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

The Being Within
By Michael Swift

It all started barely six months' ago. In that dreamy moment between deep slumber and wakefulness he came to me. Just the merest hint of movement in one shadowed corner of the room and I sat up, wide-eyed,…

Mirror to the Madness
By Ruby Bryant

“As you know, it might be possible, of course, that far from being one, we may possess two selves. You've shown signs of this throughout your life, that’s why you’re here. It’s…

Island Dig
By Charlotte Platt

“You appreciate this could be an internal issue?” "Shut up Jeremy – it's a cursed bloody site and we should never have been working here. They warned us." Steve slammed…

Stonehenge:
By Aqeel Ali

I often heard when passing by groups of adults say “yeah... he fell asleep and never woke up from his dream..he died in his sleep”. If you fall into a deep enough sleep you can never wake…

The Severed Hand
By Valerie MURPHY

THE SEVERED HAND There it was on the screen, incongruous and obscene. The oedematous, discoloured hand was posed with the index finger pointing at an open Koran. Masir Amin gazed fascinated at the glistening…

Clarita (Based on True Events)
By Louis Abrillo

“Help Me,” the only two seconds that I went back to sanity. He’s been very helpful these past days. He’s strong and so was the aura embracing him. But they were very insistent.…

Avatar and I
By Alexandra Minns

The pinpricks on my temple itched. I could never tell if it was a true physical sensation or simply the desire to re-attach myself to that other world. My flat had fallen into disarray around me; I barely…

Wilma Waters by Hillary Afia
By Hillary Afia

The Story of Wilma Waters (inspired by William Wilson by Edgar Allen Poe) Creak…... Creak…. Creak. As I walk in, a room of dolls instantly surrounds me. Big ones, small ones, ballerinas;…