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OWL Literary Competitions

HORRORS! OWL's Two-Sentence Scary Story Contest (October 2023)

This October, we asked you to celebrate Halloween with OWL by creating your own original scary story! There was only one condition…it could only be two sentences long. 

Two-sentence horror stories first became popular on Reddit, a social media forum where users can share text posts, images, videos, links, and more. After gaining popularity, the site’s two-sentence scary story thread went on to inspire the Netflix anthology show Two Sentence Horror Stories.

When writing your own story, we said it might be helpful to work backwards. Think of a creepy ending, then decide how you can use the first sentence to work up to it. Your two local judges were hard pressed to make a decision among the many fine and frightening entries. Lots of fetid breath and creaking doors and putrid air to keep us awake at night.



Click the image above to read all of the submitted stories.



Food & Family Traditions: A Writing Contest (December 2022)

December is the time of year for family and food, so we wanted to celebrate it! We invited our Oliver Wolcott Library patrons to share their tried and true family recipes and/or a brief, but true, story about a family recipe, a significant family meal or a simple family tradition. 

Here are the submissions.

-Nancy Schuler
OWL Library Assistant

Click the image above to read all of the submitted stories and recipes.



Blackout Poetry Contest (December 2021)

Blackout poetry involves taking text from a book, newspaper, or magazine and blacking out some of the words to create a poem of your own. For this contest, participants were asked to use one of the five provided book pages to create their own blackout poem. The entries were judged by Robert Piazza, Poet Laureate of Litchfield. He received the poems without names and judged them blindly. Robert told us that he struggled to pick a solitary winner since there were so many qualified entries and such a wide range of creativity!

All entries plus some additional poems are featured in this flipbook. We have included Robert's comments about the winning entry and honorable mentions. We hope the participants enjoyed making these unique pieces of art, and we hope that viewers enjoying seeing our community's creativity.


- Olivia DeFiore
OWL Library Assistant and Black-Out Poetry Project Manager

Click the image above to read all of the submitted stories.



The OWL Literary Competition 2.0 (November 2020)

Thanks to all of you who submitted stories for the Literary Competition 2.0! You were asked to create a story of no more than 100 words that ended in one of two sentences:

"And they never saw each other again."



"And they lived happily ever after."

The entries were judged by Joseph Montebello, Laura Cardello and myself.

We hope that you had as much fun crafting your stories as we did hosting the contest. May you all stay well and Live Happily Ever After!

Best regards,
Michael Kazan

Click the image above to read all of the submitted stories.



3-Sentence Literary Competition (May 2020)

Congratulations to the winners of our May 2020 competition! 


Thank you to everyone who entered our very first short story competition wherein you were asked to create a three-sentence story (up to 50 words). The deadline for entries was Friday, May 15, 2020 and the response was terrific! We received 155 submissions over a period of about 2 weeks, all competing for gift certificates from Hickory Stick Bookshop, Da Capo Restaurant and The Bakehouse. As you will see on the following pages Covid-19 and cabin fever were major themes in the stories.

The entries were judged by Laura Cardello, Jackie Everly and myself. We are retired publishing professionals living here in Litchfield and voracious readers all. The stories were wonderful, judging was difficult, and I only wish we could have given more prizes.

I hope you had as much fun with your literary endeavors as we did hosting the contest.

Read on!

Best regards,
Michael Kazan

Click the image above to read all of the submitted stories.