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Calling all writers…

I’ve always been fascinated by stories-within-stories. In Grim Lovelies, the characters reference several fairy tales original to their magical world. Some are about girls trapped in towers, some are about cities cursed by a witch, but every story has one thing in common: they are unfinished.

Here's the thing...I’m inviting my readers to participate in shaping the official lore of the Grim Lovelies world! This is your chance to have your own writing included in the Grim Lovelies fairy tale collection, “Beastie Tales.” Below are eight fairy tale prompts that are briefly mentioned in either Grim Lovelies or Midnight Beauties. It’s your turn to grow the seed of each idea into a full story. 


The winners will each received a signed set of Grim Lovelies and Midnight Beauties, a swag package, and have their story included in the official fan-written digital collection “Beastie Tales”, which will be downloadable on meganshepherd.com and include a forward written by Megan Shepherd, as well as contributing author bios.


(from Grim Lovelies)

Once upon a time, a peasant boy fell hopelessly in love with a princess, who was then abducted by a horned monster. The monster was covered in impenetrable silver scales, so that the only way to slay it was by stabbing it between the horns; but when the peasant boy finds out that the monster was once his long-lost brother, cursed into monstrous form, he must chose which of his loved ones to save.

(from Grim Lovelies)

Once upon a time, a girl was dying. Death came to her in the form of a man, though she refused to let him take her. Instead, she challenged him to a game: if he won, she would go with him to the afterlife, but if she won, she would regain her life. The girl didn’t realize, however, that all of Death’s games were riddled with tricks. “I thought there was nothing worse than death,” she said. “I was wrong.”

(from Grim Lovelies)

Once upon a time, a prince peered into a magic mirror that showed one's heart’s true desire, and saw a woman reflected: his desire was to be female. But such a wish was impossible unless one found true love first. His footman, the son of a seamstress, offered to help him dress as a lady in the privacy of his chambers. As they dressed and danced together each night, the prince realized that he’d had his true love before him the whole time. He kissed the footman and transformed into the young woman he’d seen in the mirror. “You were my prince,” said the footman. “Now you are my princess. In any time, in any shape, you’ll always be my heart’s true desire—I need no mirror to show me this.”

(from Grim Lovelies)

Once upon a time, a girl was locked in a thousand-foot glass tower by the prince of a warring country, who intended to keep her there until she agreed to marry him. But the clever girl devised a plan, and the next time the prince came to ask her to marry him, she drugged him with willow bark scraped from the bedposts, then leaned his sleeping body against the wall and used it to climb to the roof, where she rode a griffin to safety.

(from Midnight Beauties)

Once upon a time, in a seaside kingdom called the White Coast, there was a string of prosperous cities. A handsome king ruled the northernmost city, Kosu. One day a sea witch emerged from the waves and fell in love with him, but when he told her his heart belonged to another, the witch cursed his city with a plague. The rulers of the other cities, fearing her wrath, did nothing to help, and everyone in Kosu fell ill and died. The illness spread to each of the other cities. For centuries the kingdom was known as the Red Coast, and sung about in children’s songs:

     Cities falling one by one
White to Red
White to Red
 A coughing girl, a bleeding son
Love the witch or you’ll be dead.

(from Midnight Beauties)

Once upon a time, a Goblin girl ignored her family’s warnings and trekked into the Black Forest after hearing rumors of a castle filled with candy. During a blizzard she became lost, and deep in the woods, met ancient creatures made of snow who promised to help her find her way. In return for their help, they asked for a simple kiss. But there is nothing more dangerous, she learned, than a kiss from a Snow Child.

(from Midnight Beauties)

Once upon a time, a penniless goatherd girl bet her family’s flock in the village’s annual lottery, run by a meadow sprite. To her delight, she won. The sprite rewarded her with a magical coat. Every time the girl needed money, she reached in her right pocket and there was exactly as much money as she needed, no more, no less. But when she reached into her left pocket, she discovered the dark price of winning.

(from Midnight Beauties)

Once upon a time, in a land where the sun never set, seven girls were selected each year by the village priestess. A grand feast was thrown in the girls’ honor with plum wine and venison steaks. The girls’ cheeks and shoulders were dusted with tinted sugar and they were draped in garlands of fir and the villagers took turns serving them. At the end of the feast, the seven girls were thrown into the sea to appease the ancient gods.


No previous publication experience required. Word count for each story should be between 500-2000 words. Submissions may be in prose, in verse, or graphic novel-style. Content should be appropriate for teen readers. Writers may submit stories for as many prompts as they would like. Open internationally. Writers should be 18+ or have parental permission to enter. This fan-fiction contest is run by Megan Shepherd and no offer of traditional publication is being made. No rights will be retained nor may any work be profited off of. Send submissions to assistant@meganshepherd.com with the subject line “Beastie Tales submission” and include your name, age, and country of residence. Deadline for all submissions is May 15, 2019. One winner will be chosen for each prompt (eight winners total). Winners will be notified by June 1, 2019.

I hope you are all as excited for this short story collection as I am. I cannot wait to read what you come up with!


New York Times bestselling author of GRIM LOVELIES, THE CAGE series, THE MADMAN'S DAUGHTER series, and THE SECRET HORSES OF BRIAR HILL.www.meganshepherd.com