Hannah Kate

poet, short story writer and editor based in Manchester

3 Minute Scares

3 Minute Scares is back for its third terrifying year!

Can you tell a scary story in just 3 minutes? Want to win a fantastic prize from Breakout, Manchester’s real-life escape room game? This Halloween, I’m once again looking for the spookiest flash fiction in Greater Manchester for a competition on Hannah’s Bookshelf (my weekly radio show on North Manchester FM).

The best 5 entries will be played on this year’s Halloween episode of Hannah’s Bookshelf (on Saturday 27th October), with the winner receiving a fantastic prize from Breakout Manchester and the title of Greater Manchester’s Spookiest Wordsmith.

3 Minute Scares will be judged by the Halloween-tastic Dr Sorcha Ní Fhlaínn and Dr Xavier Aldana Reyes of MMU’s Centre for Gothic Studies.

To enter the competition, all you need is a microphone and a story. Once you’re ready to go, just hit the ‘Start Recording’ button below to begin recording your story. When you’re happy with it, submit your entry, but you can re-record it before you submit. If you have any problems, questions or additional access requirements, please get in touch via the contact form.

The deadline for entries this year is midnight on Monday 15th October 2018.

This is a creative writing competition, so we’re looking for style, originality and – above all – spookiness. Don’t be tempted to jump scare us – entries that consist of bangs, weird noises and mutterings aren’t likely to make it to the shortlist! A well-crafted piece of flash fiction is what’s needed to win the grand prize.


Terms and conditions:

1. Entries must be in English and be a maximum of 3 minutes long.
2. Multiple entries are permitted.
3. Entrants must live in one of the ten boroughs of Greater Manchester (Manchester, Salford, Oldham, Rochdale, Bury, Bolton, Wigan, Tameside, Trafford, Stockport).
4. By entering the competition, you give permission for your recording to be played on the Halloween Special of Hannah’s Bookshelf on Saturday 27th October. No other performance or publication rights are requested.
5. After the broadcast, a recording will be made available on Mixcloud. Winners will be contacted separately for permission to include their story in this recording.
6. The prize is a voucher for a free game at Breakout Manchester (2-5 players). The winner will be contacted to make arrangements to redeem the voucher and book a game and date of their choosing.

3 Minute Scares Winners 2017:
3rd Place: Benjamin Cassidy
2nd Place: Ian Peek
1st Place – Greater Manchester’s Spookiest Wordsmith: Fiona Cullen

3 Minute Scares Winners 2016:
3rd Place: Fiona Cullen
2nd Place: Bridie Breen
1st Place – Greater Manchester’s Spookiest Wordsmith: Ian Peek