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Fairy tale journal prompts

by aisling d'art ©2006

When we're writing in our journals, most people choose one of three approaches:

Here are a few to get you started:

Choose a character. What was your favorite fairy tale as a child, and which character did you most identify with?

Your perfect outfit. If you could live in any fairy tale or time period, which would it be, and what would you love to wear?

Your perfect home. Would you prefer to live in the castle, the gingerbread house, or the woodsman's cottage?


Cinderella was tyrannized by her stepmother and sisters, and did a lot of work for which she received no thanks. The Prince was tyrannized by his parents who meant well, but demanded that he grow up and find a wife immediately. Both of them were rescued from their lives by Cinderella's fairy godmother.

1. Think about a time in your life when you felt trapped in a lesser role, like Cinderella. What got you out of that situation?

2. Was there a time when your family or friends pushed you to do something sooner than you wanted to? Did it work out, as it did for the Prince?

3. Think about a way that you have been a 'fairy godmother' to someone else. What did you do, and how did that feel? (Is there a way that you could be a 'fairy godmother' again, right now?)

Sleeping Beauty

Sleeping Beauty's family tried to protect her from the fate decreed by a curse at her birth. Though the curse was unavoidable, it was made less harsh by a counterspell. After pricking her finger on a spinning wheel, Sleeping Beauty didn't die, but she and the entire castle fell asleep instead. She could only be woken by a kiss from her True Love.

1. Was there a time in your life when something (good or bad) felt unavoidable, as if it was your destiny? What was it, and how did you turn it to your best advantage?

2. Was your life transformed by True Love, or even a great infatuation? Was there a magic moment when everything changed?

3. What daily event transforms your world? Is it a sunny day, birds chirping in the morning, a rainbow, your child's smile, a kiss from your spouse, or something else?


Goldilocks went into the woods, and found herself at the cabin of the three bears. The cabin was empty and the door was open, so she explored. While she was there, she found a series of things that weren't quite right--for example, a soup that was too hot, too cold--but she kept looking until she found one that was perfect for her. Eventually, the bears returned home and found Goldilocks asleep in one of their beds. She woke up and ran home as quickly as she could.

1. Was there a time when you explored somewhere that you probably shouldn't have been? Was it an adventure?

2. Do you keep looking for what will suit you perfectly, or have you settled for something that's not quite right? Think of one time that you did this, and what you've learned from it.

More fairy tales

Kissing frogs. Sometimes a kiss or a small gesture transforms the worst person or situation into something better than you ever dreamed. Did this ever happen to you?

Rumplestiltskin. Was there ever a time when you said something--maybe something that seemed unimportant to you--and everything changed for the better?

As a child, did you have a teacher or a neighbor with an impossible name, and you called him or her something else?

Jack and the Beanstalk. Jack planted the beans and the stalk led him upwards to the giant's castle in the clouds. If you planted a magic beanstalk, where would it lead to, and why?

There are many more fairy tales with opportunities for journal prompts. Visit your public library and take out a fairy tale book, and rediscover the magic in them!

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