Tin House


Sign Up for News, Sales
& Events

TwitterFollow Us
FacebookFollow Us
TumblrFollow Us
PodcastFollow Us
RSSFollow Us

Pacific University Ad



Announcing The Shirley Jackson Short Story Contest! Kicking off October 28th!


“So long as you write it away regularly nothing can really hurt you.” ― Shirley Jackson

The author of six novels, more than one hundred short stories, and two memoirs, Shirley Jackson left a legacy that runs from the macabre to the madcap. She is a writer who is constantly referred to as underrated because she can never be rated highly enough. Included in the startling work (startling in content; startling in style; and startling in sheer quantity) she created are a number of unfinished manuscripts: this is where you come in!

Tin Houseis honored to host a contest challenging writers to craft an ending to one of Jackson’s unfinished stories. Jackson is often called a “writer’s writer” and is credited with inspiring and informing the work of authors like Stephen King and Joyce Carol Oates. Join the ranks of writerly Jacksonites, and pay homage to one of the great psychological horror writers of the twentieth century.

The Contest: Create your own ending to an unfinished Shirley Jackson story. We will be publishing the prompt on The Open Bar on Monday, October 28th.

Submission Guidelines: Submissions should be 2,500 words or fewer (not including Jackson’s prose). Only online submissions will be accepted. Entries must be received by November 17th (before midnight, Pacific Standard Time and should be sent, with the text of the story pasted into the body of the e-mail to shirleyjacksoncontest@tinhouse.com. Winner will be notified by email and will be required to provide a mailing address that will be used to deliver the Grand Prize.

The Judges: Tin House Editorial Staff, the family of Shirley Jackson, and our finals judge, the fantastic short-story author, Kelly Link.

The Grand Prize: The winner of the Shirley Jackson Contest will be announced on Friday, December 13th and will win publication on the Tin House Open Bar, a Tin House gift bag, and The Works of Shirley Jackson from Penguin Books: The Sundial, The Bird’s Nest, We Have Always Lived in the Castle, Penguin Horror edition of Haunting of Hill House, Come Along with Me: Classic Short Stories and an Unfinished Novel, Hangsaman, and The Road Through the Wall.


*Please note that this contest has already transpired.

Share |
Posted in Events

Comments: 10

(52) Comments

  1. C. Kovachi says:

    Hello- I have a question about the Shirley Jackson unfinished story contest which you held last year. I submitted a story fragment and wanted to know per the rules if I am permitted to use this fragment, along with a new beginning I’ve written, to submit elsewhere. I see in the contest rules that I may not use Shirley Jackson’s prose anywhere, but wanted to make sure I can still use mine. I would write a new beginning to replace Jackson’s, change the names and the setting leading up to entering the house, etc.and then have my second half attached.
    Thank you.

  2. Tom says:

    Hi, Can I check whether I need to submit ‘on’ 17th November or whether I can submit before that, and whether you want the Shirley Jackson story also pasted into the email, or just mine?

  3. sophie gorman says:

    Am I being stupid but I can’t see the link to the unfinished Jackson story?

  4. Lance Cleland says:

    We will only being using one of Shirley Jackson’s unfinished manuscripts. That story, which is the one you will finishing for this contest, will be posted to the blog on Monday.

  5. Don MacLeod says:

    Is there a link to her unfinished manuscripts?

  6. Lance Cleland says:

    We will be posting the story on Monday, Marcus.

  7. Marcus Huron says:

    I’m unsure of what qualifies as one of Jackson’s “unfinished stories.” Could we possibly get a list or extra details on this, please?


(2) Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Click here for detailed Rules & Regulations. […]

  2. […] my fellow horror aficionados, I present this contest: The Shirley Jackson Short Story Contest. It’s being hosted by Tin House. Follow the link and you can read the details there. Contest […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *