Spooky Story 2016 Winners!

We received a lot of great stories this year, and the judging was very difficult!  Checkout our winners here




30th Annual Spooky Story Writing Contest


It's that time of year again!  Each Fall, beginning in 1986, we look forward to receiving a brand new batch of original and imaginative Spooky Stories from children all over the Bay Area in grades two through six. It gets us all in the mood for Halloween and gives children in our community an opportunity to use their writing skills with a theme that they find fun and exciting.

This is also a contest where every writer is a winner. Writers receive a BOO COUPON worth $3.00 in our store for their submission. This is our way of offering recognition to all participating students for the fine efforts that went into writing their stories. The top three participants from each grade level receive gift certificates up to $25.00 redeemable at our store. Writers in the same class may also wish to pool their prizes to purchase something for the classroom to use or spend their coupons separately on the numerous treasures here in our store.

Each year our staff members become the official judges of the stories. They often have a hard time selecting the five “best” stories from the twenty to fifty they are given to read. Our owner then selects the first, second, and third place winners from the “best” for each grade level. The following are qualities that impress the judges when they read the stories:

  • Originality – they look for unusual ideas that come out of the writers’ own special and unique imaginations. (Common Core W3)
  • Mystery – they love stories that create suspense and surprise and make them curious about the outcome. (Common Core L3)
  • Vivid Descriptions – they enjoy vivid descriptions about the places, things and characters in the stories.  (Common Core L1, L4)
  • Appearance – stories should be as neat as possible, with good spelling and punctuation. Illustrations are always welcome. (Common Core W5, W6, L1, L2)

We eagerly await the most “terror-ific” and “boo-tifully” written stories ever, and we promise to return them. Winners will be announced the week of Thanksgiving.

Submitting Stories

Please be sure to submit stories of any length no later than October 31 with the following information: Author’s name, grade, teacher, school, title of story and a return address. We have created entry forms that can be attached to the stories. Please contact us if you have any questions.

Stories can be dropped off, faxed, or emailed to us at

Frightfully yours,

The Staff of the Wooden Horse

Road to Hana Book Signing Well Received

Had a great turnout at our guest author signing event!  Local retired former SJSU professor Larry Gerston read and signed copies of his new book "The Road to Hana".

A great write-up in the San Jose Mercury News:

A great Wooden Horse 45th Anniversary kickoff book reading event!

Santa is coming to The Wooden Horse Dec 11!

Santa will be making an exclusive, special stop at The Wooden Horse on   Sunday  Dec 11 from 12-2PM.  Bring your cameras and holiday wishes!!


Campbell Mom's Toy Drive

We are proud to be supporting the 4th annual Campbell Mom's toy drive benefitting a local non-profit organization EMQ FamilesFirst which serves children and adolescents in need of local mental health treatment programs.

Drop off a toy in the donation box located in our store now through Dec 21.

Find out more about EMQ FamiliesFirst here

Spooky Story Contest Winners

Spooky Story Writers!  We receive a lot of creative submissions this year.  You'll find this year's winners here.

Wooden Horse Online

We are pleased to launch our updated website.  It has completely been redone to bring in the latest in e-commerce technology to better serve our loyal customers.  Check it out and give us your feedback!