< Return to Workshops

Retell, Revisit, Reimagine: Writing Fresh Fairy Tales and Folklore for Older Readers 2018 | May 18 – May 20, 2018

Explore ways to harness the enduring appeal of fairy tales in your own work.

Fairy tales have inspired writers since they were first recorded. In this workshop, you’ll explore the ways you can incorporate or reimagine them into your middle grade or young adult novel. Fairy tales demand the same level of writing as any other form of fiction, so the focus of the workshop will always be on craft.

You will:

  • Hear faculty sessions on craft.
  • Complete writing prompts.
  • Enjoy free writing time.
  • Participate in group discussions.
  • Work with a faculty mentor for feedback on your manuscript.

Faculty blog posts:
Faculty Interview: Julie Dao and Anna-Marie McLemore

Preliminary schedule:
Optional Tour of Highlights and Boyds Mills Press

Appetizers & Dinner
After dinner: Welcome and writing exercise: “Once Upon A Time…”
Introductions of selves, POVs as writers, and POVs on fairy tales

Yoga & Breakfast
Lecture #1:
“The Deepest Woods: Our World, the Fairy Tale World, and the World In-Between”
Julie and Anna-Marie will present a short introduction about fairy tales, share their experience retelling fairy tales, and will lead a discussion of world-building in fairy tales, the politics of fairy tales, and will introduce a writing exercise related to lesser-known fairy tales.

Writing Exercise #1: “Fairy Tales We Hate, and Fairy Tales We Love to Hate”

Writer Roundtables (1000 word small group critiques)
Anna-Marie and Julie Office Hours (sign up for one-to-one consultations)

Appetizers & Dinner
After dinner: Fireside chat and book signing with Anna-Marie and Julie

Yoga & Breakfast
Faculty Lecture #2: “If the Slipper Fits: Making the Fairy Tale Your Own”
Sunday’s session will focus on creating a retelling that’s uniquely your own. Julie and Anna-Marie will open by talking about fairy tales across different ages and traditions, incorporating folklore into retellings, and combining elements of different fairy tales and folklore. Then a group discussion about fairy tale tropes and fairy tale archetypes will lead into a writing exercise about villains and anti-heroes.

Writing exercise #2: “The Better to Eat You With, My Dear!: Through the Wolf’s Eyes”

Closing Comments/ Q&A
Throughout the workshop, Julie and Anna-Marie will welcome questions, but this will serve as a last chance to bring up anything that comes to mind!

Lunch & farewells

Faculty & Special Guests