Winners of the BIG! Expo Writing Contest!!!

Hey, y’all!

As some of you readers may already know, I went to the BIG! Expo in Palm Springs on December 15, and while I was there, I held a writing contest for the Girl Scouts attending the event. Today’s the day I announce the winners!

So you know, I gave the contestants three requirements:

  1. Write a fairy tale.
  2. Use five words from the list I gave them. (I bolded those words in the winning entries, so you can see which ones they were.)
  3. Hit or exceed the word count limit for their specific age group. (For the younger scouts, like the Daisies, it was 100 words. For Ambassadors, a.k.a. the older scouts, it was 500 words.)

I had so many fantastic entries for this contest that I had trouble picking just one winner. So, when I thought that a certain age group had two very strong contenders, I picked a “winner” and an “honorable mention.” The Winners have won the notebook and the pen that they saw at my BIG! Expo booth; the Honorable Mentions have won a notebook too.

So, without further ado, here are the winning entries!!



Winner: Annabelle Deven (Troop 720)

Shelby’s Note: Annabelle wrote a really fantastic battle scene in this one! 

The Good Dragon and the Bad Dragon

Once upon a time there was a kingdom with good dragons and bad dragons.  The good dragon was the king and the bad dragons wanted to be the king.   The bad dragon was walking and the good dragon was walking the other direction.  And then they came to a circle of rocks surrounding them. The bad dragon knew they had to fight.  The bad dragon said, “Charge!”  They fighted until the bad dragon fell down.  And he got up again but was more taller. He stomped closer and closer to the king.  Then with all his might he blowed the fire out of his mouth to the king’s crown and the good dragon.  The good dragon died.  The bad dragon got the crown and ruled the land.

But the good dragon wasn’t dead. The good dragon had a magic potion from a good witch to turn bad dragons into good dragons. The good dragon poured it and he had to drink a sip of it and make a wish that the bad dragons would be good dragons.  And he became king again.  The End



Winner: Erica Mueller (Troop 284)

Shelby’s Note: I particularly loved all the fantastic details that Erica included, especially the one about the troll’s appearance and his weight. 

Once upon a time there was a dog named Muffin. She was the color of the rainbow. Her owner was a 19 year old princess named Jenna. She carried a sword in her belt and she had blond hair and silver eyes. They lived in a castle that was made out of gold and the roof was made of diamonds. A troll has been trying to steal them for decades.

One day Muffin and Jenna went to the nearby forest. They saw the troll! He was hairy, scary and green. He looked heavy but he was as light as a feather.



Winner: Harriet Sherwin (Troop 116)

Shelby’s Note: Harriet had some great characterization in this entry – Princess Juliette was opinionated, impatient, and very determined, and her mother was quite a worrywart but also very very prepared. I also really enjoyed the well-developed setting (the way the fairies overcome the giant was pretty ingenious). 

Once upon a time long ago, there was an enchanted forest, where many creatures lived.

There were kind fairies, beautiful swans, and busy elves. At the entrance of the forest lived the mean creatures. But the meanest creature in the forest was the Giant. He would harm anyone who came close to his territory.

On the other side of the forest was a kingdom called Savannah and on the highest mountain peak there was a castle where King Edward, Queen Anne, and Princess Juliette lived.

One day, Juliette and her mother, the Queen, were in the rose garden picking roses for the vases (for that probably would be the last time that year because it was the 12th of November). This was when Juliette’s mother brought up the topic that Juliette would have to marry soon.

Juliette had heard this many times before hand and was disgusted, so she simply said “I do not want to get married for I’m only 14 years old.”

“Yes this may be true but your birthday is only a month away” her mother sighed and continued, “and the tradition is every woman who someday will be queen has to marry at the age of 15.”

A couple of days later Juliette got an innovation in the mail, it said:


Dear Princess Juliette,

You are invited to a Christmas Eve Ball in the Kingdom of Enchantia. 


                                              Queen Elizabeth and King Charles


Oh my Goodness” exclaimed Juliette, “Mother, Father Look!”  “Congratulations Miss. Juliette” replied her Father happily when the invitation was passed to him.

But Juliette’s Mother was troubled; eventually Queen Anne expressed what she was thinking, “Darling Juliette that’s wonderful but,” there was a long silence then Juliette’s Mother continued, “you see Enchantia is on the other side of the forest and all of us know the forest is a dangerous place.

“I will send 100 guards before the carriage” suggested Juliette’s Father.

“If you think it will be safe enough” replied the worried queen.

“Mother I do not have a suitable gown” said Juliette tired of the whole conversation.

“We will go into the village later today sweetheart” said the queen smiling.

For the next couple weeks everyone was getting ready for Christmas; Juliette’s Birthday; and of course The Ball. Juliette’s relatives had heard that she was going to The Ball.  They bought a pair of silk dancing slippers, and a fine velvet shawl which went beautifully with her gown and slippers. Juliette’s favorite gift was the dance lesson’s her Father and Mother had brought for her.

Juliette’s first lesson was the next day and she was truly excited. After her first lesson her mother asked, “How was your dance lesson?” “Absolutely lovely” replied Juliette, “I simply love Ms. Smith.” Queen Anne smiled “Your Father and I thought you would like her.


At long last Christmas Eve was here. Juliette had though it would never come.

Juliette had to try on her gown, slippers, and shawl about five times which Juliette became tired of quickly. Juliette’s father was busy getting the carriage ready and giving orders to the guards. Juliette’s mother was rushing around in the kitchen making treats for the long journey.

Suddenly, mother had an idea. She rushed down the hall and went into the room where King Edward was directing guards. Queen Anne said, “Edward why don’t you send some guards into the forest now just in case.”

“That’s a good idea” replied King Edward, “I will get to it right away”

Just then Juliette burst in, “Mother, Mother one of the fairies from forest needs to see us all.”

The King and Queen exchanged a glance and went with Juliette immediately.

As Juliette, her Mother and Father entered the room, a fairy then greeted them.

“Hi, I’m Madelyn the Messenger Fairy and I’m here to ask for your permission for the forest villagers to escort your carriage to Enchantia?”

“Why of course!” exclaimed Juliette’s mother, “but how can you get us past the home of that scary Giant?”

“You see” replied Madelyn “we hid a fairy in the Giant’s mail, when the Giant opens his mail the fairy will fly out and hide there. We are going to signal the fairy and with her magic she will put the Giant to sleep. Then when he’s asleep we will fly your carriage over his house. We will do the same coming back.”

Everyone was very happy the fairies were willing to help.

“Thank your help and now do not have to any my guard’s lives at risk,” declared King Edward.

Soon it was time to go so the King, the Queen, and Princess Juliette got into the carriage. Juliette was very excited; she had never gone to a ball before and wondered what it would be like. It took fifteen minutes to get to the forest village. The carriage had to stop here to meet the villagers who where to get the carriage through the Giant’s land safely. Juliette saw many swans, fairies and elves running around getting in there place; after about ten minutes the carriage started to move again. Madelyn sat down next to Juliette and said “we will be flying over the Giant’s abode soon so hold on tight.” Juliette did this and looked out of the window. She saw fairies throwing handfuls of glitter powder on to the carriage, the swans held bags of the powder the fairies were throwing. Elves steered the horses around the trees.

Looking down Juliette saw the Giant’s house. The doors were tall and dark and the chimney belched out a thick, choking smoke.

A short while later the carriage was on the ground. When the King, Queen and Princess Juliette stepped out the creatures were busy talking amongst themselves. Then Madelyn came over and asked “Would it be fine if the fairies and elves sat under your seats and the swans sat on the benches in the carriage? They are very tired and would like to rest. If it is fine with you we would like to travel the rest of the way to the castle on the ground as we need to keep as much magical glitter powder we can for the return journey.”

Please ask your friends to make themselves comfortable and we will travel the rest of the way altogether.” answered the King. All of the creatures piled in to the carriage.

Juliette’s Mother had made Apple pie, Gingerbread and chocolate-chip cookies. These delicious treats were eaten very quickly.

After about an hour they were in the Kingdom of Enchantia. Juliette was told to stand up while her mother neatened her gown. Then she had to put on her shawl and her dancing slippers.

The carriage pulled up in front of the castle and Juliette stepped out followed by her Mother and Father. When Juliette entered the ballroom the announcer said, “King Edward, Queen Anne and Princess Juliette of Savannah.” Juliette went straight to King Charles and Queen Elizabeth, she said “Thank you for your kind offer” Oh you’re very welcome” replied Queen Elizabeth.

Just then she saw someone looking at her, she walked over and said “hello I’m Juliette of Savannah.”

“Very pleased to make your acquaintance. I am George of Enchantia.” replied the Prince.

“Oh you live here?”

“Yes; would you like the next dance?”

“I would be honored.” was Juliette’s reply.

After the dance Juliette and George went back to their parents Juliette said “George and I are engaged; when can we have the wedding?”

“Tomorrow” said her mother.

“TOMORROW!!!!” replied the startled Princess.

“Yes, my dear. You are to be married before your 16th birthday and our Kingdoms will be united.”

And everyone lived happily ever after…………..


Honorable Mention: Hailey Grube (Troop 989)

Shelby’s Note: I loved the twists and turns of this plot, especially the way the elves turned out to be the bad guys and the goblin was one of the good guys. (I also think Hailey used the most required words in one paragraph. 🙂 )

Once upon a time there was a king, queen, princess and a wicked witch. One day, the princess was told to go to the forest near the castle. She started off, then all of the sudden a witch appeared and tried to offer her a magic pear. She did not know it was magic. She said yes and she bit into the pear. All of the sudden, the princess appeared in the castle’s dungeon. She kept yelling for help. It started snowing in the dungeon. She looked around not knowing what was happening. The princess started to cry really hard. As soon as the princess’s tear hit the floor, an elf appeared. He said he would help the princess. He lead the princess to his giant land of elves. There was snow everywhere. The witch came to the land of elves and tried to take everyone. Then all of the sudden the king and queen helped keep the elves and princess away from the witch. The witch had a sword, but the queen had a magic potion to take it away. Then a goblin came and scared all the elves away. The princess asked him why he did that and the goblin said that he was trying to protect her. The princess told her okay. The gobln sent the the princess, the queen and the king on a quest. He told them to go and find the elves. They are all evil. There was a giant beanstalk where all of the elves went up. First they went in the giant’s house. The first elf that was found was Jack. He was hiding in a drawer. The second elf that was found was James. He was hiding under a chair. As soon as they found all of the elves they took them to the goblin. He let the princess fly on his flying unicorn to get home. She returned home safely and lived happily ever after.



Winner: Kaelyn Rodriguez (Troop 998)

Shelby’s Note: Kaelyn created a very authentic, old-timey fairy tale feel.  She also created limits for the magic, which set up the conflict very nicely: you can already imagine what kind of problems will occur when the wolf and princess changelings figure out where they really come from.

Tânără and Daciana

A very long time ago in the time of magic and kingdoms, there was an ancient forest, older than anything that ever lived. There were many odd and wonderful creatures that lived in the forest, many of them being good and benevolent. But much like it is now, there were creatures of not-so-good intent whose only bidding is to bring harm to those of kindness, or at least this is what the people of the kingdom said.

Of of  these (so-called) baneful beings was a pack of wolves. They (supposedly) caused terror in the very hearts of the people in the kingdom, and stories of this particular wolf-pack were known well beyond the old forest.

Despite all the bad and evil names given to the wolf-pack, the wolves remained completely unaware of the fear they induced, or that’s how they acted. In fact, the pack was fairly normal by their standards, usually causing the simplest of mischief, and only very occasionally.

These “bad” wolves had recently did something terrible, and this time for real. They had stolen the newest child of the King and Queen, a princess, and decided to take her as their own because the king had recently hunted down many members of the pack for only the reason of sport. Luckily, the King and Queen never suspected the wolves, so they were safe for a very long time.

Because the wolves knew that keeping a human baby would be difficult, and not to mention risky, they decided to ask a great sorceress named Doamnă to transform the human baby into a wolf cub. Doamnă was very careful and cunning, and to avoid trouble in the future, her magic could only work if it was balanced, for example to bring a flower back to life, a flower would have to  be destroyed.

The wolves did not know of this whole balance thing, and without a thought they had the princess turned into a little wolf cub with a potion of deep purple color. Doamnă usually didn’t tell of how she would make the magic even, but she knew exactly what she would do: take a newborn cub, make her human, and give the baby to the royal family. The baby would be a changeling and live as a girl for as long as the true princess remained a wolf. Simple.

Soon after, a wolf mother gave birth to a little grey girl-wolf, and that night  Doamnă stole the little cub and went back to her lair. She used an enchantment to turn the cub into a baby girl with hair the same color as her old fur. Doamnă tried very hard to change girl’s odd hair, which was also to the baby’s shoulders, but could never do it.

Afterwards, she magically transformed herself into an average-looking young woman, dressed in tattered old clothes with dirt on her face and bare feet. She passed well as a peasant who couldn’t afford to feed her new daughter, and she walked to the castle and begged audience with the King and Queen. After successfully giving her “baby” to them, she returned to her lair and smiled at how convincingly she had accomplished her task.

Unbeknownst by the people in the castle, an ancient tradition was being held by the wolf pack. The new cub was being named, and her name was Tânără, which means “girl”

Meanwhile, the Queen brushed the newborn’s strange long hair and dressed her in a gown the color of snow in preparation for a similar function. The baby was given a royal naming ceremony by the Nume-dăruitor, the one who gives names, and the adopted princess was called Daciana, or “wolf.”


Honorable Mention: Abigail Sanford

Shelby’s Note: I loved this one’s sibling dynamics of a princess and her brother stuck playing cards on a boring road trip! It felt very true to life. 

Expect the Unexpected
(Chapter 1)

As my family’s wagon bumped along the icy road through the forest, my brother and I played cards on the velvet seats of the wagon. It was a game that girls were not supposed to play, especially if you were a princess, as I was. But my brother needed someone to play with and our parents would never play with him. We were going to another castle to meet who I was apparently supposed to be married with when I was eighteen. As being only thirteen and having an arranged marriage, I am not very excited.  The journey there would take about ten hours, we had already been playing cards for five hours and I was pretty bored of beating my brother every time we played so I said, “I’m going to take a nap, wake me up when we reach the castle.” My brother just nodded his head and started organizing the card deck.

A sudden jolt from the wagon had woken me straight up. My brother was still in the wagon but looked mortally terrified. I had no idea what was going on and was about to ask what had happened when a sword pierced the side of the wagon and tore the whole cloth on the side to shreds. An arm reached in and yanked my brother out. I couldn’t find my voice to scream, I was so terrified! Then an arm yanked me out of the wagon. A soldier quickly tied my hands and gagged my mouth. He was about my height but a little taller. (I couldn’t see any of his other features because he was covered in armor.) My parent’s wagon was ahead of us and didn’t seem to realize we were being attacked. For some reason, the soldiers did not attack my parent’s wagon. I only had a moment to register this fact before my brother and I were both shoved into a small cart and covered up with a blanket so we couldn’t see outside the cart. Then we started being pulled along, and it hurt! It was a small wooden wagon being pulled along a dirt road with two people shoved into it.

After a while we arrived at the castle but we were not able to see anything because of the blanket over us. Although, when we were taken out and put into prison cells it looked like our castle and I could tell we were at the bottom of another king/queen’s castle. My brother and I were untied and ungagged but were quickly locked up. Before I could ask what was going on the soldier who had tied me up said something and when I moved my mouth, nothing came out. I realized he had put a spell on my brother and I making us unable to speak. That was astonishing to me because not a lot of people are able to use magic and it was forbidden to use unless you were a soldier or were in the royal family. Plus I had never had a spell put on me before. The soldier quickly closed the cell door and ran up the stairs out of the dungeon.



Winner: Laura Snowden (Troop 593)

Shelby’s Note: I need to congratulate Laura on creating a thoroughly likable villain in her retelling. I loved what Rumpelstiltskin does with the king’s sword!

I appeared in the nursery of the castle, behind Alli. She was Queen Alli, now. She was rocking the baby in her arms, singing softly to the little girl.

“She’s beautiful.” I said. “And mine.”

The new Queen paled. The baby girl was quite pretty. And most likely spunk filled and stubborn like her mother. The King walked into the nursery and balked.

“Y… You!” he said.

“Me!!” I sang. I was feeling particularly cocky today.

The King drew his sword and pointed it at me. I sighed, pointed at it and turned it into a rose, then with a highly elaborate bow reminiscent of the elf I once was, I presented it to the young Princess.

“No please.” the queen was begging now. I sighed.

“The deal has been struck and must be fulfilled.” That was the way that magic worked, it had rules. Breaking the rules comes with consequences. There are always consequences, and I was not willing to pay the price, whatever it may be.

“A counter proposal! I have a counter proposal!” the King sounded happy.

I was intrigued. “Well…”

The King took a deep breath. “We get six guesses to pick your name. The first three are for the first letter of your name. If we get that right we keep our daughter until she is sixteen, you can live here in the castle with us, to watch over your investment, make sure we do not go back on our word. If we successfully guess your name we keep her.”

“And if you fail on all accounts?” I asked.

“The Princess is yours today.”

“But what else do I get? This has to benefit me, as well.” The deal so far was not in my favor; I needed more to go through with a change in plans.

The Queen spoke. “The kingdom. You can have the kingdom.”  Well, that sounded delightful, just delightful.

The King blanched. “But…but…but…”he stammered. His wife silenced him with a look.

I smiled. They would not be able to guess my name, and even if they got the first letter, well, the girl would still be mine. I wouldn’t even have to raise her. It was a win- win situation. And if they lost, I gained a kingdom. Not to mention, Alleion was one of the most magical kingdoms in the seven realms.

“Deal.” I extended my hand and the King shook it. “The deal is struck. Begin your guesses.”

“Does it start with A?” I shook my head.

“How about E?”

“No, no, no.”

“R then?”

“Why, yes, it does. She is mine on her sixteenth birthday.” I had no idea how they had gotten that. Lucky guess.

The King was smiling, cocky man. So he kept his kingdom. “Is it Robert?”  Back and forth my head shook.


“No.  This is your last guess. Make it count.” She was almost mine.

The King had lost his smile now. “Umm, is it Richard?”

“Wrong.” I proclaimed. “Enjoy your daughter, Alli; your husband is going to show me to my new quarters.”

“Wait.” I turned to look at Queen Alli.


“What is your name? If we are to give you our daughter and live with you, please tell us.” said the queen.

I turned and executed a bow with a flourish. “Rumpelstiltskin, at your service.”


Congratulations to all the winners!!!! (Please check your email inboxes soon, so I can get your mailing address!)

And thank you so much to everyone who participated! I hope you all had fun writing these, because I certainly enjoyed reading all the entries! 🙂


  1. Abby/Maggie January 3, 2013
    • Shelby January 3, 2013
  2. JoSVolpe January 27, 2013
    • Shelby January 28, 2013