In a word, yes. The 2012 contest will be the last of it. We will make a formal announcement at the end of the year at http://clarklibraryfriends.com , but this is our first informal announcement.
Scare The Dickens Out of Us has always been primarily a fundraiser for the Friends of the Dr. Eugene Clark Library; only secondarily was it a ghost story writing contest. So, as we have never been able to raise more money than we spent running the contest (prize money, trophy money, advertising, postage, reading party), we will be calling it quits and turn to donating the money we’d have used on the contest directly to the Friends (and ultimately to the library). The Friends and the library will get more from this than they every got from the contest, only the writers will lose (and we are very sorry about that, but there are a lot more contests out there to choose from).
Rather than dwell on the negative, we’d like to address the positive. In the four years of the contest we raised $5,000.00 for the Friends. We received helpful cooperation in promoting the contest from many organizations across the country, and abroad, mostly from literary contest sites (thank you each and every one of you), regional branches of the Romance Writers of America (from which we got a couple of our winning stories), and also the regional branches of Mystery Writers of America (from which we got some really interesting stories). We also got a lot of support from many of the individual writing clubs throughout the country. We appreciate you. A very big thank you goes out to the several writers who submitted to our story contest for consecutive years. And thank you Logos of Lockhart for helping us find some of the most beautiful and unusual glass trophies available for our top winners. Of course we’d be nothing without our two great final judges Sue Smith and Erin Pringle. Thank you, ladies.
We’d like to thank each and every one of you who entered Scare The Dickens Out of Us and Junior Scare The Dickens Out of Us. Contrary to popular legend, ninety-nine percent of the stories submitted to our contest were not crap. Only about ten percent were. The remaining eighty percent of the stories were good, and then we got about ten percent that were outstanding. It was a pleasure and honor to read your submissions. However, we did notice a marked lack of paperclips on the entries (use paperclips, guys) and far too many stories that were folded three or four times and then stuffed into an envelope meant for letters (no, don’t do that), and way too many writers thought it was just peachy keen to submit their entries the very last day of the contest.
Enough bad news. Here’s the good news. We are hard at work right now selecting the stories that will go forward to the final judges for the 2012 contest. We should have the winners at about Thanksgiving time. Emails will go out this week letting everyone know where they stand. Check http://clarklibraryfriends.com after Thanksgiving to see if the winners have been posted yet.
WHAT I READ THIS WEEK—Rising Sun by Michael Crichton. Charming Blue by Kristine Grayson. Tales of a Traveller by Washington Irving. The Assassin’s Curse by Lindsay Buroker. (Actually, this is what I read between this post and the last one.)
Photo by Roxanne Rix. Scare The Dickens Out of Us logo by Molly Humphrey.