Twisted Fate Essay Contest

“Twisted Fate” Halloween Short Story Contest

Follow the darkness… terrify us with your foul fables.
Enter below to win $250 and explore your twisted fate. Contest ends on October 30th.

The skies darken earlier with every passing night. The leaves are changing, and the cider is hot. Everywhere you look, fall is in full swing and it feels as if the very Fates themselves have come closer to our world to watch us mere mortals dance ourselves silly.

We here at Kismet know that, when it’s kismet, it’s fate. The stars themselves have aligned to create something beautiful and joyous in your life. We mortals couldn’t have helped make it happen even if we had known it was coming. But what happens when the stars have cast a fate for you that is terrible, even evil?

What does it look like when the universe itself seems to be intent on arranging unrelated events to cause malice instead of joy?

How does it feel when those jealous Fates turn their attention on you?

With Halloween just around the corner, we invite you to explore these themes with us.

Show us how dark kismet can really get with your short stories and win prizes!

Give us your monsters – figuratively and literally – in 500 words minimum, 7,500 words max. 

First prize is $250.00 cash, your story featured on our site, and two hours of publishing and/or development consultation with one of the partners here at Kismet Writing & Development. 

Second prize winners will also get your story featured on our site plus two hours of publishing and/or development consultation with one of the partners here at Kismet Writing & Development. 

Winners will be individually notified on 12 noon MT, October 31st,  2020 by email.

Anyone and everyone can vote. Share the contest with your friends and family through social media to increase your chances to win.  Voting is limited to three votes per email address per calendar day.

Follow the darkness…terrify us with your foul fables.

It’s Kismet.

Submission notes:

“Story featured image” Is for you to submit an image thumbnail to make your story more interesting.

When you submit, you’ll receive an email that will lack any paragraph spacing. Don’t be concerned, your story submission will retain your spacing once it’s posted.


Contest Rules:

The following rules & guidelines are subject to change without notice.

The Contest is sponsored by Kismet Writing & Development, located in Lakewood, Colorado.

“Twisted Fate” Contest (the Contest) is open to anyone not subject to the rules of ineligibility listed below. The contest is open to submissions from aspiring writers anywhere in the world. However, if the short story has been previously published in any form (including any self-publishing outlets), then it is ineligible for entry in the Contest. If the story is submitted and for some reason becomes ineligible for the contest (for example: the author signs a contract to publish the submission before the end of the contest period), then it is the author’s responsibility to notify Kismet Writing & Development of this change in eligibility. The contest is open to all ages. Employees of Kismet Writing & Development and other companies associated with the promotion of the Contest, and their respective parents, subsidiaries, affiliates and advertising and promotion agencies as well as the immediate family (spouse, parents, siblings, and children) and household members of each such employee are not eligible. 

The Contest is open to writers of all genres however each entry short story must be related to Halloween or of the horror or thriller genre.

No entry fee is required, and all rights to the story remain the property of the author. 

Participation in the Contest constitutes entrant’s full and unconditional agreement to and acceptance of these Official Rules and the decisions of the Sponsor, which are final and binding. Winning a prize is contingent upon being compliant with these Official Rules and fulfilling all other requirements set forth herein.

All entries must be original works by the entrant, in English. Plagiarism, which includes the use of third-party poetry, song lyrics, characters or another person’s universe, without written permission, will result in disqualification. 

Please keep graphic, gratuitous sex, violence, and crude language to a minimum. If your piece wins, certain words and or offensive language may be changed during the editing process at the moderator’s discretion. Excessive violence or sex, determined by the moderator, will result in disqualification. 

Entries must be unpublished at the time of submission and be the original work of the contestant. Unpublished includes not published on the internet, blog sites or other books, magazines and anthologies. Anything posted online or in print is considered to be published.

To be eligible, entries must be original short stories of 500 minimum to 7,500 maximum words in length. Word counts are determined solely by Microsoft Word exclusive of title. Standard manuscript form: Times New Roman, 12 point font, double spaced, pages numbered. Incorrect format disqualification is at moderators discretion.

The moderator role is filled by either of the two managing partners of Kismet Writing & Development. 

Moderators are eligible for voting and held to the same three vote limit as all other voters.

The Contest begins at the live launch and ends on October 30th, 2020 at 11:59 PM MT (the Contest Period). Entries that are submitted before or after the Contest Period will be disqualified. Submissions will be accepted for the duration of the Contest as described.

Entries must be submitted via the online contest form. Entries submitted any other way will be disqualified.

Each entrant may submit only one short story. 

All entries for the contest are final. No revisions are accepted.

Contestant eligibility depends upon at least one social media share.

All entry judging is done by public voting, entrants are allowed the same voting rights as the public,  on Limit three votes per participant. Contestants are also eligible to vote with the same three vote limitation.    

There shall be one cash First Place prize of $250 as well as the winning short story published on the  “Featured Authors” page on . First Place winner will also receive two hours of editorial/publishing consultation with a member of Kismet Writing & Development .

There shall be one Second Place prize of no cash and the second place story published on the  “Featured Authors” page on . Second Place winner will also receive two hours of editorial/publishing consultation with a member of Kismet Writing & Development .

Winners will be individually notified on 12 noon MT, October 31st,  2020 by email. The cash prize winner will be notified by email. The cash prize winner will be required to complete, electronically sign and submit a Declaration of Compliance within five (5) days of the date notice or attempted notice is sent, in order to claim his/her prize. If a potential winner cannot be contacted, or fails to submit the Declaration of Compliance within the required time period, or prize is returned as undeliverable, the potential winner forfeits the prize. If the potential winner is at least 18 but still considered a minor in his/her jurisdiction of residence, Sponsor reserves the right to award the prize in the name of his/her parent or legal guardian, who will be required to sign the Declaration of Compliance on the potential winners behalf and fulfill any other requirements imposed on winner set forth herein. Potential winners must continue to comply with all terms and conditions of these Official Rules, and winning is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements. In the event that a potential winner is disqualified for any reason, Sponsor will award the applicable prize to an alternate winner.

In the event that the operation, security, or administration of the Contest is impaired in any way for any reason, including, but not limited to fraud, virus, bug, worm, unauthorized human intervention or other technical problem, or in the event the Contest is unable to run as planned for any other reason, as determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion, the Sponsor may, in its sole discretion, either (a) suspend the Contest to address the impairment and then resume the Contest in a manner that best conforms to the spirit of these Official Rules or (b) terminate the Contest. The Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any individual it finds to be tampering with the entry process or the operation of the Contest or to be acting in violation of these Official Rules or in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner. Any attempt by any person to damage the website or undermine the legitimate operation of the Contest may be a violation of criminal and civil law, and, should such an attempt be made, the Sponsor reserves the right to seek damages (including attorneys fees) and any other remedies from any such person to the fullest extent permitted by law. Failure by the Sponsor to enforce any provision of these Official Rules shall not constitute a waiver of that provision.

By participating in the Contest, entrants agree to release and hold harmless the Sponsor, and each of their respective parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, advertising and promotion agencies, other companies associated with the Contest, and each of their respective officers, directors, employees, shareholders, representatives, and agents (the Released Parties) from and against any claim or cause of action arising out of participation in the Contest or receipt or use of the prize (including any travel or activity related thereto), including, but not limited to: (a) any technical errors associated with the Contest, including lost, interrupted or unavailable Internet Service Provider (ISP), network, server, wireless service provider, or other connections, availability or accessibility or miscommunications or failed computer, satellite, telephone, cellular tower or cable transmissions, lines, or technical failure or jumbled, scrambled, delayed, or misdirected transmissions or computer hardware or software malfunctions, failures or difficulties; (b) unauthorized human intervention in the Contest; (c) mechanical, network, electronic, computer, human, printing or typographical errors; (d)application downloads, (e) any other errors or problems in connection with the Contest, including, without limitation, errors that may occur in the administration of the Contest, the announcement of the winner, the cancellation or postponement of the event and/or the flyover, if applicable, the incorrect downloading of the application the processing of entries application downloads or in any Contest-related materials; or (f) injury, death, losses or damages of any kind, to persons or property which may be caused, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, from entrants participation in the Contest or acceptance, receipt or misuse of the prize (including any travel or activity related thereto). Entrant further agrees that in any cause of action, the Released Parties liability will be limited to the cost of entering and participating in the Contest, and in no event shall the entrant be entitled to receive attorneys fees. Released Parties are also not responsible for any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by site users, tampering, hacking, or by any equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the Contest. Entrant waives the right to claim any damages whatsoever, including, but not limited to, punitive, consequential, direct, or indirect damages.

Except where prohibited, each entrant agrees that any and all disputes, claims and causes of action arising out of, or connected with, the Contest or any prize awarded shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action, and exclusively by the appropriate court located in Connecticut. All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules, entrants rights and obligations, or the rights and obligations of the Sponsor in connection with the Contest, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of Connecticut, without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules, which would cause the application of the laws of any jurisdiction other than Connecticut.

Information collected from entrants is subject to sponsors’ privacy policy.

The Contest is void where prohibited by law. The Contest is subject to federal, state, and local laws and regulations.


Contest Ended

First Class Male

Clara looked out her window and gazed longingly at the twinkling stars above the bare trees in her yard. Sheets of wind swept the colorful leaves across the street in a rhythmic pattern to the rise and fall of her chest. Read the rest

“The circus is coming! The circus is coming!” Trinity screamed as she ran enthusiastically down the sidewalk after seeing the flyer for the traveling circus this Saturday and Sunday. Trinity knew that the circus meant she was going to be able to see her favorite thing in the world…clowns. Read the rest

“Michael, can I have my pen back?” the lady politely asked, her hand outstretched. Her pointed, polished nails blood-red against her pale skin.

The room paused. The air-con was cool in here and, if you really listened, you could hear it breathing through the hidden ceiling fans like some ethereal vent from another, cooler dimension. Read the rest

Dark Renaissance
By Greg Patrick
Year of Our Lord 1460

“I’m hunger. I’m thirst. Where I bite, I hold till I die, and even after death they must cut out my mouthful from my enemy’s body and bury it with me. Read the rest

The crimson blood drenched walls seemed to be breathing, almost gasping at the cruelty that they were witnessing. The stench of blood and urine was overwhelming, when she closed her eyes; his unforgiving voice resonated within her head. He lurked within the darkness behind her eyes. Read the rest

73 Votes

To my dear Reverend,
I know your search for your missing daughter consumes you and your parish. Though I know this letter will not bring you any comfort, however it can at least end that search.

I have taken her with me and I will not be bringing her back. Read the rest

I think I should tell this story the way I remember experiencing it. I’m not a religious person, despite my fundamentalist upbringing. I fell away from the faith long ago, but I believe in evil. You can’t understand a person till you’ve walked a mile in their shoes. Read the rest

53 Votes
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