top of page

Rethinking The Wicked Stepmother in Fairytale Retellings with Christine Pakkala


If you’ve ever tried to find a Happy Mother’s Day card for a stepmom, you know what a challenge that can be. It might not be surprising that greeting cards are not pioneers of sociological change. What is surprising is that children’s literature has been slow to banish the evil stepmother stereotype.


In this seminar, I’ll focus on the popular genre of fairytale retellings to give you

some examples of authors—even award-winning ones—who get it wrong—and one who gets it right. We’ll talk about what is working in the one that gets it right and how we can incorporate the same craft techniques in our own writing to portray stepmothers as positive, loving, and nuanced characters.



In person at Westport Writers Workshop

25 Sylvan Rd S, Suite J

Westport, CT 06880



Saturday, April 6, 2024



10:00-12:00 EST



For more info, call 203.227.3250 or email



Christine Pakkala is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop MFA. She was a Fulbright Scholar (1994) in Helsinki, Finland, where she translated modern Finnish poetry. She taught 7th and 9th grade English at Horace Mann and has published essays in Salon, BrainChild and Serendipity and is the 2013 winner of the Ladies Home Journal essay contest. She’s the author of Last-But-Not-Least Lola Going Green, which was the winner of the Santa Monica Public Library's Green Prize, and a novel for teens, Jasmine and Maddie, which was a VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocate) Top Shelf pick and a Bank Street Best Book.

Christine is working on a memoir and the first chapter of it will be published as an essay in "The Seventh Wave", an arts and literary magazine this fall.

Rethinking The Wicked Stepmother in Fairytale Retellings with Christine Pakkala

SKU: S406s24
    bottom of page