With Autumn marking the end to our seasonal themes, the theme for our fifth Better Read Kids Writing Competition was Twisted Fairy Tales, which provided the scope for unparalleled creativity, imagination, and sophistication that we have not seen so far in the kids writing competitions. Each entrant between the ages of 8 and 14 submitted a truly unique short creative piece of approximately 800 words.
In these pieces, Fairy Tales have been twisted, so that princesses save themselves, maidens bestow true love’s kiss, and the binary between Good vs. Evil has become ambiguous than ever! Captured in amongst the traditional tales are stories that have been built for the modern age, casting a lens on our time. In these new worlds, Cinderella is now an online dater or the ruler of her own kingdom, and the ugly step-sister’s write letters home about their rough time milking cows; Aroura from Sleeping Beauty is awoken by the kiss of a maid and Thumbelina falls in love with the Fairy Princess; Rapunzel takes charge of her own rescue; Hansel and Gretel join a gang or squash the Witch having gained weight from over-eating; Pinocchio is a punk who gets himself into all kinds of trouble; Little Red Riding Hood is less innocent and more conniving, and the tables have turned on the wolf in The Three Little Pigs.
Some of the entrants have also entered other pieces into our previous writing competitions, so seeing how their writing has developed and been inspired by the opportunity provided by the Better Read Kids writing competitions is a bigger measure of magic than any fairy tale could offer. There are definitely some future authors within the pages of this anthology, and each one sings with a love for books, words, and storytelling.