Tell A Tale — Gothic Fiction

Tell A Tale — Gothic Fiction

Tell A Tale — Gothic Fiction

Robert Louis Stevenson is remembered as a master of suspense, creating twisted tales with dark atmospheres of mystery and horror. Stevenson’s gothic novel The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde has remained so influential and deeply rooted in the public’s imagination that there is perhaps no greater symbol of a person split between the forces of good and evil.

Stevenson wrote the novel after a ‘strange condition of collapse’, in which he claimed he wasn’t his own man even afterwards. British Library curator Greg Buzwell says "Jekyll and Hyde explores the theme of the human mind and body changing and developing, mutating, corrupting and decaying, and all do so in response to the evolutionary, social and medical theories that were emerging at the time".

Since its early beginnings, gothic fiction has been allowing writers to explore contemporary fears, now we’re asking you to do the same. Think about the things people fear today — the rise of technology, the use of social media, terrorism, surveillance and privacy, climate change. We could keep going, but we'll leave that up to you. 


We want your terrifying tales!
We want you to write a 500-word tale of terror using the following quotation from the play's script as inspiration:

 “It might be possible, of course, that far from being one, we may possess two selves.”

Following in the gothic tradition, think about the fears we have today and how they could be expressed in a dark but fun and emotional tale.  Your tale should grip the reader in the way that gothic novels of the late 19th century captured the imaginations of their Victorian readers.  There should be an intellectual thread running through the story.

 

Elements of gothic fiction you could consider include

  • Melodrama and sensationalism
  • An element of the supernatural
  • Intense or heightened emotion
  • Significant focus on setting

Awards
Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is touring theatres across the UK from February - May 2018. Everybody that takes part in this project will receive a £10 ticket offer on up to two tickets to see Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde at their nearest theatre. View the full tour schedule here

At each city or town, Theatre Cloud and our network of theatres will select two tales to send to the cast of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. An actor will then choose their favourite tale and perform a filmed reading at the theatre. Each reading will be available to watch online and makes it onto the shortlist.

In the final week of the tour, the Tell A Tale judges will review the shortlisted tales and decide which one comes top and receives an award of £300.  Other awards include Jekyll and Hyde posters signed by Phil Daniels and family tickets to Dracula in Autumn 2018. 

Judges
Greg Buzwell, Curator of Contemporary Literary Archives at the British Library. Co-curator of Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination
Dr Monica Germana, Senior Lecturer in English Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Westminster. Teaches Writing London, a module which introduces the fundamental principles of short-story writing, such as setting, character, plot and structure. Research focuses on contemporary fiction, the Gothic and popular culture.
Dr Xavier Aldana Reyes, Senior Lecturer in English Literature and Film at Manchester Metropolotian University, founding member of the Manchester Centre for Gothic Studies at Manchester Met. Co-organising International Gothic Association 2018.

Get Involved

Register to TheatreCloud.com and add your submission

Deadline: Saturday 21 April 2018

Rules

1. Entry to this project is free and open to persons of all ages who reside in the UK.

2. Your story must be your own original work and must be unpublished at the time of entry. We accept no responsibility should entrants ignore these Terms & Conditions. Short stories should be fictional and must be no longer than 500 words in length.

3. Submit your story by registering to theatecloud and uploading your work via the online form. Unfortunately, we are unable to accept submissions by other methods. All submissions will be published here on the project page.

4. Submissions will be judged on how closely they fit the gothic tradition and the inspirational quotation.

5. Entrants retain all rights to their entries but by submitting a story to the project, grant and acknowledge our right to publish the story as required in promoting the project and in the fulfilment of prizes.

6. Due to the large number of entrants, we are unable to respond individually to all submissions

7. We expect to receive large numbers of submissions on the day of deadline so advise people to try to submit before this date.

8. Entry opens on Tuesday 31 October 2017 and closes on Saturday 21 April. Submissions received after this deadline will not be accepted.

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Submissions

Curio
By The Sleeping God

I pretended not to be watching the waiting boy who sat opposite as he struggled through the motions of being swallowed by his curiosity. Bad enough that I had a shock of blue through my greying hair and…

My Lady
By Tom Wood

Who am I? What’s my name? Two words I ask of you. It has now come a time, where even I myself am unsure. ‘La Giaconda’ and ‘La Joconde’, the names I have come to adopt. Five…

I am the egret
By Author Jon Clynch

Once more I dream of a white bird, an egret, bathed in sunshine, radiating purity. I hasten towards it, overwhelmed, bursting with joy at the beauty of nature. But my joy dissolves, fading to horror and…

Phobophobia
By holly glanfield

   What fresh hell have I got myself into? I have no bloody clue what possessed me. I realised nature were only beautiful by day as soon mist gathered on that irksome hill and the forest went…

The lion in a world of lambs
By Sam Stowe

4:00am. A young coated man slouches down on a beaten plastic seat. He reflects on the circumstances that have brought him to this confinement of peril and unconscious sinning. He gulps down a glassful…

The Boy
By Ella Priestley

It was a long time ago, say, Queen Victoria's rule, when two girls started walking to school by themselves. Let's call them Elizabeth and Alice, to protect the innocent. They walked together for…

Mirror
By Jamie Reid

Okay. If I must tell you;I will. It happened whilst I was in the bathroom. The mirror was dirty and as I was wiping it down, I saw a sudden movement. I checked behind me and there was nothing. That’s…

Witches Revenge
By Jacob Patel

“Mwwha ha ha ha!” Dr Frankenstein shrieked as lightning struck his castle. But once again, he could not bring his foul creature to life. He had tried everything - Potions, Machinery, lightning…

The unknown death
By gemini cayless

As I sat up in my creaky bed I heard a scream come from outside.I stepped foot outside on the cold concrete floor and opened the barn doors.I crept around slowly until I built up the confidence to stand…

The Last Call
By Ashante Stevenson-Robertin

"This isn't me, " he quietly said as he looked at the photograph. "Yes it is", said the officer, hands stretched out on the table in front of him, "Of course it is!"…

Green Eyes
By Andrea Wood

A snowflake flutters gently downwards, and lands delicately on the fur hood of a winter jacket. A woman sits lifeless, leaning against a dirty white wall. Towering above the body, the silhouette of a…

Beneath The Skin
By Ellen Gallagher

You took a shine to her; she spat on your shoe A dream come true. Cocaine love with a side order of salad, It’s a shame the blonde never winked. Oh. She burns you. Infuriates you. The Fahrenheit…

Ask Me Anything
By Chris Newton

You ask me why I did what I did, in spite of how much I loved you? How much I love you still? We met at the Rough Trade signing. You probably don’t remember. I told you that you didn't look…

Premonition - The Other Mrs Johnson
By Peter Collins

The terrified screams would have been loud enough to send any concerned parent rushing to their child’s room in blind panic. But in a rundown children’s home in South London, they just earned…

The Fear Gorta (hungry man)
By Maria Daly

Tick tock, the gentle sound of the clock ticking, together with the crackling, roaring log fire, was making Moira drowsy. She was nestled deep, into the large, fireside chair, cradling the brandy she…

The Dark Mirror
By Jennifer Baines

It wasn’t until an almighty roar shook the house that I realised how late the hour had become. The 9.15 to Lincoln thundered past, shaking the walls and briefly illuminating the keyboard before…

A bad dream which shows reality
By ngwa fuh

A man had a dream were he saw himself in a funeral service, he saw a lot of people there in that funeral but he never knew the person that was dead i.e the person they were conducting the funeral service…

Reflections
By Natasha Rajendram

Anna did not want to get up, but threw her sheets aside and walked up to the body sized mirror in the corner of the room. Slipping out of her nightgown, she gasped. She still wasn’t used to the…

The Forget Man
By Grant Hulbert

‘I’m sorry.’ I feel the tears trickle down my face. I plead with the darkness, ‘Please free me from my wretched curse, I can do your bidding no longer!’ But the deafening…

Christmas tale
By lee atkins

The story begins on a freezing cold and snowy day and white little snow flakes drop form smooth blue bright sky. 'Deck the halls with boughs of holly, Fa la la la la la la la!' Scrooge's slammed…