I (Stephanie) am currently taking a class on writing contemporary fairy tales. It has been so much fun revisiting the stories of my childhood and twisting them into something new, personal, and different. It’s opening up whole new realms of creativity for me, and I hope it will do the same for you.
What stories were told or read in your family? “Rapunzel,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Baba Yaga,” and the “Little Mermaid” are all stories that I grew up with, but I know there is a whole WORLD of others out there (Anansi folktales, Aesop’s fables, folktales from One Thousand and One Nights, and MORE!) so think about your own favorite stories.
Now, how might you be able to make that story yours, make it new? This might mean changing the setting, like placing the story in a big city, or even on the internet, instead of in the woods. It might mean changing up the characters. In my class, we read a version of “Hansel and Gretel” by Francine Prose where instead of brother and sister, the Hansel and Gretel characters were unhappy newlyweds and the witch was an avant-garde artist. You could also take the villain’s point of view to shake things up. You can make your retelling funny or a serious statement, and of course, you may re-envision a fairy tale in whatever form suits you best—as a story, a poem, a comic, painting, or other form of visual art. Please send your fairy tale made new (along with a note about what it is based on, if you want!) and your first name, last initial, age, and location to [email protected] with the subject line “Creative Prompt” by Monday, June 20 at 6 PM EST.
Your last prompt was to go on a road trip. Here’s what you discovered on your adventure…