Tryon Arts & Crafts School presents ghost story competition

Published 2:29 pm Thursday, July 20, 2017

To promote the craft and heritage of storytelling, Tryon Arts & Crafts School has created its first short story competition, “The Apparitionist National Ghost Story Competition.” The deadline for entries is Sept. 1, and the three winning stories will be read on Halloween evening, at the closing of the school’s Black & White Show (which opens on Sept.15).   

Judges for the competition include Jack Sholder from Asheville, director of the horror film “A Nightmare on Elm Street 2” and “The Hidden” as head judge. The other judges are local writers Katie Winkler, Lee Stockdale, and storyteller Dottie Jean Kirk. 

In addition to the three top award winners, the contest also has a “Heritage Award” which will be awarded to a local writer in Polk County, N.C. (The winner of the Heritage Award will also be eligible for the top three prizes which are $200 for first place, $100 for second and $50 for third.)   

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Any US resident may enter, and there are no age restrictions. The ghost story must include “a ghost, spirit, paranormal activity, mysterious circumstance or folklore tale that could be perceived as a ghost story.” There is a $5 per submission entry fee (up to three submissions per author) which rises to $10 after Aug. 1. A maximum of 500 submissions will be accepted, and stories must be previously unpublished. Judging will be blind for the competition and finalists will be announced in October on the website and in publicity. 

Storytelling is a craft that the school has been meaning to cultivate, and Executive Director Cathy Fischer has scheduled some interesting workshops in conjunction with the competition in the coming months, such as “Our Narrative Lives/Telling Our Stories” with Dottie Jean Kirk on July 29 from 1-5 p.m., and “Haunting the Mansion” Building Suspense through Setting, Description and Character Development, a writing workshop with Katie Winkler on Aug. 19 from 1-5 p.m. Kai Elijah Hamilton will also be leading an acting workshop entitled, “Fear Portrayal” on Oct. 20 from 6 – 9 p.m.

To learn more about the competition or to enter, visit For additional information on any of the workshops go to or call 828-859-8323.

– article submitted by Cathy Fischer