SUSAN HILL -- author of The Woman in Black (among many things) -- is judging The Daily Telegraph ghost story competition. The winner will have his or her story published and illustrated in The Daily Telegraph Saturday Review, and will receive a unique specially bound copy of The Small Hand by Susan Hill.
Closing date: November 20th
Word Count 2,000 words or fewer.
Email or postal entries are accepted - click on the title of this post for more details.
Last week I set one of my classes the task of reading Edgar Allen Poe's classic story The Tell-Tale Heart. For homework they had to come up with a contemporary version of the story and the opening paragraph. A lot of strong, interesting ideas came out of the exercise - there wasn't a dud among them - but it was the ones set in the most ordinary surroundings that made the hair on the back of the next stand to attention.
Here's a trailer for my all time favourite film ghost story. Written and directed by Guillermo del Toro (who went on to make Pan's Labyrinth and is currently filming The Hobbit), The Devil's Backbone is set at the end of the Spanish Civil War when the fascists have won and the living are more scary than the dead. Watch it and be inspired and very, very scared...(Warning: the trailer has none of the poetry of the film or its subtlety. It's a taster in the same way as a fish finger is a taster for line caught plaice...)