2022 Basic+ Word of the Day Short Story Contest Winners!

Thank you to everyone who sent us their stories for our contest! We loved reading the legends from your regions! We have always wondered if teachers ask students to write Word of the Day stories, and maybe it happened this year because the winner and two runners-up (those are the people who come in second, third, fourth, etc.) were from the same city in Italy. And funnily, the other two runners-up were both from Madrid. We got a lot of great stories from the same cities this year. Happy 2023!

And the winner is...

Maila Nuri (Viterbo, Italy)

And the runner-ups are..

Tommaso Mari (Viterbo, Italy), Paola Tonelli (Viterbo, Italy), Daniela (Madrid, Spain), Blanca Álvarez (Madrid, Spain)


If you are on this list, please look for an email from us about your prize after the new year!

Here’s the winning story by Maila Nuri!

Princess Azzurrina

This story talks about a little girl who was born in the end of 1300 in a HUGE castle. Her real name was Guandelina Malatesta, but she TOOK the name Azzurrina for the color of her hair: LIGHT blue (in Italian: “azzurro”). Her mother tried to dye her hair black, but the dye did not work perfectly, so the hair kept a few light blue streaks.

Besides her singular hair, she was also born an albino, and all the people thought she was a WITCH and that she could do some NASTY ENCHANTMENTS.

Her parents were very WORRIED: they did not want people to think she was a witch, or they would STAB her in her heart and they did not want to lose their NAIVE child.

The COUPLE decided to KEEP their daughter LOCKED INSIDE the castle, with two guards always CHECKING on her.

While the little girl was PLAYING with a ball, it fell from her hands and when she went to pick it up, she fell down the stairs. The two guards heard a scream and went LOOKING for the little RICH girl, but ONCE they arrived, they could not find the young girl nor the ball. For this reason, Azzurrina was officially considered gone.

In the 1990s the castle opened AGAIN for public exhibitions. It is SAID that EVERY five years, on the anniversary of the death of the child, her spirit RETURNS to the castle. In FACT, while visiting the castle, some visitors have reported hearing a laugh similar to that of a young child. However, the story of Azzurrina remains only an urban legend in Italy and, as per now, there are no other TRACES of this girl.

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Word of the Day is released Monday through Friday.

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