It Happened on Campus: The Observer’s Scary Nonfiction Contest

Won Hee Kim, Director of Print

It’s 2 a.m. in the morning, and you’re walking to your dorm room from a wild party on Hessler Road. You first notice the sound—like an old piece of paper crinkled behind your ear. You turn around. Nothing. Then, suddenly, it appears.

The guidelines for The Observer’s short story contest.

The words are written in a strange color, the color of rust or blood, or perhaps the red ink that your professor uses to mark your incorrect answers. Scared but intrigued, you read on.

  1. The story must be based on a true story.
  2. Keep it under 1,500 words.
  3. Submit your story in an MS Word document to with the subject line “Halloween Special.” Include your name, year of college and phone number in the body of the email. This should be done by Oct. 25 at midnight.
  4. Anything with a serial comma will be DELETED, or edited to match The Observer’s style guide.

The paper then goes on to say that the stories will be judged by a director of The Observer’s editorial board. The winner will have the opportunity to see their words in print, and perhaps in a video format as well (if they consent). Runner-up stories will also be published online. The winner will also receive some Observer paraphernalia.Any inquiries should be sent to