ArtistaDonna Nata

ArtistaDonna Nata

Sunday, March 23, 2014

The March Madness Writing Contest

The March Madness Writing Contest Is Here!!!


Spring is here!

And so is
The MarcMadness Writing Contest!

The Contest: Write a children's story, in poetry or prosemaximum 400 words, that is a fractured fairy tale.  Feel free to add a theme of spring, or mix in one of the spring holidays if you like - St. Patrick's Day, April Fools Day, Easter or Passover, Arbor Day, Earth Day...  Have fun with it!  The madder* the better! :)
*as in wild and wacky, not angry :)
You do not have to include spring - that is optional.
The story can be a picture book or a short story - whatever you like.
If it's a picture book, you may NOT include art notes, because we get into a weird area of whether that's fair in terms of word count and added description etc.  So if you write a picture book that's wonderful, but make sure art notes aren't necessary to understand it.
"Fairy Tale" apparently turned out to be a very debatable term, so my fellow judges and I will do our best to handle whatever you've come up with.
Title not included in word count.
Post:  Your entry should be posted on your blog between right now this very second and Monday March 24 at 11:59 PM EST, and your post-specific link should be added to the link list below which will remain up through Wednesday March 26 so we can all take our time reading and enjoying everyone's stories!  (No PPBF on Friday March 21, no new post on Monday March 24, no WYRI on March 26).  If you don't have a blog but would like to enter, please copy and paste your entry into the comments below.  (If anyone has trouble commenting, which unfortunately happens, please email me and I'll post your entry for you!)

The Judge:  My lovely assistant and I will narrow down the entrants to 6 finalists (or possibly a couple more depending on the number of entries :)) which will be posted here on Thursday March 27 for you to vote on for a winner.  The vote will be closed at 5PM EST on Sunday March 30 and the winner will be announced on Monday March 31.  (No PPBF on Friday March 28.)

The Prizes!:  
 - 1st Prize is a read and critique by Karen Grencik of Red Fox Literary!!! (Unless for some reason you don't want a read and critique by an agent, in which case you may swap for any of the other prizes)
 - 2nd Prize is a picture book manuscript critique (for rhyming mss only) by Lori Degman, author of 1 ZANY ZOO and the forthcoming COCK-A-DOODLE-OOPS! OR a picture book manuscript critique (for non-rhyming mss only) by Cori Doerrfeld, author/illustrator of LITTLE BUNNY FOO FOO and PENNY LOVES PINK as well as illustrator of many others.
 - 3rd Prize is personalized signed copies of THE THREE NINJA PIGS and GOLDI ROCKS & THE THREE BEARS by Corey Rosen Schwartz PLUS a $25 Amazon Gift Card
 - 4th and 5th Prizes are your choice of any two of the following picture books PLUS a $20 Amazon Gift Card:
     - LITTLE RED WRITING by Joan Holub
     - THE PRINCESS AND THE PEAS by Caryl Hart

 - 6th Prize (which just skated in under the wire - thank you Sudipta!) is a personalized signed copy of hot-off-the-presses SNORING BEAUTY by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen

And don't forget, all you illustrators, that this will be followed by a related Illustrator Contest in April!!! (to be announced and elaborated on as soon as the writing part of the contest is over! :))

And now, so that everyone will feel happy and confident about posting their stories, I will share my sample, a Wild West twist on The Gingerbread Boy at exactly 400 words (phew!):

The Cornpone Cowboy
     Once upon a time (because that is the way all good fairy tales begin), Farmer Bubba and his lovely bride ThunderLily had the most beautiful ranch in the Wild West.
     The grass was emerald green.
     The rivers were pure as morning dew.
     The cattle were sleek and fat and gave such rich, creamy milk that all the ice cream makers in the world fought over who would get it.
     But even with all this beauty and excellent ice cream, Bubba and ThunderLily were sad.  For though they were surrounded every spring by velvet-eyed calves and stilt-legged foals, fluffy chicks, pink piglets, and wooly lambs, they never had a child of their own.
     Luckily, ThunderLily was not one to sit around moping.  "If I can't have a child, I'll make one," she told her darling Bubba.
     She got cornmeal and buttermilk, eggs, salt, and bacon drippings, and quick as you like she whipped up a sturdy little Cornpone Cowboy.
     "We'll call him Charlemagne," she said dreamily as she plucked the skillet from the barbeque pit.
     "You'll have to catch me first!" snorted the Cornpone Cowboy, and off he rode as fast as his cowpony could carry him.
     He passed the pigpen and the piglets grunted, “Oh, Charlemagne! Come be our friend!”
     “Don’t call me that!” said the Cornpone Cowboy, and he galloped on his way.
     He passed the sheepfold and the lambs baahed, “Oh, Charlemagne! Come be our friend!”
     “Don’t call me that!” said the Cornpone Cowboy, and he galloped on his way.
     He passed the cow barn and the calves mooed, “Oh, Charlemagne! Come be our friend!”
     “Why does everyone insist on calling me that?” said the Cornpone Cowboy, and he galloped on his way.
     And so it was at the hen house…
     . . . the horse pasture…
     . . . and the goat shed.
     Along about sundown a voice called, “Hey, Cowboy! Won’t you come set a spell by the campfire?”
     “Don’t mind if I do,” said the Cornpone Cowboy, tuckered out from galloping. He hopped down from his pony, spurs a-janglin’, and came face to face with…
     . . . COYOTE!
     Quick as a wink he twirled his lariat. . . 
     . . . hog-tied Coyote . . .
     . . . and lit out for home!
     When Bubba and ThunderLily heard his story, ThunderLily said, “That’s our boy! Lightning fast!”
     Which is how he came to be called LightningCharlie instead of Charlemagne (because really, who could live with that?) and they all lived happily ever after!

The End


  Little Flying Wings
By Nata Romeo

Once upon a farm, a little pig lived with her mama. Little pig always wore wings, and was called Little Waddling Wings by everyone who knew her.
           One day, Little Waddling Wing’s mama squealed, “We have run out of food! Take my secret cupcake recipe and sell it to the bakery in exchange for money.”
            Little Waddling Wings flapped her wings and said, “Mama, I won’t run, but I will fly to the Bakery!”
            “Pigs can’t fl…” mama began to say as Little Waddling Wings interrupted.
             Little Waddling Wings said, “I can fly mama!” she waddled and flapped her wings, “I know I can!”
            “We don’t have time for games,” mama said sternly, “you must run and do not talk to strangers.”

            Little Waddling Wings ran through the farm, past a wolf and all the way to the bakery.
The hungry wolf took a short cut, got to the bakery, locked the baker in the closet and dressed into a chef's coat, hat, pants and clogs.
Little Waddling Wings skidded into the bakery.
“Can I help you?” said the wolf.
“Mama said to sell her secret recipe for money,” said Little Waddling Wings.
“Come a little closer my dear, my ears don’t work like they used to,” said the wolf.
“What big ears you have,” said Little Waddling Wings.
“Better to hear you with, come a little closer,” said the wolf.
“What big eyes you have,” said Little Waddling Wings.
“Better to see you with, come a little closer,” said the wolf.
“What sharp teeth you have,” said Little Waddling Wings.
“BETTER TO EAT YOU WITH!” said the wolf.
Little Waddling Wings dashed faster than she had ever sprinted before. Her feet lifted off the ground, she fluttered all the way to the farm police.
            “I’m flying!” hollered Little Waddling Wings, “I knew I could!”
The farm police arrested the wolf, and freed the baker.
The baker loved mama’s secret cupcake recipe. He gave Little Waddling Wings enough money to feed her and mama for many years to come. Little Waddling Wings was then called Little Flying Wings by everyone who knew her.


Cecilia said...

I love lightning Charlie. Gorgeous twist on the gingerbread man. Well done well done :)

Little waddly wings is cute too. :)

Nata ArtistaDonna said...

thank you Cecilia :)

Anonymous said...

Aww - now I'd like to see an illo for Little Waddling Wings, Nata!

Juliana Lee said...

Nice job Nata! The ol' wolf has met his match!

Susanna Leonard Hill said...

What a clever, fun twist on Red Riding Hood, Nata! i'm longing for a picture of that cutie-pie pig :) I love that she gets the wolf taken care of when pigs actually do fly :) Thanks for joining in the contest Madness! :)

Anonymous said...

Great twist on Little Red Riding Hood...and I loved that she gets to fly...a rival for Olivia's tenacity and courage! Great job, Nata. :)

Erika W- The Jersey Farm Scribe said...

Such a sweet story! I enjoyed it!

Jackie Wellington said...

I pictured your fantastic illustration as I read your story. Great job :D

Elliah A. Terry said...

This reads like a true fairy tale. Do well done!

Elliah A. Terry said...


Nata ArtistaDonna said...

Thank you Julie!

Nata ArtistaDonna said...

Thank you Juliana!

Nata ArtistaDonna said...

Thank you Susanna! I doodled the pig with wings even before I decided on the story :)

Nata ArtistaDonna said...

Thank you Vivian!

Nata ArtistaDonna said...

Thank you Erika!

Nata ArtistaDonna said...

Thank you Jackie :)

Nata ArtistaDonna said...

Thank you Elliah!

Debbie Austin said...

So cute, Nata. I especially liked that the wolf dressed in clogs. I would like to see that illustration! And pigs can fly! Who knew?

Nata ArtistaDonna said...

Thank you Debbie!

Laura Renauld said...

Little Red, with a touch if Jack and the Beanstalk. Very clever!

Joanne Roberts said...

I can just picture your piggie with wings. So cute!

Nata ArtistaDonna said...

Thank you Laura and Joanne :)