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Skull Roll, Please: Announcing the Winners of the YCLAC 3rd Annual Halloween Contest – The 13 Word Horror Story

The Third Time is Definitely the Charm! 


art by Jaclyn Peacher

This year, the YCLAC received over 90 submissions for our 3rd Annual Halloween Writing Contest. The fame of the contest continues to spread (like a CDC escapee!); in addition to pieces by students from Yuba College, we also tricked students from Andros Karperos Middle School, Willows High School, and Butte College, plus writers from North Carolina, into giving us their creative treats. We had first time writers who want to be nurses, accountants, and long-time writers having fun with new forms.

And now, 13 Word Horror Stories.

The 13 Word Horror Story: Because Chills and Giggles Come in Small Packages

Once again, our most popular category was the 13 Word Horror Story. This year, nearly two-thirds of entries came in this category. Needless to say, this made it difficult to select our favorites, but after much review and (mostly) civilized discourse, we present the following winners and honorable mentions. As always, some entries gave us chills, while others made us giggle. For this reason, we chose two third place stories: one giggler, one creeper. Thanks to everyone who submitted, and we hope many more of you will submit next year!


art by Juliet Hernandez

First Place: Dinnertime

by Megan Rutledge

The hungry zombies by my bed knew that they would soon be fed.


Second Place: Let’s Trick for a Treat

by Zahari Martinez

“Trick or Treat?”

Oh, I guess we’re having children tonight.

Grab their feet.

Third Place (Creeper): Rotisserie

by Brandon Hidalgo

She loved her rotisserie chicken.

Fearful humans taste best after a long roasting.


Third Place (Giggler): Shitty Situation

by Rylan Keolanui

It’s Halloween night. You’re in a public restroom; there is no toilet paper.



art by Juliet Hernandez

Honorable Mention: Weight Loss

by Matthew Wolder

Vampires in the night werent real

until I was just skin and bones.  

Honorable Mention: Guess Who

by Mia Meyer


Knock, knock.

I reached for the light, but a hand was

already there.


Honorable Mention: Prize Inside

by Marcus Igarashi


I like this piñata, it’s candies are warm and it’s full of screams.


Honorable Mention: Bleak Ending

by Seth Singh


I am the only one who meets you when your breath leaves you.


Honorable Mention: Devil’s Hour

by Cristina Munoz


Three in the morning, I stared into the mirror…

she blinked at me.


Honorable Mention: Mother

by Lilithanny Camacho-Balerio


At midnight, my mom always says goodnight.

She was murdered three years ago.


Want more scary stuff? Visit the Monster Slash Fiction  and the Trick or Treat Poems

About The Haberdasher

Created by writers for writers, The Haberdasher, or le Hab, is your Peddler of Literary Art for Northern California and beyond. In addition to writing tips and literary debates, we also feature critical reviews and author interviews.

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