Announcing Rooglewood Press’s New Fairytale Retelling Contest (also, Ana has a major writing dilemma)

I am so excited to be one of the bloggers making this announcement, you guys. I don’t think I can even accurately express my excitement right now. Not only am I a huge fan of Anne Elisabeth Stengl’s books, but I am also a huge fan of the opportunities she offers readers, including this contest. I’ve never entered her fairy tale novella contest before, but I sure plan on doing so this time around. The official announcement is below, but is followed by my own personal commentary because I have lots to comment on!


Rooglewood Press is delighted to introduce their third fairy tale novella contest—

 Five Magic Spindles

a collection of “Sleeping Beauty” stories

The challenge is to write a retelling of the beloved fairy tale in any genre or setting you like. Make certain your story is recognizably “Sleeping Beauty,” but have fun with it as well. Make it yours!

Rooglewood Press will be selecting five winners to be published in the Five Magic Spindles collection, which will be packaged up with the phenomenal cover you see here. Maybe your name will be one of the five listed?

Displaying Five Magic Spindles.jpg

All the contest rules and information (how to enter, story details, deadline etc.) may be found on the Rooglewood Press website. Just click HERE and you will go right to the page.

Rooglewood Press’s first collection, Five Glass Slippers is available for purchase, and our second collection, Five Enchanted Roses is scheduled to launch on July 27, and is currently available for pre-order. Be certain to get a copy of each and see what previous winners did with their wonderful retellings.

This cover illustration was rendered by Julia Popova, “ForestGirl.” You can find out more about this gifted artist on her website:


First of all, what I want all of you to do is take a deep breath, because I know how breathless you are from the excitement. Yes, the fairytale for this year will be SLEEPING BEAUTY. I am actually very proud of myself because this was one of my guesses, along with Rumpelstiltskin and the Twelve Dancing Princesses. To be honest, Rumpelstiltskin was my first guess, but it’s alright that it didn’t get chosen. Someday, maybe?

Anyways, I am very excited to begin brainstorming for this fairytale retelling of mine. Between the Brother’s Grimm version, the Charles Perrault version, and the Disney version, there are so many variations of Sleeping Beauty that can be explored. The faintest threads of ideas are beginning to form in my mind, and I am eager to flesh them out.

Except there’s only one slight problem. The romance. I know, I know, you can’t really have a fairytale without romance because the fact of the matter is that pretty much all fairytales have a huge romance plot thread. *le sigh* The problem here is that I can’t really write romance, because who are we kidding? I know absolutely nothing about romance, and I have no idea how to write a love story or a romantic subplot or even a crush. Nevermind writing about the inevitable kiss that happens in Sleeping Beauty. I guess I shall have to come up with an idea that somehow evades romance entirely. Nevertheless, I shall not let this dilemma dumb down my excitement (yes I know I need a thesaurus to better talk about my excitement.)

So, are you excited about this big reveal? What’s your favorite fairytale? What’s your favorite fairytale retelling? Do you think you’ll enter the contest? And finally, do you have any tips for writing romance for a writer who has never done so before? Or should I just come up with an idea that avoids it? PLEASE TELL ME BECAUSE I AM DESPERATE.

Oh, and have a go at the Twitter thingy, if you would like.

Ana reveals Rooglewood’s new fairytale retelling cover AND the fact that she is incapable of writing romance. (Click to Tweet.)



34 thoughts on “Announcing Rooglewood Press’s New Fairytale Retelling Contest (also, Ana has a major writing dilemma)

  1. I don’t really want to enter the contest, but that’s really cool! Good luck, Ana. Hmmm, as for the romance (as one totally inexperienced person to another) you could a) make something that is really awkward between the girl and the prince as they realise that they only want to be friends, or you could change the prophecy so it’s about something else or you cold do something entirely different (I don’t know)


    1. Haha, well being inexperienced is never a bad thing. I think I will make them just friends. Maybe when Sleeping Beauty wakes up the prince will be like “So, we’re supposed to love each other,” and then Sleeping Beauty will be like “Heck, no.” And then they’ll just be friends.


  2. Sleeping Beauty WAS my guess. Oh, wow. I’m excited. While I wouldn’t say that Sleeping Beauty is my FAVORITE fairy tale, it’s among my favorites to retell. I’m entering for certain and sure this year – I’ve already written over five hundred words. Currently, I think Rumplestilskin is going to make an appearance somewhere in my retelling, because his is the the other fairy tale involving a spinning wheel, and … you’ll just have to come see my blog to see what I’m doing. It’s insane.

    Tips for romance … read marriage counselling books. XD Weird, I know, but it’s how I learned to write guys, which led to my ability to write romance. ALTHOUGH, leaving out the romance is a totally viable option. Sure, in the OFFICIAL tale, true love’s kiss is romantic – but if you’ve watched any OUaT, you’ll learn that it’s sometimes between parent to child. Or maybe you can tell the story of how she woke up without the prince. Your options are THERE.


    1. You need to teach me your ways so I can become a master guesser, too, Kendra. It’s wonderful that you already feel inspired by this fairytale, and I think mixing two fairytales sounds like a great idea. I was actually so excited when I saw the announcement because I read it wrong for a split second and was so excited that it was going to be Rumpelstiltskin. But…then I slowed down and realized I read it wrong. I’m still excited, though.

      Ha. Reading marriage counseling books is something I’ve never heard of, but it does sound useful. I think I might go the track of not including romance at all because I know it won’t feel natural for me.


      1. It’s called I have a close eye on fairy tale trends. I wasn’t as sure of my guess this year as I was last year, but I’ve been right both times. My guess for next year is Little Mermaid, and then Rapunzel the year after that. We’ll see what happens. Rumpelstilskin would be a fun tale to retell … but I think Rooglewood is going to stick with heroine-centered tales.

        It’s wondrous fun to mix and match fairy tales, and I’ve come to the conclusion that I can’t tell one tale without five others barging in and demanding screen time. Puss in Boots is also going to be in my story. (I blame the ballet for that one.)

        Do what you feel is best. I’ve heard of one retelling where she was woken up by a dog named prince, so you have your options!


        1. Well, you’re definitely skilled at following those trends. I think The Little Mermaid and Rapunzel would both be very fun tales to retell, but especially The Little Mermaid since it’s so different from the others. I really hope it ends up being next year’s fairytale. Ah, I love Puss in Boots, and I agree that the more fairytales the merrier. It adds a certain level of depth to a retelling, if you ask me. Wow….that dog retelling sounds interesting…


  3. This sounds great! Thanks for sharing! I’m not too great no romance, either… just try your best and I bet it’ll turn out great! 😉

    Also, the link to the contest wouldn’t work for me. I don’t know if it’s broken or maybe it’s just on my end.



    Sleeping Beauty.
    What am I going to do.
    I’m with you on the romance part.
    *mildly has a desert mind with nothing in it*
    *goes back to freaking out*




      I had my own tiny freak out moment when I realized I was going to have to write romance, but now I think that I’ll just stick with writing friendship because I’m MUCH more familiar with that.

      But yes, either way it’s going to be awesome.


  5. Wow, sounds awesome!!! I don’t think I’ll be entering (too many plot bunnies already), but good luck to you!
    And I totally understand the romance thing. I know has a lot of articles about writing romance that have helped me, but it’s super intimidating when you’ve never been in a relationship.
    Again, good luck, and have fun!


    1. Oh, I know the feeling of having too many plot bunnies all too well. I have way too many myself, but the appeal of this opportunity is just too great for me to resist it. I have seen the articles on Dreaming Hobbit, so thanks for suggesting it, Gem. Ashamedly, when Emily published those posts I kind of ignored them in my blog reader because I thought I would never have to bother with writing romance. Haha. Ha. Ha. Ha. I do love her other articles, though, and I know her romance ones will be equally useful. I’ve decided to focus on friendship for this story now, though. thanks for the words of encouragement!


  6. This looks SO cool. I definitely want to enter. Good thing I have a lot of time for brainstorming… 😉
    As for your writing dilemma, I completely understand. Writing romance IS hard. (I’ve tried my hand at it, and while I do enjoy it, it’s definitely not my forte…) I’d look up some articles on writing romance (Pinterest is always helpful for tips and tricks like that), or maybe brainstorm ways to not include a romance. The website says the ideal age group is 12 and up, and I for one don’t think all twelve-year-olds need, or are interested in, a romance fairy tale retelling – there are enough of those! I think it would be refreshing to not have one – a new spin on things, right?


    1. Doesn’t it look like such a great opportunity? You should definitely enter because no matter what the outcome is, I’m sure you’ll come away with a fabulous story. It’s awesome that you’ve actually tried writing romance. I’m not brave enough to even try it, haha. Thanks for the tips! I’m definitely going to omit romance now because as a reader that’s what I would prefer to read, and this contest is all about new spins on the tale.


  7. Eep, I’m so excited!!!! I was kinda hoping for The Little Mermaid, but now I have the inklings of an idea for Sleeping Beauty retelling….and it’s very different from what I’ve done before, so yaaay! As for writing romance, weeell, you could make it really subtle. Like, more of a friendship-that-might-turn-into-something-more. I mean, a 20,000 word story doesn’t have a lot of room in it…so if you left out the romance, or just made it really subtle, I think that would be fine!


    1. Hmmm…The Little Mermaid hadn’t really crossed my mind when I was trying to guess the fairytales, but I think it would be awesome to write a Little Mermaid retelling, and I hope it ends up being the prompt for one of these retelling contests. I’m glad you’re feeling inspired about Sleeping Beauty. I think making the friendship one that subtlety hints at romance is a good idea. I don’t feel comfortable writing romance, but if it hints at it in the future….hmmm…You’re a genius! 🙂


  8. Sounds like fun! I googled the contest(your link’s not working, for some reason) and I think I’ll have a go at entering. Sleeping Beauty’s not my favorite fairy tale(that would be King Thrushbeard–another retelling I’m working on!) but I think it will be fun to write.


    1. Sorry the link isn’t working. I just fixed it now, so hopefully it works for everyone. I think you should definitely enter because no matter what the outcome is, you’ll at least have a fabulous fairytale retelling! Sleeping Beauty’s not my favorite fairytale retelling, either, and I actually don’t know which one is, but there are a few that I love a lot like Rumpelstiltskin and Twelve Dancing Princesses. I’ve never heard of King Thrushbeard, but I’ll have to look it up and read it.


  9. Awesome! I didn’t hear about the “Five Glass Slippers” contest until it was over and I missed the deadline for the “Five Enchanted Roses” contest, but I think I might try to write something for this. Although I sort of prefer the Charles Perrault version of the fairy tale (I don’t even know why), I think I might base my story around the Grimm brothers’ version instead. “Beauty and the Beast” is actually my favorite fairy tale, but I’m really excited to try something with this story. 🙂


    1. I haven’t entered the other contests, either, but I am determined to enter this one, and I encourage you to do so as well. Hmmm…I like the Charles Perrault version, but I think the second half is a bit unnecessary, so I’ll probably focus on retelling the first half that’s more similar to the Grimm brothers’ version. Good luck with your story!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m still debating whether I want to enter this one, because on one hand: fairytale retellings are pretty much my favourite thing in the entire world, but on the other: I was planning on dedicating this summer to FH work! I see what you mean about the dilemmas… hm… 😉

    But also, I would encourage you to forget about the romance if that’s not your forte! It is a fairytale retelling, after all, and “retelling” can mean anything from “stick exactly to the story with one slight alteration” to “go wild on the edits”. A non-romantic story is certainly not out of the question. Just a thought. 🙂


    1. I am beginning to learn that the life of a writer is full of dilemmas, but I suppose they’re good dilemmas because that means we are busy creating stories.

      A lot of commenters have suggested that I go with a non-romantic story, and I think that’s what I’ll do. Before I thought that romance was something that absolutely had to be in this fairytale, but like you pointed out, omitting the romance could certainly put a new spin on the retelling. Thanks for your tips!


  11. Oh my gosh Ana, this is literally exciting! I might want to join now 😉 But I’m writing a dystopian novel and then I’m going to be busy real soon sometime this month and the next, and ACK. Wrong timing 😦 I love fairytales, and I actually really love Sleeping Beauty! ❤ This is so exciting! Thanks so so so much for sharing this. I wouldn't have known if it weren't for your post!


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  13. I’m sooo incapable of romance too. >_< I read so many romance books and try and take notes because romance is, apparently, a very much needed topic in ALL books but GHAHHH IT'S JUST TOO COMPLICATED. My heroines almost always end up better of by themselves. Or they die. There's basically no middle ground unfortunately. When you figure out how to write an incredible romance, TELL MEEEEE.

    I probably won't be entering this contest but I think it's cool how they're doing more of them!! XD I LOVE retellings. I can't even pick a favourite, omg, too hard. I love Marissa Meyer's, obviously, hehe, and I quite love Tiger Lily and Throne of Glass (if one considers that a Cinderella retelling) and Egg & Spoon. SO YEAH. I have a lot of favourites.


  14. I hadn’t heard of this before, but it seems like so much fun! I’ll have to check out the past collections because I am a total sucker for retellings. Good luck with your writing! As far as the romance goes, you might find that it’s an interesting twist to avoid the romance completely. But if you want to put it in, just read other books that include romance for inspiration!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction


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