Fear is one of the most powerful emotions we experience. Join us through the month of October for Scarefest, a series of three mysterious weekly challenges to set your hair on end! 

IF you missed registration, don't worry! Try the challenges anyway; submit your story before the deadline and if they have time, our judges will review your work. 

Scarefest Events begin on the cusp of Saturdays and end on the cusp of Tuesdays, UTC. Feedback is free, optional, and will be released in November. Find the Scarefest Rules below.


Scarefest Winners

Event 1: Stranger

3rd Place: 

2nd Place: 

1st Place: 

Event 2: Transformed

3rd Place: 

2nd Place: 

1st Place: 

Event 3: TBD

3rd Place: 

2nd Place: 

1st Place: 

Second Challenge: Transformed

For this Event, a mysterious new food causes a gruesome transformation.  

Core Concepts: pacing; show, don't tell

500-5,000 words

Deadline: the cusp of October 26


Countdown Clock

Join us in chat on Saturday at 2pm UTC for a

Monster Workshop!

Submissions information here!


Title Information: 

Name and email

Entry Title

Event Name

Word Count

Fans of The Writer's Games will recognize some aspects of this competition, as well as some small changes. Let us know how it compares to our six-week, bi-annual competition!

Scarefest Rules

Scarefest is a free competition for all writers around the world.

To meet federal licensing regulations, we cannot accept religious or political entries. The judges will not review entries containing erotica or pandemic themes.

1. Registration is required in advance for participation. Registration will remain open until all available spaces are filled. 

a. Events will be available via the Scarefest (this) page, social media, and emailed by request.

2. Entries must be written during the open Event time period and submitted to the judges before the deadline. Events will last 72 hours unless otherwise stated. Events occur in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).

a. Entries must be submitted by email to or Dropbox before the Event deadline.

i. You may send your entry as an attachment or upload it to our Dropbox using the button on the Scarefest (this) page. Accepted formats include: .doc, .docx, .odt. Links to Google Docs also accepted (please see Submissions information).

ii. Late entries will not be accepted except under special, predetermined circumstances. 

iii. Entries with a timestamp marked before the deadline are accepted. 

iv. Entries are exclusive to Scarefest for the duration of the competition. Participants are required to keep entries private until the final winner announcement to protect author anonymity. The Writer's Workout does not maintain rights to submissions.

b. Entries must be formatted using the submissions guidelines here. Entries must include appropriate Title Information. 

i. Failure to include proper Title Information for Scarefest entries will result in entry disqualification.

1. Title Information will include the following in this order, aligned top left in the body of the document:

Name and email

Entry Title

Event Name

Word Count

ii. Entries which are not formatted as specified in the submissions guidelines here will result in minor point loss. 

c. One entry per Event per person. Writers may resubmit until the deadline.

i. The Writer's Workout will accept the last entry received prior to the deadline.

d. Entries must be in English, complete stories, and original works of fiction. 

3. Exceptions will be discussed privately with judges.


4. Poetry is acceptable for all Events provided Event guidelines are met. Failure to meet guidelines, whether poetry or prose, will result in entry disqualification.


5. Entries are scored separately by each judge. The entry's Event Score is the average of all individual judges for that entry. The participant's Overall Score is the sum of their Event Scores. Winner announcements occur at the end of the competition in November.

a. No person outside the judgement team may have access to the score sheet or numerical scores under any circumstances.

b. Entries will qualify by adherence to the challenge. Entries will be scored by utilization of the Core Concepts and overall quality.


6. In the event of a points tie for first place, there will be a Death Match. Rules for the Death Match and judgement thereof will be made public where applicable.

7. Any individual in violation of rules 7.c.-f. will be disqualified from Scarefest and will be ineligible to compete in further Writer's Workout activities for the year unless otherwise stated. Entry disqualification does not disqualify a participant from further participation in the competition.

a. Appeals to entry disqualification for concept requirements may be made at any time following the release of Event feedback. To appeal your entry disqualification, please email with your request and appeal.

i. Entry disqualification due to missing or incorrect Title Information cannot be appealed.

b. Persons in violation of rules 7.c-f. will receive an explanation of disqualification via the email address used at registration. If you are unclear on the ruling after having read the explanation, you may request an appeal. Entry disqualification is released via Event feedback and does not prohibit further participation in the portion.

c. No Cheating.

i. Do not submit work that was not written by you alone during the 72-hour time period for that Event.

ii. Do not submit work that you alone did not create, including characters or situations from the Event announcement.

iii. Do not submit work created with discussion or help from outside sources. This competition is designed to test what you alone can achieve given a singular challenge and deadline.

iv. The judges reserve the right to perform random plagiarism checks without cause or notice.

d. No Spamming. Any person found spamming The Writer's Workout, disrespecting others, or otherwise behaving in a generally distasteful manner will be removed for the year.

e. No Harassment. There will be no harassment of any kind. Any participant found harassing or bullying others will be disqualified for the year and permanently banned from the Writer's Workout community.

f. No fanfiction of any kind, including the genre known as Real Person Fiction (RPF), is not permitted for any Event.

8. Scarefest is an individual competition; entries must be completed solely by the registered writer alone. Teaming up with another individual will result in disqualification for the calendar year. Editors, beta readers, test groups, etc, during any phase of the writing process before submission are not permitted for any reason.

Tip: Try each Event. The goal of all Writer's Workout challenges is to help you improve and expand your own personal writing range. This is a fun, fast-paced competition created to push writers toward quick improvement. The Scarefest Events are designed to be utilized with horror, thriller, or mystery genres, but most genres are accepted. If you don't try, you'll never know what you alone can do.