Interested in participating in Literary programming at this year's H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival?

Apply for Author Reading spotsPitch a Panel discussion, or apply to give a scholarly or entertaining Presentation or Performance !

An Annual Festival Tradition

Each year since 2014 we have held a Lovecraftian MicroFiction Contest, taking entries from authors from all over the world! The winning entries are published in a small book with the Challenge From Beyond for that year. We began this as a way to engage and include more creators in the Cosmic Horror genre, and the proceeds support the Festival directly. 

What is it?

Micro Fiction is very short prose fiction. Smaller than Flash Fiction but bigger than a haiku. Usually 500 words or less. There are some famous short short stories, including Hemingway’s - For Sale: baby shoes, never worn.

For our Lovecraftian Micro Fiction contest, we look for Cosmic Horror, Weird Fiction, or Speculative or Science Fiction with a Horror twist, as well as horror or ghost stories with an uncanny tone.

According to Lovecraft, “The true weird tale has something more than secret murder, bloody bones, or a sheeted form clanking chains according to rule. A certain atmosphere of breathless and unexplainable dread of outer, unknown forces must be present; and there must be a hint, expressed with a seriousness and portentousness becoming its subject, of that most terrible conception of the human brain--a malign and particular suspension or defeat of those fixed laws of Nature which are our only safeguard against the assaults of chaos and the daemons of unplumbed space.”

Lovecraft himself wrote some extremely short fiction. "Memory," "What the Moon Brings," and "Ex Oblivione" are examples. Micro Fiction is a fun way to explore a genre or topic in a challenging way.

Can you write a complete story in this limited amount of space? By complete story, we mean a character, situation, beginning, middle, and end. Not a vignette, not a character study, but a story.

What do I get if I win?

  • The winning authors will be published in a book with the current year's Challenge From Beyond! Winning authors will receive 2 complimentary copies of the book.
  • The overall winner will be invited to participate in the 2024 Challenge From Beyond round robin story project with some of the finest modern Lovecraftian Authors! (Past authors include Molly Tanzer, Joseph Pulver, Sr., Wilum Pugmire, Nick Mamatas, Ross Lockhart, Cody Goodfellow, Pete Rawlik, Sylvia Moreno-Garcia, Gemma Files, Lee Zumpe, Selena Chambers, Nadia Bulkin, Angela Yuriko Smith, and Tim Pratt.) Participation is not mandatory if you win.
  • The overall winner, if planning to attend this year's H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival in Portland, OR, will have an author reading slot reserved for them so they can read their story at the festival! (this is optional)

How to Submit

You can submit up to 5 entries by going to the contest entry page on ArkhamBazaar.com

Rules, Terms and Conditions

  • Stories must be 500 words or less. Entries of more than 500 words will be disqualified with no refund and will not be read. Please check your word count before submitting! Most word processing programs have a built in word counter. There are also web sites for this, like wordcounter.net
  • All entries must be English language.
  • Stories should not require any special formatting besides normal paragraph breaks. We're looking for content, not visual formatting.
  • All entries must be written by you. You may not submit another author’s work. Your original stories only, please.
  • Your entry must contain your legal name, your author name (if different), and story title.
     
  • FILE FORMAT should be a text file (.txt) or rich text format (.rtf)
  • Your file name should be "your name-MFC2024-#of entries". For example if you submit 2 stories, your file name should look like this: JaneDoe-MFC2024-2.rtf
  • Deadline for entries is AUGUST 9, 2024. Winning entries will be notified no later than SEPTEMBER 4, 2024
  • The H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival® & CthulhuConTM reserves the right to publish the winning entries in a limited edition book with the current year's Challenge From Beyond, which may be sold to cover printing costs. All submissions may be used for promotional purposes. Authors of the top 10 entries will receive 2 complimentary copies of the book, for which shipping in the US is free, and outside the US may incur a small shipping fee. Additional copies will be available for purchase.
  • Overall winner will be invited to participate in the 2025 Challenge From Beyond round robin story project, which will take place in summer 2025.
Dennis Paoli - scribe of the cosmos

Dennis Paoli, the screenwriter of landmark films based on the works of H. P. Lovecraft like Re-Animator, From Beyond, and Castle Freak, as well as horror classics like Ghoulies 2 and Body Snatchers, is the Guest of Honor at the inaugural H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival in Mobile, AL, November 3-5th, where he'll present his newest film Suitable Flesh, based on H. P. Lovecraft's "The Thing on The Doorstep." In the wake of the Writer's Guild of America union strike, which saw new union contracts finally successfully negotiated after a heroic 148 days on the picket line, we're thrilled to host the writer of all of our favorite movies. Dennis worked hand in hand with director Stuart Gordon to bring Lovecraftian visions to life, and audience members who get to see Suitable Flesh will have serious resonator flashbacks to these classic works, largely due to Dennis's script, as well as the loving work of director Joe Lynch and producers Barbara Crampton (Dr. Catherine McMichaels in From Beyond) and Brian Yuzna (the Re-Animator series). This film is a serious homage to the erotic horror that many of us young Lovecraft fans in the 80s cut our teeth on. 

The H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival will take place November 3-5 at the Holiday Inn in Mobile's historic downtown, with literary events at the Haunted Book Shop and evening film showcases at the Saenger Theatre. Get your discounted early bird HPLFF Mobile tickets before October 27th and come meet the man responsible for "Cat dead. Details later."

The 28th Annual H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival took place in person at the Hollywood Theatre in Portland, OR October 6-8th. Filmmaker Guest of Honor Rebekah McKendry (Glorious), Author Guest of Honor Clay McLeod Chapman (What Kind of Mother), and Special Guest screenwriter Dennis Paoli (Re-Animator, Suitable Flesh) joined us for the weekend! During the annual Awards presentation on Sunday evening 10/8, Award Statuettes were presented for these categories:

Best Feature Film went to Suitable Flesh, written by Dennis Paoli, directed by Joe Lynch, produced by Barbara Crampton, and starring Heather Graham, Judah Lewis, Jonathan Schaech, Bruce Davison, and Barbara Crampton. Adapted from H. P. Lovecraft's short story "The Thing on the Doorstep," this neo-noir, erotic body-swapping horror thriller is bloody, it's horny, and at times humorous, but it stays true to the spirit of the original story. The A-list cast gives their all, with some of them playing multiple characters as the Wizard Waite claims each of his victims's bodies.

The script, the gender flipped characters (at Joe Lynch's behest!), excellent performances, and careful balance between horror, gore, sex, and humor proved to be a winning combination! Suitable Flesh also went home with the Audience Choice award! 

Best Short Film went to "Whisper in the Static" directed by Heather Humpleman, written by Nathan Carter. A young woman hears a mysterious noise over the radio and pursues it with dangerous consequences. The premise, performances, direction, photography, editing, and sound design all coalesce in this short film to deliver an original and fresh take on cosmic horror.

Best Adaptation was awarded to Alain Fournier's adaptation of H. P. Lovecraft's "The Temple". Set in WWII, the crew of a German u-boat on a mission in the North Atlantic witness strange phenomena on board. After an inexplicable explosion in the engine room, the submarine slowly sinks to the abyssal depths, while madness decimates the submariners. This faithful adaptation of the story is brought to life with beautifully rendered CG animation, convincing voice acting, and stellar sound design.

We had five finalists in our annual Screenplay competition:

  • Cellar Door by Sean Buttimer - A band of squatters inhabit an abandoned house only to find that the very hungry former owner still occupies the cellar. 
  • Inherent Dread by Steven Jackley - Emily has an obsession with the rocker girl across the hall; after she becomes estranged from her druggy boyfriend, Emily steps in to help this new friend when she gets pricked with a used needle leaving her hand infected... and possessed.
  • The Drowned People by Thomas O'Malley - Fisherman Patrick Hennessey and his wife, Maggie, live an idyllic life with their two children in the remote New England fishing community of Folly Cove on isolated Great Saucauset Peninsula. On the eve of the town’s 400-year anniversary, a covenant their Pilgrim ancestors made with an ancient evil has come due.
  • Unspeakable: Beyond the Wall of Sleep by Chad Ferrin - A sequel to Chad Ferrin's Unspeakable combined with H. P. Lovecraft's "Beyond the Wall of Sleep."

WINNER Best Screenplay: The Secret Skin by Wendy N. Wagner. When struggling art teacher June Vogel returns to her family estate, she discovers her niece has uncanny powers and that the house she fled is haunted. But just as June begins to make peace with the place, her newly remarried brother and his bride cut short their honeymoon, turning the family -- and the house -- into turmoil. A classic Gothic horror is updated with Lovecraftian cosmic horror when June realizes just what it is that's haunting the house, and how her family's legacy plays into the horrific events that have blessed and cursed her lineage.

Lovecraft Under the Gun 72 Hour Film Contest

Each year, teams of filmmakers are challenged to make a Lovecraftian short film in just 3 days, including a required prop and line of dialogue. Each team had to use a sponge as a prop, and use the line of dialogue "Abomination of abominations." (from "The Thing on the Doorstep") Four teams completed this year's competition, and were screened at the festival, with the audience deciding the winning film. This year's winner was "Abomination" by team Trash People From The Bump. This monster kid inspired film utilized stop motion, live action, original songs (written and performed by Theoddra Monstar and Aunt Gore) and a real live turtle, winning the audience's hearts and the Award!

Lovecraftian Microfiction Contest Winners

The 2023 Lovecraftian Microfiction contest challenged authors to write a complete Lovecraftian story in 500 words or less. The 10 winners and 3 honorable mentions for this year's contest are:

  • OVERALL WINNER: Maxwell Marais - "The First Act" 
  • ​Khloe Rhodes - "Call of the Ram"
  • Bob Brinkman - "The Devourers Beneath"
  • Maria Huning - "Clarias"
  • Ish Galvan - "Rep"
  • Jillian Rae Young - "Burning Feather"
  • David Haas - "Dreams of a Mountain"
  • Gary Butterfield - "The Pale Green Shed"
  • Kristi Petersen Schoonover - "Independence"
  • Rick Hutchins - "Ambergris Morning"

Honorable Mentions:

  • Erik Gorka - "Going Home"
  • Felicia Martinez - "Where Go the Beloved Cats of Ulthar"
  • Brian Garbe - "Marty"

Congratulations to all of the winners!

Mark your calendars for the next H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival in Portland, OR, October 4-6, 2024!

Submissions will be open soon on https://filmfreeway.com/HPLovecraftFilmFestival

Dennis Paoli

Dennis Paoli, the screenwriter of landmark films based on the works of H. P. Lovecraft like Re-Animator, From Beyond, and Castle Freak, as well as horror classics like Ghoulies 2 and Body Snatchers, is joining us October 6-8 to present his newest film Suitable Flesh, based on H. P. Lovecraft's "The Thing on The Doorstep." In the wake of the Writer's Guild of America union strike, which saw new union contracts finally successfully negotiated after a heroic 148 days on the picket line, we're thrilled to host the writer of all of our favorite movies. Dennis worked hand in hand with director Stuart Gordon to bring Lovecraftian visions to life, and audience members who get to see Suitable Flesh will have serious resonator flashbacks to these classic works, largely due to Dennis's script, as well as the loving work of director Joe Lynch and producers Barbara Crampton (Dr. Catherine McMichaels in From Beyond) and Brian Yuzna (the Re-Animator series). This film is a serious homage to the erotic horror that many of us young Lovecraft fans in the 80s cut our teeth on. Dennis will be at the festival to introduce both screenings of Suitable Flesh (Friday, opening night, October 6th at 9pm, and the encore screening on Sunday, October 8th at 9:30pm), as well as a still to be announced classic Lovecraftian film. 

 

Our annual fundraising campaign is LIVE! Every year, this lets the community pledge to help the H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival® take place in Portland, OR without the need for big corporate sponsors. It covers upfront expenses like theater rental, and the hundreds of myriad expenses from transportation to badge printing that go into putting on a show of this scale, hosted by two Lovecraftian horror fans and their horde of volunteers. Plus, pledging in the Kickstarter rewards you with exclusive merchandise and goodies like sculpture and art that have been made only to support this campaign by wonderful local creators.

The H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival takes place October 6-8, 2023 on all three screens of the beautiful and historic Hollywood Theatre. We also hosted the HPLFF in Providence, RI, August 18-20, and will be hosting a brand new event in Mobile, AL on November 3-5, followed by a separate streaming event December 2-3, 2023. We hope to see you there!

Pledge Now and support the festival (even if you can't come)!

Traveling to Mobile, AL for our newest H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival® & CthulhuCon™ event?

Our host hotel, The Holiday Inn Mobile/Downtown Historic District is also CthulhuCon HQ for the festival! The Mall of Cthulhu vendor room, Panel Discussions, Author Readings, Gaming, and other live interactive activities will be held here. It is a short 3 min walk (2 blocks) from the Saenger Theatre where Friday and Saturday film events will take place.

You can book your room at our discounted group rate of $125/night + taxes for single (1 bed) or double (2 beds) from now until October 20, 2023.

Reserve online:  HPLFF Guest Group Block Online Booking Link

Or call to reserve: 1-888-465-4329  and the Courtesy Group Block Code is LFF. Be sure to give them this code to get our group rate!

To see all the amenities the hotel has to offer, visit the Holiday Inn Mobile Downtown website.

Suitable Flesh official poster

SUITABLE FLESH directed by Joe Lynch, adapted by Dennis Paoli (screenwriter of RE-ANIMATOR and FROM BEYOND) from Lovecraft’s story “The Thing on The Doorstep”, starring Barbara Crampton and Heather Graham, will be making it’s Providence, RI premiere at the H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival at the Columbus Theatre, August 18-20 (GET TICKETS HERE), and its Pacific Northwest premiere at the H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival in Portland, OR on October 6-8, AND playing the new HPLFF in Mobile, AL on November 3-5! How’s that for a series of premieres for this NEW CLASSIC!

This film feels like an old-school Stuart Gordon film, due in large part to the screenplay by Dennis Paoli, but has a beautiful neo-noir atmosphere courtesy of director Joe Lynch and cinematographer David Matthews. Lovingly shepherded by producer Barbara Crampton (who starred in several of Stuart Gordon’s Lovecraft films), this is a love letter to Lovecraft fans who long for the kind of sexy horror most of us cut our teeth on. It takes Lovecraft’s story, flips the script so that Upton and Derby are women, and ratchets up the potential of the tale to erotic,  sinister, and frankly insane heights.

In the film, successful psychiatrist Elizabeth Derby (Heather Graham) has brutally murdered her young patient Asa Waite (Judah Lewis). Locked up in a psych ward, she recounts to her friend Dr. Daniella Upton (Barbara Crampton) an insane, obsessive tale of erotic attraction, out-of-body experiences, ancient curses, grisly deaths and unspeakable evil. The things Elizabeth has felt, seen and done have destroyed her marriage, ruined her reputation, left bodies in her wake, and led her to a ‘kill or be killed’ desperation. If Daniella doesn’t believe her now, more deaths will follow, and Elizabeth will be forever lost. But who would believe such a mind-bending story? And worse, if it is all true, who will be left to tell it?


Barbara Crampton as Dr. Upton comforts Heather Graham’s Elizabeth Derby in the psych ward.

Get Tickets to the Providence event, August 18-20th.

 

 

Suitable Flesh official poster

SUITABLE FLESH directed by Joe Lynch, adapted by Dennis Paoli (screenwriter of RE-ANIMATOR and FROM BEYOND) from Lovecraft’s story “The Thing on The Doorstep”, starring Barbara Crampton and Heather Graham, will be making it’s Providence, RI premiere at the H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival at the Columbus Theatre, August 18-20 (GET TICKETS HERE), and its Pacific Northwest premiere at the H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival in Portland, OR on October 6-8, AND playing the new HPLFF in Mobile, AL on November 3-5! How’s that for a series of premieres for this NEW CLASSIC!

This film feels like an old-school Stuart Gordon film, due in large part to the screenplay by Dennis Paoli, but has a beautiful neo-noir atmosphere courtesy of director Joe Lynch and cinematographer David Matthews. Lovingly shepherded by producer Barbara Crampton (who starred in several of Stuart Gordon’s Lovecraft films), this is a love letter to Lovecraft fans who long for the kind of sexy horror most of us cut our teeth on. It takes Lovecraft’s story, flips the script so that Upton and Derby are women, and ratchets up the potential of the tale to erotic,  sinister, and frankly insane heights.

In the film, successful psychiatrist Elizabeth Derby (Heather Graham) has brutally murdered her young patient Asa Waite (Judah Lewis). Locked up in a psych ward, she recounts to her friend Dr. Daniella Upton (Barbara Crampton) an insane, obsessive tale of erotic attraction, out-of-body experiences, ancient curses, grisly deaths and unspeakable evil. The things Elizabeth has felt, seen and done have destroyed her marriage, ruined her reputation, left bodies in her wake, and led her to a ‘kill or be killed’ desperation. If Daniella doesn’t believe her now, more deaths will follow, and Elizabeth will be forever lost. But who would believe such a mind-bending story? And worse, if it is all true, who will be left to tell it?


Barbara Crampton as Dr. Upton comforts Heather Graham’s Elizabeth Derby in the psych ward.

Get Tickets to the Providence event, August 18-20th.

 

 

Suitable Flesh official poster

SUITABLE FLESH directed by Joe Lynch, adapted by Dennis Paoli (screenwriter of RE-ANIMATOR and FROM BEYOND) from Lovecraft’s story “The Thing on The Doorstep”, starring Barbara Crampton and Heather Graham, will be making it’s Providence, RI premiere at the H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival at the Columbus Theatre, August 18-20 (GET TICKETS HERE), and its Pacific Northwest premiere at the H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival in Portland, OR on October 6-8, AND playing the new HPLFF in Mobile, AL on November 3-5! How’s that for a series of premieres for this NEW CLASSIC!

This film feels like an old-school Stuart Gordon film, due in large part to the screenplay by Dennis Paoli, but has a beautiful neo-noir atmosphere courtesy of director Joe Lynch and cinematographer David Matthews. Lovingly shepherded by producer Barbara Crampton (who starred in several of Stuart Gordon’s Lovecraft films), this is a love letter to Lovecraft fans who long for the kind of sexy horror most of us cut our teeth on. It takes Lovecraft’s story, flips the script so that Upton and Derby are women, and ratchets up the potential of the tale to erotic,  sinister, and frankly insane heights.

In the film, successful psychiatrist Elizabeth Derby (Heather Graham) has brutally murdered her young patient Asa Waite (Judah Lewis). Locked up in a psych ward, she recounts to her friend Dr. Daniella Upton (Barbara Crampton) an insane, obsessive tale of erotic attraction, out-of-body experiences, ancient curses, grisly deaths and unspeakable evil. The things Elizabeth has felt, seen and done have destroyed her marriage, ruined her reputation, left bodies in her wake, and led her to a ‘kill or be killed’ desperation. If Daniella doesn’t believe her now, more deaths will follow, and Elizabeth will be forever lost. But who would believe such a mind-bending story? And worse, if it is all true, who will be left to tell it?


Barbara Crampton as Dr. Upton comforts Heather Graham’s Elizabeth Derby in the psych ward.

Get Tickets to the Providence event, August 18-20th.