Rusty Fears 6: Announcing the winners!

Rusty Fears 6 has been our biggest writing competition ever, with more than double our previous highest number of entries. Understandably, this has meant it’s also been one of our most hotly anticipated competition announcements. However, the writers who submitted entries did not make our judging panel’s lives easy, with an incredible standard across the board.

Three shortlisting judges worked together to read all 700 stories across 6 categories. As the judges were doing their usual day-to-day jobs as well as the judging, they were given several weeks for this, to ensure they could give each story the time it deserves. Between them, they shortlisted about 10 stories for each of the categories. These were then passed to our lead judge, who after carefully reviewing the stories selected a winner and a runner-up for each category. This final shortlist was then looked over by Rusty Quill’s Head of Inclusion, Helen Gould, for a sensitivity check. Finally, we reached out to winners and runner ups to confirm their participation and understanding of the terms and rules of the competition.

We had asked writers across the world to send in their best, new original short horror stories, inspired by one of the following 6 prompts:

  1. Beach
  2. Window
  3. Birds
  4. Frozen
  5. Telescope
  6. Game Show

The judging panel this year consisted of:

  • Jess Anson
  • Callum Dougherty
  • Hattie Quinlan
  • Tom Park

With assistance from Helen Gould.

After much deliberation and discussion, the judges selected six talented winners.

CONGRATULATIONS are in order for:

  • Jubilee Finnegan for Hades Bay
  • Autumn Olson for Canned Lights
  • Sam Lazure for Hollow
  • Nicole Lark for Still Camp
  • Ian Martinez-Hay for The Telescope Game
  • James Thomasos for The Last One to Speak

These six stories will now undergo the Rusty Quill treatment, and will be professionally performed, produced, and released onto The Magnus Archives feed. We will announce the release date for these closer to the time.

Once all six stories have been released, we’ll share a public poll for the overall winner. Fans will get to choose their favourite story, with the overall prize being for one of these authors to write a statement that will be featured in The Magnus Protocol.

Honourable mentions:
  • CR Evans for Where Waves Break
  • Elizabeth Eggl for Encorp Incident Report
  • JC Lockhart for Agape
  • Dakota Meredith for Hypothermia
  • Sarah Howes for Just Look Up
  • I. Coutinho for The Formula for Human Life