Chilling time-travel hook wins’s scary sci-fi writing contest

After nearly 5,000 submissions for’s 2022 Haunting Hooks Scary Story Opener Writing Contest, online voters have selected Frederick Barstow of Bridgton, ME, as the winning entrant. From the land of Stephen King, read on for Frederick’s chilling time-travel hook: 

Time travel is a complicated business, especially when it comes to correcting the timeline. Anomalies occur throughout history, “glitches” that would otherwise keep events from proceeding as they have been ordained. For example, some people simply refuse to die when they’re supposed to. That’s where I come in. notes that Frederick’s winning entry “immediately creates vulnerability, making the reader feel as if they’re going to spend the rest of the story on the run from an inescapable fate, even though—and perhaps especially because—they’ll be experiencing the action from the perspective of the agent of that fate. Yes, we feel the dread. And yes, we feel the need to read more.”

Writers had to submit their scary sci-fi story in 50 words or less, and with more than double the entries of last year, the competition was stiff. The contest celebrates’s mission to inspire creativity in a world powered by words. Other finalists and honorable mentions focused on AI, technological advances, and the apocalypse. 

Top Haunting Hooks Scary Stories can be found here.

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