Last Chance to Enter: UA Libraries’ Two-Sentence Horror Story Contest

By Savannah Johns, Managing Editor

The Two-Sentence story contest image with dates and info.
Image courtesy of the University of Akron Libraries

Are you a writer? A poet? A horror fan? If so, this is just the contest for you. To kick off the countdown to Halloween, UA Libraries is hosting their second annual “Two-Sentence Horror Story” Contest. But, you better act fast.

Submissions for this year’s competition close on Oct. 16, 2022, at 11:59 p.m.

It might seem unthinkable to put an entire horror story into only two sentences, but it is possible, and they are chilling.  

Last year, out of the fifty submissions, first place went to Laura Wolfe, a faculty member in the Department of English.

She wrote, “My heart beats ferociously against my chest as I gasp to breathe and beads of sweat trickle down my hot temples while my fingers turn cold and clammy. After averting my eyes for what seems like forever, I slowly shift my nervous gaze into the glaring eyes of the professor, towering over me, who snarls, ‘Take out a blank piece of paper.’” 

Stories can be about any scary or gruesome topic, but they must not exceed two sentences.  

The idea for this contest came from Stephanie Everett, former UA Libraries Communications Manager, in an effort to foster online interaction when COVID first started. The contest is an evolution of the ‘First Line Literary Contest’ that the library held in the past, but with an added horror component for the fall. 

This contest is an easy and fun way for the University Libraries to promote the creativity writing of our campus community,” said Rita Sausmikat, Manager of User Experience & Engagement for UL. “The Libraries appreciate good stories and we want to encourage the creation of stories on campus.” 

Sausmikat works to create, plan and manage engaging library programs and outreach activities, and this contest is a part of that. “The entries are incredibly imaginative, and I certainly have been spooked reading some of them,” she said.  

The voting for the Two-Sentence Story  by library staff and winners will be announced Monday, Oct. 24 via social media, ZipMail and UA Digest.  

All current students, faculty and staff members are eligible to participate. Multiple submissions are allowed, but only one prize will be awarded per person. 

First place winner will receive a $20 Target gift card, second place $15 to Target, and third place $10 to Starbucks. Any story that is not two sentences or exceeds 400 characters will be disqualified.  

Again, submissions close on Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022, at 11:59pm. The submission form can be found at  

Any questions regarding the contest can be directed to Rita Sausmikat at [email protected]. 

Stay tuned for a future Buchtelite posting featuring the top 25 stories.