Welcome to the Lake County Library System located in Lake County, Florida. Your gateway to a world of information

Welcome to the Lake County Library System located in Lake County, Florida. Your gateway to a world of information

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Southern Gothic Writing Contest

Sponsored by Writers One Flight Up, W.T. Bland Public Library and the Mount Dora Library Association.

What is Southern Gothic?

We want you to embrace the Southern Gothic genre.

Set your short stories in settings of moral decay—declining old towns; ruined, once-grand plantations; abandoned, hidden Southern homes; rural communities with carefully hidden secrets.

Develop complex characters who must deal with the issues of honor, prejudice, betrayal, integrity, hypocrisy, and moral decay as a result of years of slavery and its aftermath as well as a South no longer protected by its virtuous, graceful ante-bellum mythic status.

Concentrate on plots or images that reflect the South’s moral shortcomings and the gradual decline of its social order. Your characters should be larger than life—perhaps innocent, insane, or obsessive: defenders of a lost cause or believers in past Southern ideology—but unmistakably Southern Gothic.

Award Ceremony and Readings

Award finalists will read their works at Award Ceremony on Saturday, March 11, 2017 starting at 1:00 PM.

First place: $50

Second place: $30

Third place: $20 and honorable mention(s)

The public is welcome at this event to be held at W.T. Bland Public Library, which does not require registration. Immediately following the Award Ceremony, attendees are welcome to continue the celebration in downtown Mount Dora at One Flight Up, with food and drinks dutch treat and Entertainment provided by Rod Billette.

Contest Rules and Guidelines


  • Must be submitted by and the work of adults age 18 and over.
  • Must be original, unpublished works only.
  • Must have a separate cover sheet which includes the story title, author’s name, mailing address, phone number and email address.
  • Must include title and page numbers only on the story; do not include the author’s name or identifying information.
  • Must be electronic submissions only.
  • Must be in a Word document, typed in12 point Times New Roman and double spaced.
  • Must have no illustrations or photos.

One submission per entrant shall be accepted.

All entries must adhere to the Southern Gothic contest theme. Entries on other themes shall be disqualified.

Short stories shall not be more than 2500 words.

Failure to follow the contest guidelines will result in your work not being considered. Please read and re-read the directions carefully.

Submissions shall be emailed to: wofuentry@writersoneflightup.com