Can you write a Christmas Ghost or Horror Story?



'Twisted 50: The Ghosts of Christmas’ is a collection of winter spine tinglers, fifty stories of the paranormal, fifty writers… fifty slices of terror...


This special volume will be published on December 16th, just in time for that extra special gift this season…


Can you write a short Twisted tale in 1,000 words or less? The fifty best stories will be published in both paperback and online.

We all love a good Christmas ghost story or horror movie. If Hammer House of Horror, Tales of the Unexpected and Pans Books of Horror set your pulse racing and mind spinning as a youngster, then writing a short story, set at Christmas, offers the darkest recesses of your mind, a deliciously macabre feast in which to express itself.

You know you shouldn’t let it out, but you know you want to.  


Interested…? Let’s dig a little deeper into this paranormal, wicked and dank shallow grave…

We want you to get under our skin, to pull, writhing, screeching and gnarling into a 21st century Christmas setting, everything we loved about those books and TV shows.


Together we will create a modern masterpiece of horror, inspired by what terrified us all as kids. Think 'Pulp Fiction', only for horror literature.  


There is no minimum word count, so if you can disturb us in fewer words, perhaps even fifty words, then DO IT. We urge you to experiment and connect with your dark side and to write what scares or maybe even excites you…

‘Twisted has been an excellent bit of innovation and terrific value for money. I can't remember the last time I so immersed myself in writing - this last weekend was worth every penny, regardless of what happens next. A big thank you to you and your team for making it happen.'
Chris Stanley,
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Why Now? Crazy deadlines...


We are choosing to run this initiative now to get us all writing, exorcising the horrors of the past year, and to help raise funds for the London Screenwriters Festival that has been hit hard by Covid.


Getting selected for inclusion will mean you are a published author AND you can give that extra special gift to someone you either really love, or really hate, this Christmas.All that said, let's not have any Covid-19 stories in the book, but we CAN reflect those experiences by writing about more imaginative lockdowns or pandemics.


Twisted50 is already a success!

Twisted50 volume 1 was released for Halloween 2016 and within four days had toppled Stephen King from the top spot in Horror, becoming an Amazon Best Seller.


Twisted50 volume one also gave us the opportunity to publish an accompanying volume, ‘Twisted’s Evil Little Sister’ which featured all the stories the judges loved but could not fit into the fifty stories format of Twisted 50.


Twisted50 volume 2 was just as successful, and now this Christmas Special edition is your opportunity to join the demented family.


Notes for Writers


Don't get lost in the woods waiting for the BEST story... start writing now. Writers write.

  • No stories about Lockdown or Covid please. You can feature lockdowns and pandemics, just not Covid. That said, it’s already a tired trope so we suggest avoiding.
  • It’s not just ghost stories we are considering, yes their could be a rabid Rudolph, axe wielding Santa… but let’s lean toward ‘believable’ and not too far into hardcore fantasy worlds.
  • Think about your prose, it is YOUR personal style, and it can make all the difference between your story being outstanding or boring.
  • Do feel free to redraft, rewrite and polish after you receive feedback from your peers. We encourage feedback and reading via the Facebook community HERE. Please note there is no formal procedure for feedback.
  • Please give your story an original title, do not call it 'Twisted'.
  • Submit at least two stories. The one you think is a great spooky tale, and the one that scares you to write. We learned in past books that most writers have a ‘second’ and more personal story that is usually better.
  • Don’t feel obligated to have a big story arc, we are also interested in all kinds of stories, even portraits of a ghost.
  • The world should be ‘today’, so no Victorian Gothic stories or Sci-Fi creatures in space please. Your ghosts, creatures and monsters need to exist in our world and environment. The time is Christmas.
  • Stories must NOT exceed 1,000 words.
  • There is no minimum word count.
  • Anyone can enter from all around the world, though stories must be submitted in English.
  • You can submit as many stories as you wish.
  • Once submitted there will be no opportunity to redraft.


About The Rights You Will Give Us


If your story is selected in the final fifty, you will be expected to sign an agreement that gives us the right to publish your work.


This will be an industry standard agreement. You will retain copyright in your idea should you wish to expand it or develop it for another platform. We only need the rights to publish in a book. You can continue to do anything you want with your story, we won’t get in the way of you making the most of your ideas, work and talent. In fact, we will help publicise any success you have with it.


'Being part of the like minded community helped me push even harder towards achieving excellence in my own writing, but just as importantly allows me to contribute towards helping others do the same for themselves, so we all share in a combined excellence'.
Dee Chilton,

What do you need to do?


Make sure you have read the rules. Write your story submit it (ideally do two or three redrafts AND ask for feedback and offer feedback too – all via the Facebook Page).


This is YOUR creation and YOUR career that you are advancing.


And if you want to submit more than one story, go ahead. Just remember - we are seeking outstanding work.



  1. You can enter an unlimited amount of stories.
  2. The submission fee is £10 or a donation if times are tight for you.
  3. Anyone can enter, from any country, though stories must be written in English.
  4. Stories must not exceed 1,000 words with no exceptions. There is no minimum word count.
  5. All stories must include a title page with the name of the story and author. Please do not add your contact details on this page.
  6. All stories must be submitted in the following format: 12-point Times New Roman, and double space text.
  7. All stories must be submitted in Microsoft Word or basic RTF format (Rich Text Format). No other word processor files will be accepted. Note that most word processors will allow you to save your file in Rich Text Format if you do not have MS Word.
  8. Please name your file with the title, draft number and your name - example My-Script-Draft-2-By-Jane-Jones.doc or My-Script-Draft-2-By-Jane-Jones.rtf
  9. You must supply a short bio and headshot along with your submission.
  10. If you are using a Pen Name, please submit under that name to help avoid confusion.
  11. The deadline for submissions is December 6th 2020.
  12. If your story is selected as a finalist you will be expected to assign non exclusive rights to us so that we can publish the book. If you do not assign these rights, your story will not be part of the final book.
  13. Judging is final.
  14. We may choose to select fewer than 50 stories for the final book. 
  15. You MUST be the author of the story. All stories must be original works.
  16. We reserve the right to disqualify any writer from this process at any stage if they are in violation of these rules and guidelines.
  17. These rules may be updated and amended as the project evolves. We do this so we can remain flexible to take advantage of the best opportunities the project offers.


We have a Facebook page for this initiative with nearly 1,000 writers HERE. It's where we want writers will come together for peer reviews of their stories ahead of the deadline. Join the page now at