Over the last few months, the New Zealand Listener sponsored a writing contest:
In May, to mark the 200th anniversary of the Brothers Grimm’s book of fairy tales, the Listener, in association with the Goethe-Institut and Victoria University of Wellington’s International Institute of Modern Letters, launched a competition inviting readers to write a Grimm tale for modern Aotearoa New Zealand.The results were announced last week and I want to devote a few posts today with content from the contest. Otherwise, I would be overwhelming a single post and this also makes it easier to categorize each post a little better for the blog and search engines, since different fairy tales are highlighted. For those of us not from New Zealand, this is an extra treat a seeing how another culture reinterprets the Grimms' fairy tales, too.
First, I wanted to share the link and an excerpt from the article by the competition's judge, From Brothers Grimm story-writing competition By Kate De Goldi:
My thanks first to the Goethe-Institut, the Listener and Victoria University of Wellington’s International Institute of Modern Letters for the opportunity to take part in this imaginative story enterprise. It was very good to think again, and in some depth, about the Brothers Grimm and their marvellous stories, and equally interesting to read through the submissions.You can read the full article by following the link. Not many of de Goldi's books are readily available in the US, but you can read more about here at Kate de Goldi. One of her most lauded books is available in the US at The 10 PM Question and in the UK. I have yet to find a bookseller in Australia and New Zealand that makes linking and recommending easier.
And what an amazing range of approaches, narrative perspectives and subject matter was pursued within the fairy-tale grid and given word limit. One thing was very apparent: participants took up their pens to address some pressing social concerns – the treatment of our landscape; the parlous position of the elderly, children in poverty, threatened species; the need to accept difference, consumerism, filial neglect, estranged birth parents, to name just some themes. Writers also marrying ti kanga with European motifs, letting loose European magic in the New Zealand landscape, and – particularly successfully – using the cadence of Maori oral tradition within the structure of old fairy tale.