Unlock This Door
with the key of your imagination.
Somewhere between light and shadow,
Between science and superstition,
We invite you to submit a story
of things and ideas, that could become…
As Timeless As Infinity!
Imagine a new Twilight Zone episode. Write Rod Serling’s opening and closing narrations. Give it a title and send us your entry!
Watch the previous winners:
ENTER OUR CONTEST
We took a year off but the contest is back! Convert some of your pent-up energy into a Twilight Zone episode that is worthy of immortality—via our video treatment. Let’s have some fun! Or…pick a villain or two (there’s no shortage) and give ’em what they deserve.
The very first, first place winner in 2017, Split the Difference by Joseph Dougherty, is a near-perfect example to study: it contains a unique idea, a classic and easily understood Twilight Zone twist, and sentences that fit Rod’s rich baritone perfectly. It’s a delight to watch and read. Check out all of our winners, above, to see what works and what the judges like.
How to Win
Don’t write a treatment; this is more like a 60-second pitch. And it’s OK to leave some mystery: stimulate our imagination! Every previous entry—including all winners—is just a click away. See the buttons above. Warm yourself up by writing new narrations for an existing episode, and read them aloud to friends to see if they recognize which episode. Then write the narrations for your original idea.
- Previous winners are invited. We’re starting a new cycle and everyone has a blank slate.
- Maximum word count, excluding titles and labels: 150 words total, both narrations combined.
- Maximum entries: 2 per person.
- Title and Narrations only. Any additional content will be ignored.
- Deadline: Halloween 2023 (October 31)
- We will not consider a previous entry.
A Note About Generative A.I.: The next Rod Serling will not be a robot. We’re asking you to resist using ChatGPT or similar software to make entries. Of the A.I. output that I’ve read, human writing is still better…far more creative, original, and sensitive. That’s what we seek here: writing from the heart that reflects the beauty, the ingenuity, and the respect for humanity of Rod Serling’s scripts. Give it your all! You’re better than computer code that simply generates the most common word that would follow the previous one.
Send your entries to:
Steve Schlich, RodSerling.com webmaster
Judging by Rod Serling Memorial Foundation board members, using these criteria:
- How easily we can imagine Rod speaking your words
- How well your narrations suggest the imaginary episode
Immortality! The Rod Serling Memorial Foundation offers to you: your personal area of our Twilight Zone. We will announce the winners in time for Rod Serling’s birthday—Christmas Day 2023—and present a video that features them. The video will be accessible from our website www.RodSerling.com forever!
Stephen Dexter will perform the winners of the 2023 Narrate Your Own Twilight Zone competition. It’s your chance—two of them!—to hear him perform Rod Serling performing your winning narration.
NOTE: We will publish all the entries on our website. By entering, you are granting permission to publish your entry (with your byline and copyright notice attached) on the rodserling.com website.