Rusty Fears 5: Element of Fear

Rusty Fears 5: element of fear

Would you like to hear YOUR words on The Magnus Archives feed?

That’s right folks, it’s already time for Rusty Fears 5: a landmark entry in this successful writing competition by Rusty Quill.

You know the drill by now: we are again looking for the best, new, original short stories in the horror genre. This time we will be selecting five winners who will have their pieces read, produced, and broadcast by us later this year on Rusty Quill’s feed for The Magnus Archives!

We are hoping to see even more amazing pieces come from the darkest depths of our listeners’ imaginations. With it being the momentous fifth competition, there are five fearsome prompts for writers to choose from:

  1. It Came from Below
  2. Hooked
  3. Out of Place
  4. High Stakes
  5. Spark of Life

How you choose to interpret these themes is up to you, but we’ll be on the lookout particularly for original takes and/or explorations of tropes that might be less well-known in traditional Western media.

Links to previous winners can be found below, beneath the Terms & Conditions.

This time round we’ll see five winners crowned, with each having their original horror short story produced and read out by members of the RQ Crew (depending on availability) as part of the ongoing post-Magnus season 5 bonus material. Full details and terms are provided below, but you have until Sunday 8th August to get your creative pieces to us. A judging panel will then choose five lucky pieces to undergo the RQ treatment and be released in the main #MagnusPod feed. So, pick up those quills, no matter how rusty…

Is your story ready? Send it to us using this entry form.

FEARS 5 an RQ Horror Writing competition
Terms & Conditions

  • Competition opens at 1pm BST on Monday 19th July 2021.
  • Competition closes at 9pm BST on Sunday 8th August 2021.
  • Submissions should be made via this entry submission form with all relevant fields filled in. If you have any issues using the form, please email
  • Any questions regarding the competition should be emailed to
  • There will be 5 (FIVE) winning entries, and the prize for each winning entry is to have the winning short story recorded, produced, and broadcast by Rusty Quill Ltd.
  • Entries should be an original short story in the horror genre, with a word count between 1,000 and 2,500 words (not including title).
  • Entries should incorporate one of the contest themes, either It Came from Below, Hooked, Out of Place, High Stakes or Spark of Life.
  • Entries must be written in English (or English dialect).
  • You may use first, second or third-person perspective for the piece.
  • Entries submitted must not have been accepted for publication or recording elsewhere at the time of submission.
  • We are looking for stories NOT statements. Please do NOT submit stories set in the Magnus-verse or use #MagnusPod characters/events/IP in your submission.
  • Entries should be in prose NOT script format, nor should it read like a statement that would be used in The Magnus Archives.
  • Entries should be submitted in GoogleDocs format or via a similarly accessible link (e.g. link to a pdf in GDrive). Ideally, entries should be PDFs or google docs, with 1.5 line spacing. We recommend using a simple font (such as Calibri or Times New Roman) rather than one that may be difficult to read. However, these are just recommendations: we will not penalise an entry that is formatted or submitted differently, as long the text is legible and accessible to our judges.
  • If a submitted link is inaccessible to the judging team, the entry will be deemed invalid
  • No more than 1 (ONE) entry per person; collaborations are permitted but will not allow for those writers to submit individual entries as well.
  • Entries should abide by the standards as presented in The Magnus Archives, and avoid lazy & inappropriate horror tropes such as (but not limited to) queer-coded ‘evil’, sexual trauma and mental illness stigmatisation.
  • The winning entries may undergo script editing before transmission.
  • The winning entry will be read/voice acted by members of the Rusty Quill Crew and the episodes will be broadcast publicly in due course after the series end of The Magnus Archives, and no later than January 2022.
  • Whilst copyright in the winning entries remains vested with the respective writers, the writers agree to freely licence the work and any adaptation thereof to Rusty Quill Ltd, who may use it as they see fit with appropriate credit given where due.
  • This competition is not open to employees of Rusty Quill Ltd or their relatives.
  • In the unlikely event that we do not receive any entries that meet our standards, Rusty Quill reserves the right to decline to name & produce any winning entries.
  • The judges’ decision is final and no communication with writers about non-winning entries can be entered into
  • Due to the number of entries we received, we cannot offer individual feedback on entries.

Rusty Fears 4 winners:

Rusty Fears 3 winners:

Rusty Fears 2 winner:

Rusty Fears 1 winners:

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