The March Madness Writing Contest

… AKA my kind of March Madness, because it doesn’t involve basketball, and whatever brackets are.

Children’s book author Susanna Leonard Hill is hosting this contest on her site. The name of the game is to write a “fractured fairy tale” type of children’s story or poem in 400 words or less, spring theme optional. Entries must be posted by Monday, in case you’re interested. There are some cool prizes. (Have I mentioned that I love 12 x 12? I find out about so many great things through the forums and the Facebook group.)

So, write and post a 400-word goof on a fairy tale in less than four days? Challenge … accepted. My entry is below. Enjoy.



 400 words


            Once upon a time, a little girl named Carrie –

            “No! Carrie-ella!”

            A little girl named Carrie-ella lived in a castleish sort of house with her family. She was quite upset.

            “My mean stepmother won’t let me go to the ball!” she told her toy mice.

            “I’m not your stepmother,” sighed her mother. “And it’s a pool party.”

            “All I do,” Carrie-ella continued, “is clean and clean.”

            “You do need to pick up your toys first,” agreed her mother.

            Carrie-ella glared at everything. “But my mean stepsisters get to go to the ball. And they don’t have to do any work.”

            “Mean?” asked her brother Carl.

            “Stepsisters?” asked her brother Ricky.

            “Anyhow, we already took the trash out,” said Carl.

            “And did the dishes,” said Ricky. “See you at the party, Carrie.”

            “It’s Carrie-ella!” she yelled after them.

            “Pick up your toys and then we can go,” said her mother.

            Carrie-ella pouted. “My fairy godmother is going to give me a gown and a coach. Then I’ll go to the ball.”

            “You mean the teddy bear with the wand? I don’t think she can do that,” said her mother.

            Carrie-ella’s lip quivered. “If only my daddy the king were here to help me.”

            Her father stuck his head into her room. “Everything OK?”

            Her mother whispered, “You’re not supposed to be in this story.”

            Her father shrugged. “I’ll go mow the lawn.”

            Carrie-ella collapsed onto the floor. “Mean stepmother,” she wailed. “I’m missing everything.”

            “Hmm,” said her mother. Then she bent down beside Carrie-ella. “I think the real problem is that there’s a spell on you.”

            Carrie-ella stopped crying. “There is?” she said, eyes wide.

            “Yes. Hurry and clean up your toys so I can tell you about it.”

            Carrie-ella ran to put her things away. Then she looked at her mother. “What spell?”

            Her mother said, “I think a mean witch has put a sleep spell on you. That’s why you’re so tired.”

            Carrie-ella did feel tired. And a little grumpy.

            “You need to get in bed until I can find the witch and break the spell,” her mother said.

            “But that’s not how the story goes,” Carrie-ella said.

            “It is now,” her mother said firmly. She tucked Carrie-ella into bed. “After I break the spell, we can go to the ball. Okay, Carrie-ella?”

            “Okay, Mommy,” Carrie said, and fell asleep.

            After her nap, they all swam happily ever after.


22 thoughts on “The March Madness Writing Contest

  1. I love this it is so very sweet and the characters are clear with distinct voices. You have told the tale so well I was caught up in its spell and smiled as Carrie fell asleep. Clever Mommy. Clever writer 🙂

  2. Hi Marlaina…
    Great fracture of Cinderella…I did one also.:)
    I love how you modernized it all…very relevant AND funny…and glad to see that Carrie-ella got her much-need nap…we all need more sleep, right? 🙂

  3. This was a fun take on Cinderella. I also did a Cinderella retake – roborella. I have some kids that quite often have sleepy spells cast on them by evil witches.

  4. Hi Marlaina – I haven’t met you yet in 12×12, but I’m so glad you entered the contest! What a fun twist on Cinderella, and so wonderfully kid-friendly and believable! I’m glad they all ended up having fun in the pool 🙂 Thanks so much for joining in the springtime writing madness! 🙂

    • Hi Susanna – I’ve been a little more active in the Facebook group than the forums, although I’ve been meaning to catch up on the latter. I’m in the debut PB group too and those discussions have been pretty intense and thoughtful. I’m glad you like the story and thanks so much for holding the contest — this was fun!

  5. You’ve got the toddler down! Grumpy, insistent, and pouty. But also imaginative and believing in magic. We’ll done take!

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