Little Chills: Two Sentence Horror Story Contest


Throughout October, people of all ages were invited to write their best two-sentence horror stories and submit them for our contest. Primary and Intermediate-aged children were approached through the local elementary school. The top entries were chosen by Library staff and were read out loud at our Library Month Open House by our local radio host. The crowd at the Open House voted on the winners and prizes were given in the following categories: Best Kindergarten entry (each class entered one story - prize: cookies for the class from the local bakery) Best Primary entry - grades 1-3 (each primary student was encouraged to enter their own individual story, but they won a prize for their entire class - prize: same as Kindergarten) Best Intermediate entry - grades 4-7 (same entry style as primary - prize: pizza lunch for the class) Best Adult entry (ages 13+ - prizes: 1st: Chapters gift card, 1st, 2nd, 3rd: book of their choice from our giveaway cupboard)
Source Library

Program photos

Program promotional materials

Length of program session

30-60 minutes

Number of sessions


Primary Audience

Primary (Gr. K-3 or aged 5-8)
Intermediate (Gr. 4-7 or aged 9-12)

Secondary Audience

Senior Secondary (Gr. 11-12 or aged 17-18)

Community partners

Morfee Elementary, Kelly's Bakery, Canadian 2-for-1, CHMM (local radio station)

Funding (grants/foundations/corporations)

Classroom prizes were donated by Kelly's Bakery and Canadian 2-for-1

Budget for this program


Resources required (materials/supplies; food/refreshments, etc.)

We had food and entertainers at the Open House, but you could find a different way of presenting the entries and/or choosing the winners that would cost nothing to put on. - Prizes - Big sheets of paper to hang the top entries in the Library - Ballots (we numbered each story)

Highlights - what worked well?

We had a high participation rate from the Primary and Intermediate classes. Working with the teachers to encourage participation was very important. Hosting an event to read out the entries brought a lot more attention to the contest, and in turn the contest brought a lot more attention to our Open House. People really enjoyed being able to hear the stories and vote on their favourites. It would not have been nearly as successful if we had chosen the winners ourselves.

What were the goals/objectives of your program?

1) To encourage creative writing for fun by children and adults. 2) To continue to build our relationship with Morfee Elementary School. 3) To have a fun community event!

What would you change about this program?

Insist on the presenter using the microphone, even if they think they don't need it in a small library space. People get loud. - Don't include the Kindergarten category unless you have very dedicated K teachers. Only one class entered ours. - If including entertainers with the event, have a set schedule for when they'll play and when the stories will be read. Make that schedule public. - Make a copy of the stories and pre-post them around the Library, covered up. Reveal each category once the stories have been read out loud. We read from the sheets and then posted them, but it was difficult to get through the crowd. - Make a lot of ballots! More than you think you need. - Give examples of two-sentence horror stories. Adults especially seem to have a hard time with the concept. We had to explain it a lot.