In their latest writing contest, spotlights some haunting prose

We love for the vast store of ways they keep expanding our vocabulary (check out and subscribe to their Word of the Day email)—and for their writing contests that test wordsmith craftiness. Recently for their latest Haunting Hooks writing contest, the site challenged contestants to write a frightful (in the best sense) opening to a sci-fi story using fifty words or less. Check out the three finalists and vote for your favorite here. Voting ends on October 24, and the winner will be announced Thursday, October 27.


  • Lauren Alwan

    Lauren Alwan’s fiction has appeared in the O. Henry Prize Stories, the Southern Review, the Alaska Quarterly Review, StoryQuarterly, in the Bellevue Literary Review. She is the recipient of a First Pages Prize, the Goldenberg Prize for Fiction, and.a citation of Notable in Best American Essays. Her essays have appeared in ZYZZYVA, Catapult, World Literature Today, The Rumpus, The Millions, Writer's Digest, and others. She is a prose editor at the museum of americana, an online literary review. Follow her on Twitter at @lauren_alwan and learn more at

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