Submit Your Short Story to the Summer Paranormal Writing Contest

Cult of Weird and the Milwaukee Paranormal Conference have joined forces to host a summer speculative fiction writing contest.
Milwaukee Paranormal Conference summer writing contest

You know what the longest, most grueling and excruciating day of the year means, right? Yes, it’s summer solstice, pagan rituals, and the launch of the speculative fiction writing contest hosted by Cult of Weird and the Milwaukee Paranormal Conference! We’ve teamed up to unearth the nightmares lurking in your twisted mind through the art of the short story. Before you start exorcising those demons, though, there are a few things you need to know.

The first place winner will receive a Milwaukee Paranormal Conference VIP Pass, a prize pack of cool stuff from conference vendors and sponsors (including Cult of Weird) and their story published in the conference program. Second and Third place winners will both receive Milwaukee Paranormal Conference 2-Day Super Passes, a prize pack, and will have their stories published on the Milwaukee Paranormal Conference website.

All three placing winners will be invited to read their stories at the Milwaukee Paranormal Conference on October 15-16 at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Student Union.

Ready to put your pen to paper and make our skin crawl?

Here are the contest rules:

  • The story needs to incorporate a paranormal theme somehow. Should fall somewhere in the realm of one of these genres: horror, science fiction, fantasy, mystery.
  • The story setting needs to be Wisconsin, but it does not need to be a contemporary setting.
  • The story should be no longer than 1500 words. You can submit previously published pieces if they fit the guidelines.
  • Deadline is September 1 at Midnight.
  • Submit stories as word docs to:
  • Winners will be announced on Sept 15th. Judging will be done by Cult of Weird, Furrow (a UWM literary organization and magazine) and creative writing staff from UW-Washington County.

So get out your quill and ink and start conjuring something mystifying.

For more Milwaukee Paranormal Conference news, guest speakers, schedule of events, tickets and more, go to

UPDATE: Listen to the top 5 stories right here.

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7 years ago

Is the contest one entry per person, or can we submit separate short stories?

Kerri Peek
Kerri Peek
7 years ago

Do I have to reside in Wisconsin to participate?