2023 Youth Scary Story Contest

Now that October is here, it’s time for Kenosha Public Library’s annual Youth Scary Story Contest.  If you’re in grades 3 through 12, you could win a gift card - just write us a story that uses our theme and scares our pants off!

This year’s theme…


Conjure up the most terrifying story you can imagine featuring some kind of scary toy - whether it’s a creepy porcelain doll, a haunted video game, a bloodthirsty teddy bear, or something else entirely. Maybe you want to write about a jump-rope that tries to wrap people up like a boa constrictor, or a jigsaw puzzle that shows a picture of a crime when you finish putting it together.  Use your imagination 

Looking for inspiration?  Check out our list of books and movies featuring scary toys, or try out this scary toy story generator!

How does this work?

  1. Be a kid or teen between grades 3-12.
  2. Write an original story about scary toys.
  3. Submit your story at any Kenosha Public Library location, including the Bookmobile, or enter online.
  4. We’ll judge the entries and choose the scariest stories!

What are the rules?

  1. Your story should be about 500 words long.  We'd prefer a typed story, but we will accept handwritten stories.
  2. The theme for this year's story is SCARY TOYS. Your story must incorporate some kind of scary toy.
  3. Your story must be your own original work, including the text, characters, and settings you use.  Please, no fanfiction!
  4. Your story must use language that is library appropriate.

Stories that do not follow these rules will be disqualified.

What can I win?

Winners will receive a gift card. If chosen, you must be able to pick up your prize at one of our library branches.  Winning stories will also be published on the Kenosha Public Library website for all to read.

What else do I need to know?

  • All entries must be received by 9:00 pm on Monday, October 31st.
  • Entries will be judged on originality, creativity, quality of writing, adherence to contest rules, and scariness! Judges' decisions are final.
  • Entries will not be returned. Please make a copy of your spooky story before turning it in.
  • Entries may be turned in at any branch of the library, including the Bookmobile, or virtually using this form.

If you have questions, or you run into trouble uploading your entry, please email amyraeweaver@mykpl.info.  

We’ll be looking forward to the terrifying tales you cook up!