Fairy-Tale Themed Poetry and Prose Pieces for Forensics Competition, Speech Class, or Reading Out Loud for Fun

I have a long, long history with speech and debate.

LONG.

It started in 7th grade, when I decided to try prose with a groundbreaking piece. Dr. Seuss’s ABC book did not go over as well as I had hoped, however, and I began to realize that maybe I wasn’t going to be very good at prose performance. Thankfully my coach had me try impromptu. I placed in the very next meet and went on to compete — and win! — in limited prep until my sophomore year in college.

(That year my then-boyfriend/now-husband ((a lifelong debater)) and I decided to throw off the shackles of our serious categories and do something fun together. We competed in duo dramatics with pieces of Macbeth, did not do very well, and quit after that year.)

That said, I have always secretly — or maybe not so secretly — envied the prose and poetry folk, and it turns out that now I’m writing for them, too!

When Amanda and I first started putting together Wolves and Witches, we thought we’d release it as a book of fairy-tale based monologues for students competing in forensics or speech-and-debate, as pieces for the prose, poetry, oral interpretation, or dramatic interpretation categories. (Actually our whole family has a long history with speech and debate — Amanda was also in limited prep for many years, and our parents coached for awhile after we had graduated. We love you crazy forensics people!)

When we were finished with the book it turned out we didn’t just want to write monologues. It’s got all sorts of retellings, both poetry and prose, in first and third and sometimes second person. It’s all still able to be competed with (published traditionally in print so it’s able to be used for both NFL and NCFL, ISBN and other info available at the publisher’s website) and although we may be a bit biased, we think it’s easy to read and pretty fun to perform.

Here’s the table of contents for Wolves and Witches, marked up for performers and coaches looking for a great new fairy-tale piece. (Maybe someone saw Into the Woods recently, eh??) Reading times are approximate based on one minute per standard page. Some of the pieces are available online — those are linked so you can check them out without having to buy the book. (But I’ll tell you a secret: some of the best pieces are only found in the book! You can buy it from Amazon or click here for some other options.)

We’ve sorted the pieces below by type and length to make it easy to find what you need; the actual book order is a little different.

Retold fairy tales include: Little Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Gretel, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Diamonds and Toads, Twelve Dancing Princesses, the Little Mermaid, Rumpelstiltskin, Rapunzel, the Pied Piper of Hamelin, and a couple of mashups.

WOLVES AND WITCHES: PROSE AND POETRY PIECES FOR FORENSICS OR DRAMATIC PERFORMANCE

POETRY

  • The Witch of the Wolfwoods – 1st person – witch – 1 minute
  • Flytrap – 1st person – witch – 1 minute
  • Her Dark Materials – 2nd person (advice) – 1 minute
  • Untruths About the Desirability of Wolves – 1st person – Red Riding Hood – 2 minutes
  • A Shining Spindle Can Still Be Poisoned – 1st person – Sleeping Beauty’s citizen – 2 minutes
  • Diamond and Toad – 1st person (two voices) – cursed/blessed girls – 3 minutes
  • Rules for Living Well – 2nd person (advice) – 3 minutes

PROSE

  • Bones in the Branches – 3rd person – 2 minutes
  • Lure – 1st person – mermaid – 2 minutes
  • The Instructions – 2nd person (advice) – 4 minutes
  • The Long Con – 1st person – Rumpelstiltskin – 4 minutes
  • The Peril of Stories – 1st person – witch – 4 minutes
  • The Best Boy, the Brightest Boy – 1st person – pied piper – 4 minutes
  • The Gold In the Straw – 2nd person – miller’s daughter – 6 minutes
  • A Mouth to Speak the Coming Home – 3rd person – 6 minutes
  • Questing for Princesses – 3rd person – 8 minutes
  • A Letter Concerning Shoes – 1st person – 12 Dancing Princesses’ cobbler – 10 minutes

If you do end up performing any of these, we’d love to hear about it! Leave a comment and let us know; we’ll be cheering for you!

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Convening

I’m pretty excited to share that I’m going to be appearing at Cleveland ConCoction 2015!

YAY!

It’s March 13 – 15 at the airport Sheraton. I’ll be on a number of panels — more info on that later in the year — as well as doing a reading and a signing session. I would love to meet some of you there!

I know I’m super cool and all, but there are other, equally cool things that should be making you interested in this convention. The theme is Steampunk in Wonderland (I LOVE BOTH OF THOSE THINGS!!) and This Way to the EGRESS is the musical guest of honor and there are going to be awesome make and take workshops and a steampunk ball and so much cool stuff. Seriously. You should check it out.

Hit me up on Twitter @MadMerryMeg and let me know if I’ll be seeing you there!

Cookies!

I like food. I like cooking and I (obviously) like eating.

I also like many other things — reading, writing, Bigfoot, my kids, church, woobies, singing, etc — but no one has tagged me in a “Your Favorite Bigfoot Hunter” meme lately. (It’s Dr. Jeff Meldrum, for the record.)

My sister Amanda C. Davis has tagged me in a food meme — specifically, a Virtual Cookie Exchange — and since another thing I like is sharing recipes, today is your (well, really, my) lucky day!

I tend to be a bit of a rebel when it comes to cookie exchanges. Now, don’t be misled — I make a mean chocolate chip cookie. I am VERY GOOD at making cookies. It’s one of my Things.* But regular cookies can get boring, and with cookie exchanges you end up with like one million sugar cookies, so I like to introduce an element of different. For this exchange, I’m going to go with Lemon Bar Puppy Chow.

I don’t know that Puppy Chow can really be considered a cookie. It’s not really a candy, either, though. I think it’s in that nebulous area generally defined in my family as “a sweet”. It’s delicious, though, and adding that lemon bar flavor takes it one step beyond “a sweet” to “a really really good sweet.”

And it’s easy, too! Unlike Amanda, who loves to slave over difficult recipes, I believe that ain’t nobody got time for that — or at the very least, I do not have the time for that. Most of my baking has to be done after 8pm, when the littles aren’t running around getting their sticky hands even stickier in my sugar. I can whip out a batch of Lemon Bar Puppy Chow in just a few minutes and have plenty of time for other important matters.**

Thanks to Amanda for the tagging, and for the recipe for our Grammy Davis’s Brer Rabbit Molasses Oatmeal Cookies, which I don’t think I actually had before. (The recipe, not the cookies. I’ve had the cookies.)

Lemon Bar Puppy Chow

  • 8 cups Rice Chex cereal (or fake Chex, brand name isn’t important here)
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup lemon curd
  • 1/4 cup butter (spreadable margarine works just fine)
  • 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Melt the white chocolate, lemon curd and butter in a skillet over low heat. Stir A LOT; you don’t want that sucker to start burning up. Next put the Chex into a big huge bowl and pour the delicious melted mixture all over it. Stir it all around to make sure that every nook and cranny is coated up with buttersugar chocolate juice. (That sounds more gross than it really is, sorry.) Pour the powdered sugar over the Chex and stir it all up again to coat it evenly. Pour everything out onto a cookie sheet or large sheet of parchment paper. Let it all cool and store it in an air-tight container. Try not to eat it all at once.

 

 

* I believe everyone has a Thing: something you are good at and could probably do in your sleep. For me my Things are baking chocolate chip cookies, giving impromptu speeches, and, apparently, reciting Kant’s Categorical Imperative.*!

*! Once in college I was suffering from sleep deprivation during one of my political science classes. I was having a hard time staying awake. The professor must have sensed this weakness and took the opportunity to call on me for a recitation of Kant’s Categorical Imperative. More or less asleep in my chair, I gave a textbook definition and promptly went back to staying not quite awake for the rest of the class. My husband can vouch for the veracity of that story.

** Occasionally cleaning or writing, but mostly TV, snacks, and video games. These days we’re enjoying Gotham and Oblivion.