Congratulations to Nicole J. Simms, who is the winner of our 50-word Halloween story competition. Her entry, inspired by Elizabeth’s spooky photograph of the gravestones at Whitby Abbey, is reproduced at the close of this post. Her magnificent cheque will be in the post to her shortly.

Choosing this story was a lesson in how subjective such exercises are and we eventually had to resort to creating a spreadsheet, with scores, to select Meeting the Parents from a strong field. We loved so many of the other entries that we felt we must also mention six commended writers, in alphabetical order: Patsy Collins, Em, Alva Holland, Kathy Schilback, Mandy Shearing and Katherine Slater.

Meeting the Parents by Nicole J. Simms

‘Is this a joke?’ Sarah studied the gravestones before her.

‘No, we’re here.’ Tom grinned. ‘My folks will love you.’

‘Where are they?’

‘Behind you.’

Slowly, Sarah turned. She shrieked and jumped back.

‘Mum…Dad, this is Sarah.’ Tom’s parents stumbled towards them, arms outstretched. ‘Please don’t eat this one.’


We especially liked the macabre humour, though we’ll not be walking alone through a graveyard any time soon.

Our thanks to all who took part. Hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. We were tempted to make the commended list twice as long. What imaginations some of you have! Don’t have nightmares, guys…