The 'Order of the Occult Hand' is a whimsical society of journalists who occasionally slip a meaningless telltale phrase "It was as if an occult hand had…" in news articles as an inside joke & journalism challenge.

The Order of the Occult Hand


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Application deadline: Rolling and varies.  Order of the Occult Hand journalism challeges and contests are announced by email alerts only.

Application fee: None for active Fourth Estate Members. $5 for non-members.

Prize: A custom 'Order of the Occult Hand' certificate and cash award.

This contest's goal is to “encourage and recognize" the best use of a meaningless telltale phrase in a published news article within a specified time frame.  The phrase and parameters vary from challenge to challenge.

The contest and challenges are in honor of the "Order of the Occult Hand", an unoffical and whimsical "society" of reporters and journalists who have been able to slip the meaningless phrase  "It was as if an occult hand had…" in print news as a sort of a game and inside joke.

While the Order of the Occult Hand challenges are hosted and administered by the Fourth Estate, any journalist is eligible to apply, including non-members.



"It was as if an occult hand had reached down from above and moved the players like pawns upon some giant chessboard."

— Joseph Flanders, The Charlotte News