Flash Fiction: Haunted

Update: Thank you for all of your entries! We’ll be announcing our winners here on October 18.


Mystical Beech Wood Tree

“Humans haunt more houses than ghosts do.”
-Angela Flournoy, “The Turner House”


In this year’s One Read selection, the characters are haunted by a variety of issues. Francis Turner moved from Arkansas to Detroit to start fresh and escape his past, while, years later, his son Cha-Cha is haunted by a “haint.”

Taking inspiration from “The Turner House,” we invite you to tell a story about a haunting in 250 words or less. It could be about a haunting by a ghost, the haunting consequences of a past decision or some other type of haunting entirely — the choice is yours!

Enter September 1-26 using this form. You can also mail in your entry or drop it off at any library or bookmobile stop. (See full rules below for details.) Winning entries and honorable mentions will be published on this site and in the Columbia Missourian. Winners will receive a $25 book store gift card.

Participants must be age 16 or older and residents of Boone or Callaway Counties. Read on for complete contest rules.


Contest Rules


  • The contest is open to those 16 years of age and older.
  • Participants must reside within the DBRL service area (Boone or Callaway County, Missouri).

Contest Deadline

  • Entries will be accepted from September 1- 26. (Mailed entries must be postmarked by September 26.)

Submission Requirements and Guidelines

  • One entry per individual.
  • Submissions must be 250 words or less in length.
  • Submissions must be in English.
  • Submissions must include writer’s name, age, address and email address or phone number for eligibility verification and contact purposes.
  • Entries must be in text format and typed.
  • Entries may be submitted through the online form or by mail (DBRL, ATTN: Kat/One Read Writing Contest, PO Box 1267, Columbia, MO 65205), or dropped off at a DBRL location.
  • Submissions must be original, unpublished works.
  • Each participant must be the sole author and exclusive owner of all right, title and interest in and to his or her submission.
  • DBRL’s publication and use of the submission in accordance with the terms set out herein will not infringe or violate the rights of any third party (including copyright), or require any payment to or consent/permission from any third party.

Content Restrictions

  • The submission must not contain any material that is inappropriate, indecent, profane, obscene, hateful, tortious, defamatory, slanderous or libelous.
  • The submission must not contain any material that promotes bigotry, racism, hatred or harm against any group or individual or promotes discrimination based on race, gender, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age.
  • The submission must not contain any material that is unlawful, in violation of or contrary to the laws or regulations in any jurisdiction where the submission is created.
  • The submission must not contain any commercial content that promotes any product or service of the sponsor or any third party.


  • Entries will be evaluated and the winners chosen based on creativity, grammar and emotion evoked by the writing, as well as adherence to the guidelines outlined above.
  • Two winners will be announced by October 18.
  • Winning entries and those receiving honorable mentions will appear on the One Read website and in the Columbia Missourian.
  • Winners will be notified by phone or email and will each receive a $25 bookstore gift certificate.


Image credit: Mystical Beech Wood Tree via Max Pixel (license)


2 thoughts on “Flash Fiction: Haunted”

  1. Hi Jim,
    The winners will be announced next week on October 18! Our judges are still reading through and judging all the entries. We’ll post the winners and runners-up here on oneread.org, so keep an eye out.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.