Yearning for Wonderland

There is such a place as fairyland - but only children can find the way to it...until they have grown so old that they forget the way. Only a few, who remain children at heart, can ever find that fair, lost path again...The world calls them singers and poets and artists and story-tellers; but they are just people who have never forgotten the way to fairyland. ~ L.M Montgomery

National Flash Fiction Day and #OUATWriting WINNARS!

 HAPPY NATIONAL FLASH FICTION DAY!

Although this is a UK based website, National Flash Fiction Day (#NFFD on Twitter) has gained traction worldwide. You can click here to find international recognition of the winners.

To celebrate NFFD, I teamed up with renowned British Flash Fiction writer SJI Holliday to bring you the Once Upon a Time Flash Fiction contest.

To be a winner is pleasant, but a WINNAR is a consummation devoutly to be wished.

To select the WINNARS of the Once Upon a Time Writing Contest was akin to finding your favorite puppy in a kennel. Some of them bark loudly to get your attention, some nip at you, some have big puppy eyes and…okay, enough with the simile. It was tough.

After a great deal of consultation with my lovely co-host, SJI Holliday, we FINALLY narrowed it down to three authors.

To see the full and magnificent details of the prizes offered, go here. Thanks again to the generosity of Jessica Gray and Diane J. Reed!

And without further ado, here are the WINNARS of the Once Upon a Time Writing Contest!

* The winner of the AWAKE Prize Package (Best Adaptation of an Existing Fairytale)

ANGELA READMAN

You can read Angela’s reboot of The Little Mermaid, entitled A Mermaid in Texas.

* The winner of the TWIXT Prize Package (Best Original Fairytale)


MCKENZIE BARHAM

You can read Mackenzie’s original tale here.

* The winner of the Grand Prize Package

OLIVER BARTON

You can read Oliver’s story, Pink Bells.

Much thanks and congratulations to all who entered, who made it impossible for us to decide!

Once Upon a Time Writing Contest: Fan Favorite Contest!

ADDENDUM 5/4/12: The Once Upon a Time Fan Favorite Contest has ended! The winner, with a total of an unbelievable 47 votes is Cory Eadson (@evermore_evil) for his story, “Three Simple Words.” Go read it and comment and if you’re on Twitter, say congrats to Cory!

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*drumroll* HEAR YE! HEAR YE! Tis time again for that ever popular FanFav contest on Twitter. If you are not on Twitter, I hereby recommend you create a free account. Go on. I’ll wait.
Okay, now that you are on Twitter I will fill you in on this fun and fast-paced contest. All you need to participate is a free Twitter account.

This FanFav contest involves the entries of the Once Upon a Time Writing Contest (tag #ouatwriting).

First, go and read the 88 entries for the #OUATWRITING contest. Or just read your favorites. Or the authors who have the best thumbnails. Then choose your three favorite. I’ll see you in 72 hours when you are done. (Just kidding, the contest starts tomorrow, 5/2/12).

Contest Details:

* The contest is only open on Twitter. No other form of entries will be accepted.

* Each person can vote for a maximum of three stories.

* The contest is open for 12 hours ONLY, from 8 am EST to 8 pm EST on 5/2/12. All entries included in this time will be counted. All entries outside of that will be discarded.

TO CAST A VOTE:

* People will vote by tweeting the author’s name of their favorite story, followed by tags #fanfav and #ouatwriting. Both @SJIHolliday and I will be tracking and auditing votes separately for accuracy.

TO AUTHORS, I highly recommend you canvas for votes by tweeting your links, cajoling your followers, bullying, begging and earning votes by any (legal) means necessary in order to win this most amazing prize.

(And no, you cannot vote for yourself. Sheesh)

THE PRIZE:

Oh yes, this is what you were wondering about, wasn’t it? Remember that amazing contest I ran just a month or so ago: the Fairy Ring Contest?

The prize is a glorious professional audiobook recording of The Fairy Ring by Mary Losure (Candlewick 2012), narrated by Nicola Barber.

The audiobook is a brand-new release (List: $19.99) and 2 world-transporting hours away from our grey reality.

Are you ready for some hijinks? See you at 8 AM!

Once Upon a Time Writing Contest: Laurie Theurer

Once Upon a Time Writing Contest Details found here.

Spotted
By Laurie Theurer


There once was a zebra named Zed. He was a zebra of the ordinary sort… white with black stripes. He looked and acted just like the other zebras of his herd. He grazed on the sweet grass. He drank at the nearby water hole. He flicked his tail at flies.

Zed had become bored with his life and longed for something different.

“Why?” asked Zoë, another young zebra. “We have the perfect life!”

“It’s not enough,” replied Zed. “I want to stand out from the crowd and be different.”

Zed had an idea and convinced two monkeys to help. They met behind the shrubs near the water hole. One monkey gathered white dust from the dry lake and mixed it with water. This made a slimy white paste, which he smeared all over Zed’s body until the stripes disappeared! 

The second monkey gathered black stones and ground them into a fine powder. He mixed this powder with water and used his fingers to paint black polka dots all over Zed’s body. NOW, Zed felt different and special!

When Zed returned to the herd, the other zebras “oooohed” and “aaaahed” at his beautiful polka dots. 

Everyone except Zoë. She rolled her eyes and shook her head.

Zed had another brilliant idea.

“Attention everybody,” he shouted. “Come forward and meet your new king… ME! From this moment forward, you will serve ME. Bring me some sweet grass from the meadow, NOW!”
To Zoë’s amazement, the others obeyed their new spotted ruler.

Early that evening, reports zipped among the zebras that cheetahs were approaching their herd. 

Everyone was on high alert, except Zed. He was busy giving meal orders, having a polka dot touch-up, and demanding a hoof massage. As the cheetahs came nearer, the herd ran back and forth, attempting to confuse them with their shifting patterns of stripes.

This time, Zoë had the brilliant idea. She maneuvered closer to Zed and whinnied, “Zed, run!!!”

At last Zed noticed the cheetahs and bolted. Of course, the cheetahs spotted Zed’s polka dots immediately. And they didn’t mind the taste of the paint.

Once Upon a Time Writing Contest: Christine Anderton

The Monster
by Christine Anderton

    In that instant, the sheer force of power emanating from the mirror knocked the gathered crowd off their feet, and my hands went up to shield my eyes from the flash of blinding light. I blinked hard to clear my vision. Around me, people were beginning to stand. I stared into the mirror, horrified and disgusted by what I saw. At the sight of glistening teeth, the townspeople screamed, in fear for their lives. She was quick to correct them. “Kind and gentle,” she said. I leaned in to get a closer look.
 
    I recognized the mirror. I had seen it once before, the night we fled. I stared at the image before me, familiar dishonest eyes glaring back at me in a challenge. 

And suddenly I knew. Memories flooded back, pounding me, one after another. Years of being second best. He had always been the favorite, never mind how he had tormented me when they weren’t around.

    That night years ago, he had behaved as usual, without thinking about how his actions would affect anyone else. Because of him, my life had been taken away from me. He had selfishly ruined everything, and I felt no pity for him. He deserved such a curse. Since then, I had worked hard to become an expert huntsman and had actually made a name for myself.

    I pulled my eyes away from the mirror and studied her. Her feelings were obvious. The way she looked at him, the way she cradled the mirror, the way her voice changed when she spoke about him. Kind and gentle? I knew what she didn’t. I knew what he was really like. And now he had my girl.
 
    She would marry me. I had asked nicely, but she refused. I wouldn’t give up that easily. She just needed a little persuading. I had come here tonight prepared to take either her hand or her father – the decision was hers. Now I realized that something more stood in my way. I would have Belle for my wife yet, even if it meant killing my brother.

Once Upon a Time Writing Contest: Molly Carr

 ON OR OFF COURSE?  By Molly Carr

   Being President of the Company was what he enjoyed since decision-making was meat and drink to him. And, of course, he lived like a Prince on his vast income.

   Now he was on his way to see the widow of one of his business rivals. It was important to wake her up to the necessity of keeping the firm viable – at least until he could organise an advantageous takeover bid.


   Half-way to the house he changed his mind. Neither the business nor the woman would be any use to him. All that it  needed was to ask his secretary to send a large basket of expensive flowers, along with a printed message of condolence.

   Without wavering – true to himself – he turned the Masarati and made for the nearest golf course.