PolterGeist Writing Contest

Introducing the PolterGeist Writing Contest!

Deadline: November 13, 2023 at 11:59PM PST.

It’s tricky to translate the word Geist. Its range of meaning includes “spirit,” “wit,” and even “ghost.” Inspired by this etymology, we’re running the first ever PolterGeist Writing Contest. For this contest, we seek fact + fiction and all the stories that dwell in between. We’re looking for stories that give voice to ghostly echoes and make homes in eerie landscapes. Send us your haunted cartographies, your paranormal prose and your uncanny tales, from the strangeness of the everyday to the sublime.

We highly encourage you also read our submission guidelines to help shape the tone, feel and themes of your spooky tale:

How it works:

Tell us a polterGeist-inspired story in 500 words or less; both fiction and nonfiction approaches are welcome.

For more inspiration, check out some Geist pieces of the past: “Ectoplasmic” by AnnMarie MacKinnon; “The Ghost of James Cawdor” by Bill MacDonald; “Conversation with Victor Frankenstein” by David Milne; “Three Stories About Moving” by Melissa Edwards; “49 Days to the Afterlife” by Jocelyn Kuang.





All winning entries will be published in Geist and on

Entry Fee: $25

Includes a one-year subscription to Geist, Canada's favourite literary magazine. International entrants will receive the digital edition.

All additional entries are $5.

How to enter: Submit your entry online through Submittable

You can also mail your entry, fee and cover letter to us at:


210-111 West Hastings Street

Vancouver, BC V6B 1H4

Please note that judging is blind, so ensure your name doesn't appear on the story.

Entries without an accompanying cover letter or entry fee will not be accepted. Entries must be postmarked by contest deadline.

Good luck and happy writing!

Questions? Please email or call 604-681-9161 with your queries.


Winning entries: Geist takes first serial rights for print and non-exclusive electronic rights to post your entry at All other rights remain with the author.

All publication rights for non-winning entries are retained by the entrants.

Geist contests are open to all entrants except Geist staff, contract employees, board members and executives of the Geist Foundation.





Runner-up in the 1st Annual Geist Literal Literary Postcard Story Contest.

Downtown Eastside Writers' Jamboree Writing Contest

The writing contest is open to all residents of the Downtown Eastside in Vancouver.


Third prize winner of the 1st Jackpine Sonnet Contest.