at least 600 words long. No exceptions.
  • NO FAN FICTION!!!
  • I prefer that you supply the images that you would want used, but will do that myself if need be.
  • Characters will be “claimed” on a “first come, first served” basis. Once a character has been “claimed”, no one else may write about them. You may reference that character, but they can not be the focal point of your piece. However, you will still be allowed to write about other characters from the same property. For example, if someone “claims” Michael Myers, no one else may “claim” him, but any pieces on other characters from the franchise are (obviously) allowed to mention him.
  • Character “claiming” begins Saturday, August 19th at 12pm. Claims can be made through either Facebook private message or email them to horrorandsons@yahoo.com. No claims will be accepted before the start time.
  • You WILL be allowed to change you “claimed” character once. However, your original choice will then become available for others to “claim”. No changes will be allowed after Sept 1st.
  • You may also start submitting your entries on Saturday, August 19th. All entries MUST be received by 11:59PM EST on Saturday, Sept. 30th. Any entries received past the deadline will not be posted. No exceptions. Not even my wife. Ok, maybe her.
  • I reserve the right to reject ANY submission or participation request at ANY time for ANY reason. If you have any intentions of “flaking out”, please be respectful and do so early so that another interested party may take your place.

SPECIAL RULES FOR WRITERS/BLOGGERS/SITERUNNERS/OTHERS WANTING TO PROMOTE SOMETHING – 

As this event has always been open to writers from other websites, blogs, Facebook pages, etc., there are certain rules for those participants as well.

  • Of the 29 available spots, 12 will be reserved for you other “writer-types”. I want to keep as many spots open for readers as possible, but may open additional “writer” slots as we approach October if the demand is there. This will be announced on our Facebook page if that happens.
  • Only 2 writers per site (unless special permission is given by me). This may also change at a later date. It will also be announced on our Facebook page if that happens.
  • These contributors MUST share the event with their readers on their Facebook page within 48 hours of my announcing their involvement on the Horror And Sons Facebook page. Sharing the event on your FB page BEFOREHAND will count as well. Those without FB pages may share the event on their websites, Instagram, Twitter. etc. accounts. (Just let me know when you do it.) I love the idea of the event being used to help promote others (and myself), but this is a community event. Your readers are just as welcome to contribute as anyone else, so you are only doing them a disservice by not telling them about it. Besides, why would you not want to “whore out” something you’re involved in?
  • These contributors MUST also share at least 1 other submitted piece during the course of the event. It’s not just about you. Don’t be a dick.

 

Now, here is the part where I beg. While you do have until the Sept 30th deadline to submit your submission, please try not to wait until the last minute. Unlike last year, I’m really trying not to be editing pieces on Oct 2nd. Please proofread your piece before submitting. I will once again be writing intros for EVERY submitted piece, so if there is something you want said, please let me know in advance. Otherwise, I will just make shit up about you.

Just like last year’s event, posting will begin on October 1st. If all open slots are filled, I will take the final “slot” on Halloween as that will probably be the least read day. If you have any questions or need any help, please feel free to contact me on our Facebook page through private messaging, or email me at horrorandsons@yahoo.com. I eerily await your submissions!!