These Are Your Winning Alan Wake Manuscripts

Alan Wake is a writer. But can Kotaku readers be writers, too? You had to prove your writing credentials to win an Xbox 360 console and a copy of Alan Wake.

Thanks to Microsoft we are giving away a copy of Alan Wake and an Xbox 360 Elite console (which, along with a 120GB hard drive, also comes bundled with Forza 3 and Halo 3: ODST). Two runners-up will also each score a copy of the game.

Throughout the game, Wake stumbles upon page after page of a manuscript from a novel he can't remember writing. Yet the manuscript has his name on it, it's all about him, and it describes events that have happened to him - or are just about to happen. Spooky!

We asked you to write a page from a horror/suspense/thriller novel. We were looking for the cleverest, creepiest and most creative manuscripts.

Reading through all the entries, I noticed a few recurring themes: Mario, Pac-Man, red-ringed Xbox 360s, Justin Bieber and plenty of mirrors. There were surprisingly - yet blessedly - few mentions of Chuck Norris.

Plenty of you opted for colourful descriptions of some unexplained fear or gruesome violence. My preference, however, was for those seemingly mundane scenarios where normality was punctured by the odd and the uncanny. High commendations are reserved for Christian McNeill, El Phantasmagoro, Dean, Dooga, Azanode, Cat, Jodie and Daniel, Riley Gray, Jimmy Howlum, SelMonella, Tom FitzGerald, Dante Oberin, and Al Christie.

But they did not win. These are the winners.

The second runner-up is Aidan Dullard:

Clyde pursued his quarry down yet another hallway, ignoring the scattered remnants of a feast that had long since been forgotten. The chase had no meaning, no purpose, but they did it anyway. An unending dance, move and counter-move, ploy and trap and snare. Playing with their desperate enemy had become something of a game. An amusement.

He stopped at a corner, glanced around it; noticed a discarded apple core on the ground, its flesh torn away by an insatiable, ravenous hunger. This was bad news. His stomach tightened, and he readied himself to run. The spectre of his doom neared ever closer, its gaping maw burned into his eyes from an eternity of combat.

It was almost lyrical in its irony. The hunters became the hunted.

Irony was no comfort, however, when Pac-man devoured him.

The first runner-up is Ethan Iacobozzi:


Some public sanitation authorities estimate that there a hundred thousand pieces of graffiti at any one time in any given city. Most of these are tags by any individual, gang or group. Most of these. Some are vulgarities, slurs or drawings. Some are even scribbles, the result of pure emotion - drawings that represent insanity, incarnate.

But some are messages.

Some of these messages are innocuous statements, scrawled upon the iron face of civilisation.

But some...

Not all graffiti is graffiti. Some of it is a message. If you ever see a message - and you will know it - please, do not ignore it.

I need all the help I can get.

And the major prize winner is FatShady:

There was a pungent smell of mangoes and fish in the air. The light was fading but all around him, the shadows seemed to be luring him in deeper. It was about half past six in the evening but he felt tired, still weary from the night before. The letter had indicated that at this exact time, at this exact place, he would finally understand all of this. It would finally be over. He sat on a window sill of that dilapidated, old house. He thought to him self that it was run down to the point where the rats had even left. His attempt at humour only reminded him how far he had come over the past 24 hours. Only yesterday he was with his wife on the boat, fishing. How pointless an activity that had been for what may have been their last time together. He sat, staring out at the lake and wondering what would happen next.

No more than 5 minutes went by when the creaking of the wooden flood boards made him turn, quickly. It had startled him out of a light daze, but when he had turned around, only darkness. He noticed a cool breeze that gently touched his face which was surprising soothing he thought. It relaxed him. He turned back to the window and then he saw it, crisp and white, amongst the cob-webs. It was another letter.

Congratulations to our three winners, and commiserations - but a big thank you! - to everyone else who entered. Guys, I'll be in touch later today to organise your prizes.


    Congrats, and well done guys.

    Hmmm. So there was no need to actually stick to the prescribed word count?

      As mentioned numerous times through the post, the 100 words was just a guide.

    I knew i should have just ripped off Rats in the Walls by Lovecraft. Congrats to the winners.

    It seemed years ago that i completed that entry... how foolish i was then.

    Mario?! You base your entry on Mario!?!


    It's cold now in this office. The heater is on, set to 22c, but i still feel cold... i scrawl through the winners and the world around me blacks out. All i can think about is Mario. Why the hell did i go with a Mario entry. The world around me goes fuzzy so i shake my head to clear my vision, but to no avail.
    Suddenly footsteps! One after the other - coming down the hall. I try to minimize the window before it reaches me, but my Pentium 4 with Windows XP fails me.
    It's then i feel that cold, clammy hand on my shoulder. The hand of the specter of death himself. I exhale as i swivel in my Officeworks chair to face him..

    It's the boss, and he doesn't look happy...


    Lol well done guys - those were some freaking awesome entries!

    ...I still can't believe i thought it was a good idea to do a Mario thing, i mean honestly how many comp have i entered with you guys? hahaha

    Enjoy the prizes guys, that was pure awesome!

      ROFL, awwwww *e-huggles his Loopy in his cold cold office* As a rule, make sure the reset button is handy, its quicker than a non/slow responding op-system and you can just say the computer crashed. :D

    Congrats everyone!

    Big congrats, Awesome prize!! Nice writing everyone, I read them all which took me a while! I wish I used more than 100 words now though, as apparantly male breastfeeding does not a literary champion make :D

    Thanks Kotaku and Microsoft for the prizes, keep em coming!

      Your entry also displayed a distinct lack of cookie monsters.

        LMAO!!! Ok, lets run this comp again, obviously me and loopster did not get the memo on how to win! :D

    Well done winners I really enjoyed this comp and most pleased with an honorable mention.

    As evil as the Vampire Puppy is, I guess he is just too cute to inspire genuine fear.

      Vampire Kitten next time?

      I think that may be slightly more believable.

        Vampire Kitten? pfft I was going for realism here! :p

          You obviously hasn't met our kitten then... spawn of satan i tells ya!

    Congrats guys.

    I have to say though, I've never seen such a big comp judged so quickly. I thought this would take ages to make decision?

      hahaha my sentiments exactly.

      Dave must have forgone having a life over the weekend :P

      ..unless he was doing the smart thing and reading as they were posted and making notes...

        I'd been bookmarking the better entries as they arrived, so I had only to sort through a shortlist of about 20 this morning.

    Grats to the winners. However, damn you once again Aidan for making me think I'd won!

    Luckily this time I knew my entry wasn't actually any good, so I did think to check the first name before getting too excited.

      You two aren't related?

        Not that I'm aware of, but no doubt if you go back far enough there'd be a common link somewhere.

        Not that I know of, though I do a double take every time I see a comment by Alex... it's such an uncommon name we'd have to be related somehow.

        And thanks David! Congrats to everyone who entered, some of them were fantastically zany (vampire puppy!).

    /cry :'(

    But congratulations to the winners - heh oh well I am not too dissapointed the only way I was going to own an XBOX was if it was given to me for free ^_~

    Thanks for the commendation. It is a nice boost to the ego.

      hehe yeah although I didn't win either, the commendation gave me a case of the warm and fuzzies!

    The radio said "No, John. You are the demons" And then John was a zombie.

    "My preference, however, was for those seemingly mundane scenarios where normality was punctured by the odd and the uncanny."

    Exactly what I was going for.

    Thanks for picking me, David, and congratulations to all the other winners.

    well done identical twin of mine

    Congrats winners! Next time I think I'll read the comments to see where you said 'guideline'... wish i had written the rest of mine.

    Mirrors, huh? My entry was based on a mirror. You can do a lot of creepy shit with a mirror and how they reflect reality as a 2-dimensional image. I wonder how many others there were? I didn't see any others before I submitted mine.

      Yes, but mirrors are incredibly overdone (at least, they are where I read).

    Wow just wow. It is 9 pm and I only jumped on kotaku now cause I have been studying all day( shows what I do when actually at work). I read this post and was a bit upset that I didn't get an honorable mention. I wasn't even going to bother with the rest of the post. Congrats to all of the winners but I am still stunned. Seriously wow.

    As a side note the opening line about mangoes and fish was inspired by that phrase that a mate and I have use to describe the smell going down heathcote road of a night when you cop a wiff of the tip. Trust me. That is exactly what it smells like. Thanks David Microsoft And my employer for the time I should have been working.

    This will be my third 360. Rrod on the first two. The second still works after a home repair job a few years ago but I have always wondered when it would go again.


    Well done guys! This was a really good comp.

    I spent an hour shaving 68 words off my entry, only to post it and find that my 100 words exactly was for a guide of 100. Helped me trim the fat, I suppose!

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