Thursday, August 29, 2013

Once Upon a Time I Entered a Contest to Write a Fairy Tale...

that could be illustrated by this lovely painting by Julie Paschkis:
and I won!  My prize is the painting!  I'm so excited.  It will live happily ever after above my writing desk, to remind me that, amid all the rejections, sometimes good luck breaks through.  Here's the announcement:

AND….the winner is Deborah Holt Williams. We liked that in so few words she created a plot using all of the elements in the painting in a way that made sense but was not predictable. Her fairy-tale language felt timeless but not cloying. Her ending was funny and a good piece of advice.  Congratulations!

And here is my story:

Once upon a time, young Helga and her brother Hans followed their frisky hound into a deep forest and became hopelessly lost. A cloak of darkness fell upon the woods, and the children began to worry about wolves in the night.
“I shall sleep on top of the tree,” said Hans,”where I can see the wolves if they come in the night.”
“I shall tie myself to the tree with my hair,” said Helga, “so I will feel the tree shake if the wolves come in the night.”
The dog lay down with his nose to the ground, so he could smell the wolves if they came in the night.
But while they slept, a hungry and very quiet bear tippy-toed through the woods and ate them all.
“When you prepare for one misfortune,” said the bear, picking his teeth, “you may be surprised by another one entirely.”


  1. What a wonderful story! It's amazing that you wrote this in only few words. I can see why you won. Love the surprise ending!

  2. Thanks, Romelle! I didn't think I'd win because the bear eats everyone, but I guess the original fairy tales were pretty violent, too.

  3. Love it Deb. You did a great job interpreting the picture - which is gorgeous by the way. Enjoy it!