I admit it’s weird to launch the 2014 contest while last year’s winners still remain unannounced, but October has come, and you’ll just have to trust that I have matters well in hand. I enlist your creativity, talent, and support, even as I am haunted by my own failings.
Wait a minute. What did I just say?
The theme for 2014 is… HAUNTING!
Now, what haunts? A ghost haunts, of course. Ghosts can haunt buildings or any sort of place, but can’t they also haunt people? Or animals? Or inanimate objects?
For that matter, is a ghost the only thing that can haunt? Can’t we be haunted by the past, when our own sins refuse to let us sleep in peace? Can’t we be haunted by unfinished tasks, unkept promises, unanswered questions? Can’t we be haunted, even, by something as simple and intangible as music? Surely you’re familiar with the clichéed phrase “a haunting refrain.”
So there you have it. Your theme is haunting, but unlike a phantom who may be trapped in one location or routine for all eternity, you have almost unlimited freedom with which to explore the theme. You will be judged on originality and thoughtfulness, and your word limit is 666.
While you start planning your entries, I’ll be exorcising my own demons by wrapping up last year’s results and announcing the winners very, very soon. Watch this space!