March 2018 Challenge: Happily Other After

We all know how the fairytale ends — happily ever after, of course! The glass slipper fits and Cinderella marries the prince. Thumbelina meets a flower-fairy prince who is just her size. Pinocchio becomes a real boy.

For this month’s challenge, we want you to use your imagination and your creativity and write an original, unexpected fairytale: Jack and the Bean Sprouts, the story of a boy who would only eat legumes; Sleeping Duty, a beautiful but spoiled princess is so disruptive in school that her teacher sends her to the nap room for detention; or Grumpy Stilts Kin, about a family of circus performers who don’t get along.

What makes a fairytale a fairytale, and how to do invent one from your own imagination? Here’s a checklist you can use:

1. The story takes place a long time ago or in a far-away land.
2. A good character has a desire or a goal, but an evil character stands in their way.
3. Something magical happens—sometimes a witch casts a spell or magical creatures such as fairies play a role. Often times, magic helps the good character escape from evil.
4. At the end of the fairytale, the problem is resolved. In most fairytales, a happily ever after means that someone marries a prince. But we think you can come up with something more original.

Tip: Your fairytale can be inspired by a classic (for example, a princess can kiss a frog), but we want you to make up new characters. Don’t use characters from Disney movies. As always on Storybird, we don’t allow fan fiction, which are stories that use another author’s characters. Write a story that comes from your own imagination.

You must finish the fairytale in a SHORT picture book (15 pages or less), and you may not kill off any of your characters. Make sure your story has a beginning, a middle, and an end. It doesn’t have to be a happy ending but like all fairytales, it must have an ending that solves the problem. Good luck!

Do the Challenge

March 2018 Challenge: Happily Other After


1. Theme of the month: Happily Other After – Use your imagination and creativity to write an original and unexpected fairytale in a short PICTURE BOOK (15 pages or less). In this challenge, you may not kill off any of your characters. All stories submitted to the challenge must follow our community guidelines.

2. Choose your artwork – Browse our library of images to find the artwork or artist that inspires you, or search for a specific theme (like “princess“). Select the PICTURE BOOK format.

3. Submit – When you have finished your fairytale, select “March Challenge” on the details page before you publish. You may only submit one picture book to the challenge, so make it great!

4. Eligibility – Any Storybird member with a Regular account can participate in our writing challenges. Students are not eligible. Paid membership is not required but it will allow you receive beautiful printable certificates for each challenge.

5. Moderation – Paid membership ensures your work is reviewed within 1-2 days. Otherwise, your work will be reviewed on a first-come, first serve basis and can take up to several weeks to be visible in the public library. We try to accelerate Challenge entries because of the short timeframe, but there are no guarantees. You may redeem Crowns for Express Moderation.

6. Due date – To be eligible to be featured, your book must be submitted to moderation on or before March 24, 2018. Selected entries will be featured on the Storybird blog at the end of the month.

Do the Challenge

Please note: You must have a Regular account to enter the challenge—Student accounts are not eligible. Stories must be published from Regular accounts to appear in the public library and to be featured on our blog. Stories published from Student accounts are only visible to members of their class and do not appear in the public library.

Badge artwork by Kelley McMorris, Featured artwork by StorySeamstress

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