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Writing Retold Folktales

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Is anyone else writing retold folktales for magazines?

Highlights just published my retold tale Stitching the Rip in the Sky, and I’m researching other folktales.

I’ve been using Sur La Lune as a good online resource (http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/), and I’ve been reading folktale anthologies like Joanna Cole’s Best-Loved Folktales of the World, Italo Calvino’s Italian Folktales, and Johnson/Sickels/Sayers Anthology of Children’s Literature.

Any recommendations of other online and print resources for folktales?
#1 - October 17, 2011, 11:02 AM
Ellen Ramsey
twitter: @SowingIdeas
www.EllenLRamsey.com

cindybb

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Congrats on getting a story into Highlights!
As for a resource for folktales and many, many other public domain stories, I recommend checking out the Baldwin Project
http://www.mainlesson.com/main/displayarticle.php?article=mission

Good luck!
Cindy
#2 - October 18, 2011, 05:24 AM

writerdebm

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Hey! I like using Project Gutenberg to browse around looking for fairytales...


http://www.gutenberg.org/

Another good resource is
http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/folklinks.html


Congrats on Stitching the Rip in the Sky and happy story hunting!

Deb

#3 - October 21, 2011, 12:19 PM

Thanks, Deb and Cindy.

I'll check out your recommendations!

Ellen
#4 - October 25, 2011, 05:47 PM
Ellen Ramsey
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Quote
http://www.gutenberg.org/

Thanks for the link. I'm sure I'll be using it.
#5 - October 25, 2011, 06:04 PM

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Hi Ellen,
I recognize you from the 2011 Rutgers 1-on-1 thread - I was there but arrived Sat so missed the Blueboarder dinner. I've retold many tales for educational publishers for work-for-hire books and other projects and have used the online sources writerdebm listed. You might be interested in the new epicturebook venture, uTales, which is launching Nov. 2 as an Apple App. There are already some retold tales on the site and they welcome more. As an author, you can collaborate with an illustrator. A number of conventionally-published writers have books up. There is editorial oversight; books must be approved for publication on uTales and Emma Dryden currently oversees the approval board. Part of any proceeds benefit a charity called Pencils for Promise.
Congratulations on your story in Highlights!
Best wishes - Frances
#6 - October 26, 2011, 04:54 AM

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Congrats on the Highlights publlication!

and great thread! bookmarking

#7 - October 26, 2011, 06:01 AM

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You might find the Journal of Mythic Arts useful, which among other things has a wonderful collection of articles about fairy tales and myths. These always make me regard a story with new eyes, which is great for coming up with ideas for retellings, reworkings, etc.

http://endicottstudio.typepad.com/jomahome/
#8 - October 26, 2011, 07:51 AM

Thanks, Frances, for the information about uTales—sounds interesting—Emma Dryden on the approval board is impressive and I like the idea of the proceeds going to Pencils of Promise.  Sorry I didn’t have a chance to meet you at Rutgers—I had a great time. Hope you did too. Maybe I’ll see you next year at Rutgers or maybe at an SCBWI conference. I’ll look for your Sylvan Dell publications!

Thanks, Emily, for suggesting the Journal of Mythic Arts. I’ll check it out. I’ve also found interesting articles/stories in Marvels & Tales: Journal of Fairy-Tale Studies.
#9 - October 28, 2011, 05:07 PM
Ellen Ramsey
twitter: @SowingIdeas
www.EllenLRamsey.com

Ramona

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Hi Ellen,

Here are some resources I've found:

Folklinks at http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/folklinks.html,   and Folktexts at http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/folktexts.html   --both are freely available.   

Also the Aarne–Thompson classification system at Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aarne%E2%80%93Thompson_classification_system .

Through my library I can access folklore.greenwood.com for free.  If you can get that through your library, it is amazing! 

Happy writing, and hope to hear about more of your folktales being published!!

Ramona
#10 - November 29, 2011, 10:16 AM

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I have lots of ideas of my own, but it might be fun to retell old folk tales. I have some more obscure ones in mind. Just a quick question on this. How does retelling a folk tale change a cover letter? I assume you would tell the publisher that it's a retelling of such and such story, but are there any other differences?
#11 - January 17, 2012, 11:30 AM

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So glad I found this thread.  And yes, with Emma Dryden on board for uTales, I'd say it's worth checking out.  I have several folk tale retellings and adaptations published through iStorybooks - including three Gambian / West African tales - but am looking for homes for other cultural ones.  Thanks!
#12 - January 18, 2012, 08:23 AM

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Hi Miranda, MrsBear - and everyone else interested in this topic - You might now want to check out the submissions guidelines for Sylvan Dell Publishing for your tales; SD recently added a call for retold tales, especially from authors and/or illustrators who have a connection to the culture from which the tales originate. Here's the link:
http://www.sylvandellpublishing.com/Submissions.htm
#13 - January 22, 2012, 06:45 AM

mrsbear-Big congrats on your Highlights acceptance!!! And thanks for starting this thread, it's a gold mine!
#14 - January 22, 2012, 02:26 PM

Just received an acceptance from AppleSeeds to develop a retold folktale for their issue with a theme of Cats Rule! (sounds like they understand perfectly cat personality). I'm thrilled to have this opportunity as it will be my first publication with the Cobblestone magazine group!
#15 - March 24, 2012, 09:22 AM
Ellen Ramsey
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Hooray! Congratulations to you!
#16 - March 24, 2012, 05:46 PM
HIGH TIDE FOR HORSESHOE CRABS (Charlesbridge, 2015)

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That's wonderful news, Ellen!  Congratulations!  And have fun writing the story.   :partytime
#17 - March 24, 2012, 07:23 PM

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Congratulations. It sounds like a fun re-told tale assignment!
#18 - March 25, 2012, 05:27 AM

Thrilled that Sylvan Dell is looking for folktale related material. Thanks for the heads up, though I'm a wee bit late to the party.
#19 - May 10, 2012, 10:07 AM
Thomas Jefferson & the Mammoth Hunt 2018
Dumpling Dreams, 2017
Magic for Sale,  2017
Pia Piratissima 2014
Victricia Malicia, 2012

Kitty Griffin's workshop on Folktales, Fairy Tales, and Legends at the NJ SCBWI conference was superb. For more info, check out her website--http://www.kittygriffin.com/  Also, her books The Ride: The Legend of Betsy Dowdy and Cowboy Sam and Those Confounded Secrets are exciting and great fun to read.
#20 - June 17, 2012, 04:52 PM
Ellen Ramsey
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Wow, Ellen--Highlights and Appleseeds!  Congratulations!  I have retold tale submission at Charlesbridge, so I'd appreciate any crossed fingers.  It's a retelling of the Gingerbread Man as Biscochito Man, after our official New Mexico state cookie.  Thanks to all for the helpful resources here.
#21 - June 17, 2012, 06:40 PM

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Bookmarking this excellent thread for future use. I've retold a couple of folktakes for educational companies, and really enjoy it. Thanks for the info on Sylvan Dell. They make lovely books.

Congratulations, Mrs. Bear, on the acceptances!!! Please post again when they appear, so that we can go check them out.
Vijaya
#22 - June 18, 2012, 11:29 AM
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Great thread! Bumples Magazine published my re-telling of a folktale.
#23 - August 16, 2012, 07:14 AM
MIND YOUR MONSTERS (Sterling, 2015)
HYPNOSIS HARRY (Sky Pony, 2016)
LUCY LOVES SHERMAN (Sky Pony, 2017)

Hi Crooked Brook--What's the name of your folktale in Bumples and which issue did it appear in?
#24 - September 02, 2012, 02:01 PM
Ellen Ramsey
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It was in the April 2012 issue - It's called Takumba the Greedy Turtle. The story explains how the turtle came by his cracked shell. :) Thank you for asking!
#25 - September 02, 2012, 05:05 PM
MIND YOUR MONSTERS (Sterling, 2015)
HYPNOSIS HARRY (Sky Pony, 2016)
LUCY LOVES SHERMAN (Sky Pony, 2017)

How the turtle came by his cracked shell--that's a question that my daughter never asked when she was in her "a question every minute" phase. But I'm eager to find out the answer.
#26 - September 15, 2012, 03:42 PM
Ellen Ramsey
twitter: @SowingIdeas
www.EllenLRamsey.com

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