“Whach yer louken at der fellar.”
-Some Guy On The Train

The Spoken Weird Award

Writing Prompt

Write a story that includes elements of a ‘shadow language’. This tongue might have a secret power to it, or be used for hidden communication. It may seem like the ramblings of the insane, or an eloquent poetry, the choice is yours.

Part of the challenge of this award will be making the story legible and readable despite using a shadow language. It’s your choice whether to write the whole composition in the created tongue, or use it partly through the story.

For more information about shadow language, read this review of Paul Kingsnorth’s The Wake


This story should include elements of the broad genres of Sci Fi, Fantasy or Speculative but can be set in a realist or literary setting.

Word Count

Up to 900 words of eloquence and mumbo jumbo.

Due Date

All entries due 25th of October 2015. There is no time zone restrictions. As long as it is Sunday somewhere then you can enter.

Winner announcement on the 3rd November.


First prize receives 5000 words feedback from NiTH team on a story or manuscript of your choosing.

All entries received feedback from judges by request.

Entry Format

Include a cover image. Ensure that you own the rights to that image or that you have permission, or that the image carries a free license. Make the filename of the image the name of your story.

Also include:


Author name

(Optional) Intro – 150 characters

How do I submit?

You can submit your story here.