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 Metropolitan University, founding member of the Manchester Centre for Gothic Studies at Manchester Met. Co-organising 14th International Gothic Association conference in 2018.

Get Involved

Watch the shortlisted stories 

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 knife from the night before
By Lewis Onabanjo

He tossed and turned, drowning in his own sweat that cascaded down his face like the dew on an early spring morning. Images of it, flashed through his mind, synchronized with his haphazard heartbeat…

The House
By Somto Agbugba

It was a frosty and gloomy January afternoon. Fog so thick that it was only possible to see a few metres ahead. The uncertainty of what was ahead of you was unsettling and the feeling of isolation was…

Driven by Insanity
By Samuel Osei

Driven by Insanity By Sam.O 10B This asylum was different from others. Its presence seemed so strong the doors were enough to pull you into your torment and throw you out like utterly destroyed trash.…

An Evil Incursion
By Nimi Salu

After the numerous exceptional and peculiar reports surrounding the concept of sleep paralysis, I, Dr. Angel Dove, decided to induce the effect that has produced so much contention. Within the records,…

NOWHERE TO BE FOUND
By Babafunto Ojo

NOWHERE TO BE FOUND “Thomas!” His mother called at him from the bottom of the stairs, as if expecting him to answer. What could this woman possibly want from him at this time, he wondered?…

Blood in the Bathtub
By Jessica Harrison

Rain flusters against the window pane, turning Arthur’s reflection into a blurry mess. He rubs his hands together. He made a treehouse for his daughter with these hands. He lifted her with them,…

The Quest for Immortality
By James Waddell

My quest took me to the heart of the Brazilian jungle. Its natural beauty combined with its perilous and treacherous reputation was enticing and alluring to anyone who dare step foot within it. My quest…

Split
By Neshok Nayagam

"The splitting of the atom, humanity's greatest discovery," the professor had always said. So obsessed with it was he that many long nights were spent alone in his study, a flaming cup of…

Why?
By Sahwn Yeboah

As I walked through the discoloured door, sweat was sopping all over my body. The immense wave of heat was monitored by an unpleasant smell; it made shiver like a lost child in the winter. Black! That…

The punch
By neil akinyemi

Children began to swarm into the building like a group of piranhas to chunk of meat. Everyone clothed in extremely flamboyant evening dress. This was a first for the town, one that was so stuck in tradition…

The Library
By Lily Couchman

This room contains everything in the world! Sometimes that helps me. From my window seat beside the bolted door, regimented rows of books shelter me and rationalise any fantasy that might rot my brain-as…

He sat, alone.
By Thomas Ancill

I sat, alone. Clouds, blowing and rolling across the gloomy sky, cast many shadows upon the surrounding landscape. My mind wandered, conscience only refocusing as I shivered because a sharp light perforated…

Nuketown
By Ryan Thomas

The creek of the dripping tap. Drip, drip, drip. The sight of the mist, blocking the view of the ghost town. The dead walking around, travelling through the wind, scaring of the humans. The houses oozing…

The Evil Within
By Daniel olaleye

The man had restless nights, he was unrecognisable from the man he formerly was. The look he had, that look of a monster was prominent in the eyes of the man. The thought of darkness shrouded out any…

The Picture
By Josh Slater

Boom. Boom. Boom. My heart was racing. I didn't know it yet, but one small mistake now would have detrimental consequences for my future. I grasped my phone in my trembling hands, scrolling ignorantly…

The weighed soldier.
By Abhishek Bhattarai

The weighed soldier. I sat by the window to the cell where I never slept. The night sky was my glimmer of hope in escaping this place. The full moon was my will to find out who put me in this mess. And…

Hoodoo
By Martin Mvelle

The house spoke to me. It whispered gently as I walked past every day. A sign of old age, the once pungent green wood had eroded into a plaid lime. Just like the peculiar woman who resided there, Mrs…

Saving Grace
By Sally Hewitt

A gurning gargoyle darted amongst us. Delivering morsels of warm bread and milk it was summonsing us, just before life time, to the cold Rib Vault. Grey daylight was fading squealing Buttress bats were…

Intelligence
By Dayne Haughton

Isaac was tossed onto the frosted pavement and restrained from all angles. Gunshots rang out like sleigh bells and soon enough his family was sprawled out on the cold night floor, as pale as the twilight…

A Dual Of Four Heritages
By Dante Russell

A Dual Of Four Heritages. Blood, sweat, cruelty, violence, a prejudicial abuse against one particular colour. Completely erased, abolished. The world had long been cleansed of a dark age that would forever…