The Asham Award is looking for ghost or gothic stories. It's open to women writers who have not yet had a novel or a collection of short stories published. Stories must not exceed 4,000 words in length. Deadline 30th September Entries welcome from any nationality and any country
What makes a good ghost story?
(Advice from judges Sarah Waters and Polly Samson and Virago’s publisher Lennie Goodings)
Sarah Waters, for whom Ghost and Gothic have become something of a trademark, says she will be looking for a story that clearly belongs to the ghost story genre, yet manages to bring something new to it too.
"Something new in terms of setting, perhaps? A ghost story for the twenty-first century? But," she adds "whatever the setting, I’d like the story to be genuinely unsettling - if not downright scary. I want to be spooked!"
Polly Samson says she will be looking for characters "that haunt me long after I finish reading. " She believes this is the most important thing in any short story but especially true of a ghost story.
"I like stories that seem clever on second reading," says Polly "where the atmosphere and tone have been carefully fitted to the characters, where every word has been thought about and every description has something important to add to the characterisation, though on first reading all of this should seem effortless."
Lennie Goodings, who will be publishing the anthology, wants to be "genuinely surprised, thrilled, disturbed, frightened, creeped or even, I suppose, struck with the humour and absurdity of it." She believes the genre gives rise to strong emotional responsesDetails here at Asham website