Ever look at something and think, “Hmmm, that might look better flipped on its side or covered in glitter or sporting a killer ‘stache”? It takes a little creativity (and sometimes a little crazy) but looking at the world through new eyes can yield some seriously great writing.
Printz Award-winning author Meg Rosoff wrote her latest book, There is No Dog, (which you can start reading here) by doing what she calls “thinking sideways.” To do this Meg says, “You have to train yourself to tilt your head a little bit to the side and squint at the world; to see it from a slightly different angle.”
For the Thinking Sideways Contest, we invite you to look at one of your favorite stories (fiction or non-fiction) from a different angle.
Your task? Choose one of the following prompts and write a story in no more than 1500 words.
- Retell an existing story through the eyes of a minor character.
- Retell an existing story by changing something significant about the main character–gender, age, country of origin, or even species.
- Retell an existing story in an entirely different setting.
You have until April 16, 2012 at 11:59 p.m. EST to post and tag your story. Voting will run until April 23, 2012 at 11:59 p.m. EST, at which point the 10 most-hearted entries will go to the Figment editorial team for judging. One grand-prize winner will receive a class set of 30 copies of There is No Dog for his or her school AND a personal set of 20 awesome YA titles from Penguin. Nine runners-up will each receive smaller (but still super exciting) sets of 4 teen titles from Penguin. NOTE: You must be currently enrolled in school (junior high, high school or college) to win.
How to Enter:
1. Read the full rules here.
2. Create an account on Figment.com.
3. Start a new writing of no more than 1,500 words.
4. Tag your writing with ThinkingSideways on the Details tab.
5. Press “Publish Now.”
6. You should receive a pop-up confirmation of your entry, and in about two hours or so, your piece should appear among the submissions.
Educators, using this contest with your students? Be sure to check out our additional resources here.