14 June 2012

Free to Enter: Goethe Institut's Modern Grimm Fairy Tale Writing Competition (win a trip to/ language course in Germany | New Zealand writers only)

Post date: 14 June 2012
Deadline: 1 July 2012

This year is the 200th anniversary of the Brothers Grimm’s book of fairy tales. These storytelling treasures have influenced many of the greatest modern writers, including our own Katherine Mansfield and Janet Frame.

We invite you to write a Grimm fairy tale for modern Aotearoa New Zealand. Your story can work with local or international folktale elements, but please avoid a simple retelling of well-known tales from the world’s great mythologies – such as those involving Maui or Zeus or Odin.

However, you should feel free to try updating and relocating one of the famous Grimm stories, such as Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, Snow White, Thumbelina, Rumpelstiltskin, Hansel and Gretel, Cinderella . . .

Or, if you like, one of the lesser-known stories – there are over 200 of them . . . Or, best of all, you can write something entirely original. We don’t insist on castles or elves or frogs that turn into princes, but we look forward to entries that have some of the magic and storytelling power that inhabits the tales handed down to us by the Brothers Grimm.

Your story must begin with the words “Once upon a time . . .”

Organised by the Goethe-Institut in association with the New Zealand Listener and the International Institute of Modern Letters, Victoria University of Wellington.

  • There will be one winner and two runners-up.
  • The winner can choose between a four- or eight-week German language course in Germany in 2013 in one of 11 cities, including Berlin, Munich or Frankfurt. The prize includes flights and accommodation. It cannot be transferred or given in cash, but there is an alternative prize of a new iPad if the winner cannot travel to Germany.
  • The winner will also receive a 12-month subscription to the Listener, as will the two runners-up.
  • The winning story will be published in the Listener and the runners-up on the Listener website.


The judge is author and children’s books commentator Kate De Goldi, whose books include The 10PM Question, Book of the Year at the 2009 New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children & Young Adults.

  • You must be a New Zealander by birth or naturalisation, or have been in residence in New Zealand for three years continuously immediately prior to the competition’s closing date.
  • No staff member of the Goethe-Institut, the New Zealand Listener or the International Institute of Modern Letters may enter.
  • Entrants must be 18 and over.

  • Your story should begin with the words “Once upon a time . . .”
  • The story must be between 1000 and 1500 words.
  • Stories that have been previously published (anywhere on the internet or in print) or broadcast are ineligible.
  • No story may be entered, or already have been entered, into any other competition until after Thursday, September 13, 2012.
  • Only one story per entrant. The last date to receive entries is Sunday, July 1, 2012. Late entries will not be accepted.

  • You must use a pen name on your entry. Include a separat cover-sheet containing your name, phone number, postal address and email, your pen-name, and the story’s title.
  • Entries must be typed, in English, and double spaced, with pages numbered.
  • Entries should be sent as two email attachments (Story and Coversheet) in either Word or PDF to arts@wellington.goethe.org

  • Winners will be required to provide biographical information and photographs to the Goethe-Institut and the New Zealand Listener for promotional purposes.
  • Winners will be invited to attend an awards ceremony in Wellington on Thursday, September 13 (travel costs within New Zealand and accommodation paid).
  • No responsibility is taken for entries, but receipt of entries will be acknowledged by email.
  • Manuscripts will not be returned.
  • The winning entry will be published in the New Zealand Listener, and the two runners-up on the Listener website, on Friday, September 14.

Entrants retain copyright of their submitted works but grant APN Specialist Publications NZ Ltd and the Goethe-Institut a licence to publish their works in print and/or electronically.


For queries/ submissions: arts@wellington.goethe.org

Website: http://www.goethe.de/ins/nz/wel/
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