Friday, June 26, 2009


Please read every post on this page before entering.
Also, when I say you need to follow the basic story guidelines below and that's it, well, that's it. People in it can be Asian, Black, European, from the 800's, from the future -- I don't care.

Friday, June 19, 2009

'Variants' on Sleeping Beauty

Would-be "Sleeping Beauty" writing contestants might find looking over a few variants fun and and inspiring. I'm hoping that reading a number of variants will show you that fairy tales by their very nature are elastic. They are meant to be tweaked, expanded, shrunken -- they are meant for anyone to make them what they want them to be.
Here's an illustration to help inspire you, by Kay Nielsen. You can read some variants by going to this link:

More Important Contest Info

I've had some excellent questions about the contest (thanks Sasha)! I will post clarifications as I think of them.
But here are a few very important ones:
The story does not have to be set in any specific time period.
The characters do not need to be royal, or have certain names.
Many, many details can and should be uniquely yours.
The bare bones, basic structure of the story should remain intact in the retelling.
Elements that I will be looking for in each story:
A lovely baby girl is born to well off and doting parents.
Magic, both for good and evil must be involved at her christening or dedication ceremony or celebration-of-birth party. I mean the fairy-tale kind of magic.
The parents must have rules trying to circumvent the terrible fate that is awaiting the adored daughter.
Those efforts must fail.
Heroine must fall into a death-like sleep, but remain lovely.
Young, intrepid hero must eventually find her and awaken her.
A wedding with the prediction of a positive (not necessarily happily ever after) future made clear.
Everything else is up to the writer. That means every other detail.
I would suggest taking a little trip through some variants of the story, of which there are many -- not because I want you to replicate them. But they will spark your imagination, and remind you that taking liberties with fairy tales is part of the whole process of appreciating and understanding them.
By the way, I am the only judge. My qualifications are that I teach about fairy tales at a university. I also teach writing at IUSB. And I just wanted to hold a contest and reward someone with something lovely (the prize).

'Sleeping Beauty' Rewrite Contest Basic Rules

Starting July 1, 2009 and ending at midnight, July 31, 2009, I will be holding a writing contest on my blog,
The contest will require writers to retell "Sleeping Beauty" in 1,000 words or less. Entries that are too early, too late or too long will be automatically disqualified.
The prize will be a one-of-a-kind box that will feature the fairy tale as a theme. It's value will be about $50.00 It will be handmade by an artist.
The story cannot have been published elsewhere prior to its publication on It will be published on the blog in early August and will remain there indefinitely. Once the winning story is published, the author will be free to publish it anywhere else.
The posting for the contest is only on the Diamonds and Toads blog. I have no sources or contacts of any kind in any form of the publishing industry.
The story must be young-adult in tone, but G-rated. It should not be geared to small children.
No artwork will be accepted.
No critiques will be offered, nor will explanations. Emails demanding to know why the author did not win will be ignored. Demanding emails of any kind related to the contest will be ignored.
The published story will be open to blog reader comments.
No students who have been (or will soon be) in my classes at IUSB are eligible (they will know who they are). is a non-profit site dedicated to the enjoyment, study and analysis of fairy tales. It is part of my teaching efforts at IUSB. I gain nothing from this contest beyond the enjoyment of it. I will be purchasing the prize myself, and I will bear all competition costs.
There is no entry fee.
It is open to people in the US only. I am confining this contest to the US only because this is the first time I have ever done anything like this. I have no idea if I will get three or 300 entries. If I ever do this again, it is highly possible that I will open this contest to people outside the US.
Entrants must be 18 or older.
Entries must be in English.
You will need to send me your full name and address. The address will be kept private, and if you wish to write under a pen name, I'll keep your real name secret as well.
Hope this covers it all and that you will partake in the contest.