This Halloween, we invite you to get grotesque. A few issues ago, HFR explored the topic, and here’s what some of our contributors had to say:

“Grotesque” conjures up the notion of distortion, monstrosity or vulgar absurdity.” --Molly Brodak

“The grotesque is concerned with what is TRUE more than it is concerned with what is REAL.” --Sara Wallace

“…the grotesque is a vague notion of the bodily, the unpretty, the not-elevated, the not-to-be-discussed—i.e., mostly defined by negation, which seems appropriate. In other terms, the grotesque is that which we do not wish to look at.” --Trina Burke

In honor of Halloween, we want you to describe something grotesque. Do it with a poem, with a descriptive scene, with a short short story. As long as it’s under 500 words, we’ll read it. The point here is not to be gross or offensive, but to explore the holiday in an interesting and inventive way that makes our insides feel a little squishy. See the definitions above for more of what we’re looking for. Go on, terrify us with your talent! Email your disturbing-ness to by October 20, 2009 (put "Halloween contest" as your subject line). The winners will get a year’s subscription to HFR, and will be posted on our blog Halloween week. How cool is that?