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Current Contest
08/02/21 thru 10/31/21

Happy Halloween
Scary Short Story Contest 


Anyone may enter! Entrants under 18 years of age must have a parent or legal guardian's permission to enter the competition.



  • Submissions must be original and unpublished.

  • Manuscripts being considered, but not under contract, by the publisher are eligible for submission in this contest.

  • All entries must follow the rules in this document.


*By submitting a story via these guidelines & rules, you are confirming that the work submitted is 100% original and in no way plagiarized and does not contain copyrighted material. The submitter will be liable for any repercussions if this is determined to be untrue. Neither Happy Nightmares nor The Nerd Asylum assumes any responsibility for copyright or intellectual property infringements generated by works submitted.




  • This year’s theme is “Haunted by your Past”. The theme is not meant to be restrictive in any way. It is simply meant to act as a jumping-off point to create some level of cohesion between submitted stories. Interpret it as you will, we can’t wait to see what you come up with!




NONE – There are no fees to enter this contest.


HOW TO SUBMIT TO THE 2021 Happy Halloween Scary Story Competition

  1. One submission only per entrant.

  2. The story must be between 5,000 and 10,000 words total. Stories containing less than 5,000 words or more than 10,000 words will not be considered for the competition.

  3. All contest entries must be printed in Times New Roman 12-point type and double-spaced as a WORD document.

    1. Use one-inch margins all around.

    2. Indent each paragraph 3 to 5 spaces.

    3. Entries must be typed according to appropriate, professional form.

    4. The title of the work and a page number should appear on every printed page.

    5. Entries must be in good taste, easy to read, use proper grammar and punctuation, and correct spelling.

    6. Do not use fancy or script fonts for your text, except when stating character thoughts, which must be in italics.

  4. Do not include illustrations or pictures in the manuscript.

  5. Submit all stories via email to with "Halloween Story Submission" as the subject line.

  6. DO NOT INCLUDE erotic themes or gratuitous sex, extreme gore or violence, or excessive cursing. (We want anyone and everyone to be able to enjoy these stories as long as they aren’t too scared…)

  7. Any deviation from these rules could be the basis for disqualification.


     Review the guidelines one final time before submitting. No re-submissions will be accepted.


You may begin submitting at 12:00 am EST on August 1st, 2021. Submissions close at 11:59 pm EST on August 22nd, 2021. Any stories submitted outside of this window will not be disqualified from the competition.



Phase One – Phase One judging will take place between August 23rd, 2021, and September 30th, 2021. Phase One judging will be completed by Patrick T. Luce (horror author and President of Happy Nightmares) and Joseph M. Timmis (Director of The Nerd Asylum). During Phase One all stories will be reviewed and a pool of 10 finalists will be selected.

Phase Two – Phase Two judging will begin on October 1st, 2021, and will end at 11:59 pm EST on October 22nd, 2021. During this time, videos containing audio narration and text on the screen will be live on the Happy Nightmares YouTube channel and also available at Phase Two will consist of open voting by the public to determine the winner from the pool of 10 finalists. Votes will be submitted at and details on how to vote will be included in each finalist’s video. 



The winning submission will be selected through a final vote count once open public voting ends at 11:59 pm EST on October 22nd, 2021.



The winner of the competition will be announced on Monday, October 25th, 2021 after the winning entrant has been notified via email. The winning entrant will receive the following awards:

            Happy Nightmares Merch Prize Pack  

            The Nerd Asylum Merch Prize Pack

            $100 Amazon Gift Card


Once the winner is notified, we will coordinate the shipment of the awards with them.



            If you have questions about the Guidelines, send an email to

Previous Giveaways


Pacific Giftware Dkull Stainless Steel Stein

We raffled off a Pacific Giftware Stainless Steel Skull Stein to one lucky winner for interacting with the Nerd Asylum community online. There was no purchase necessary to win and entries included following us on Twitch, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, as well as subscribing on  YouTube, and joining our Discord!

Giveaway Dates

04-19-2021 thru 05-01-2021


Ebba A


Mimic Dice Vault

We raffled off a Mimic Dice vault to one lucky winner for interacting with the Nerd Asylum community online. There was no purchase necessary to win and entries included following us on Twitch, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, as well as subscribing on  YouTube, and joining our Discord!

Giveaway Dates

03-24-2021 thru 04-09-2021


Karrie D


Discord Easter Egg Steam Keys

Those in the Discord were treated to hunting for eggs hidden inside through the various text channels and were rewarded with various steam keys for PC games. There was no purchase necessary to enter or win these keys.

Giveaway Dates

Sunday 04-04-2021




JBG Garage Crafts Nerd Asylum Dice Vault

JBG Garage Crafts gifted a Nerd Asylum branded Dice vault to giveaway to encourage donations to our Extra-Life Gameday event on November 7th 2020.

Giveaway Dates

11-04-2020 thru 11-07-2020


Kai S