A Writing Competition

Do you have a spooky story to tell?

We are looking for some terrifying tales to include in our next exhibition To be Read at Dusk: Dickens, Ghosts and the Supernatural. Whether you’ve experienced something supernatural or love telling ghosts stories, we want to hear from you!

When Dickens was a child his nursemaid told him scary stories and we want to recreate this experience in the nursery of Dickens’s former home, 48 Doughty Street. Extracts from three winning stories will be used in the exhibition to entertain and send shivers down visitors’ spines.

Stories should be no more than 500 words long. You can submit your story by following this link.


Top tips:

  • Ghost stories should be atmospheric, think about focusing on the senses (what your characters can see, hear, smell, taste, feel) to add detail.

  • Not all of Dickens’s ghosts were scary! Perhaps your story features friendly ghosts, ghosts from different cultures, clumsy spirits, or even ghoulish animals.

  • 500 words is not very much! Focus on creating a few paragraphs that really stand out, don’t try to construct an entire plot.

The deadline to enter the competition is Friday 2nd September 2022 at 12 noon BST, and the winners will be announced on 9th September 2022.

The stories will be shortlisted by the Charles Dickens Museum curatorial team, and the top 10 entries will be judged by the great-great grandson of Charles Dickens, Ian Dickens, actor and Dickens performer James Swanton, and the museum director Cindy Sughrue. 

Extracts of three stories will feature in the temporary exhibition To be Read at Dusk: Dickens, Ghosts and the Supernatural, which runs from 5th October 2022 – 5th March 2023. Winners will receive a complimentary family ticket to the museum and exhibition.

  1. To enter the competition, you need to give us your email address, contact number and your postal address.
  2. We promise not to use your private details, except to contact you about this competition.
  3. The deadline to enter the competition is 12 noon BST on Friday 2nd September 2022. We won’t be able to accept any entries after that.
  4. We reserve the right to use your story, or parts of it, on our website or social media platforms. We may put your first name with this, but we will not tag you, or provide any of your contact information.
  5. We won’t be able to give you any feedback on your story, nor will we be able to provide a reference for you.
  6. The judges are not obliged to share their reasons for deciding on the winners.
  7. By entering, winners of the competition agree to have an extract of their story featured in the exhibition. The curatorial team will decide the passage that is used. 


Write a response

Please note: responses are reviewed before they are published.

Continue shopping
Your Order

You have no items in your basket