Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Haunted States of America: Submission Form


Each U.S. state and territory has its own history, its own character—and its own legends. Whether it’s Mothman in West Virginia or the Jersey Devil in, you guessed it, New Jersey, spine-tingling stories can be found all across this country. And now we want you to put your spin on them.


Godwin Books, an imprint of Macmillan Publishers, in conjunction with SCBWI, is putting together a collection of fifty-two short stories, one for each of the fifty states plus Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. Nationally known or relatively unheard of, based in fact or based entirely in local lore, these stories should capture the spooky side of the U.S. All story authors will be chosen from the SCBWI membership. We’re actively looking for authors from underrepresented communities as well as traditional communities—our goal is to have a diversity of creators and a diversity of tellings. We hope you will put your own spin on the story, your own voice and/or background, to ensure that the story is relevant to our contemporary times. We welcome submissions from both first time and more established authors.


Each story should be:
  1. Up to 1,300 words
  2. For a middle-grade audience (nine- to twelve-years-old)
  3. Inspired by local/regional events or myths
  4. Written by someone who has a personal connection to the state featured in their story (i.e., lives in that state currently or previously lived there for at least three to five years)

Once submitted, stories will be vetted by the SCBWI and the team at Godwin Books, and ultimately one will be chosen to represent each state or territory. Each selected author will receive a flat payment of $400 and a featured credit in the book. All rights will be retained by Macmillan.