Category Archives: fairy tales and folklore
By Rhonda Parrish.
Have you looked at the calendar lately? We’re getting awfully close to the November 30 deadline for Fae submissions which means it’s time for another update from the slush pile.
First of all, can I just say I am incredibly impressed with the submissions so far (even the ones I’ve passed on). For the most part the stories are great and, at the risk of jinxing myself, everyone has been following the submission guidelines! Okay, I shouldn’t totally geek out about that, but I am, because it’s so rare. So thank you to everyone who has submitted so far, I think you’re all amazing.
As for the stories themselves, while I’m still seeing a disproportionately high number of pieces set in forests in medieval Europe, a growing number of submitters seem to have really taken my advice to think outside the box and be specific to heart. I am encouraged by the growing number of pieces set in specific locales and with fairies which are a little different from the norm. Please keep that up. Some of the stories on my short list are of the more traditional fairy in a forest variety but I’m hoping to greatly outnumber them with other varieties. For example, one of my favourite submissions to date is one the author described as being ‘steampunk lite’ and another is an urban fantasy set in Indianapolis. So yes, please keep up the variety of settings and fairy types. I love it.
I am still missing a few elements that were on my wish list for this anthology, so if you’re stuck for an idea of what to write about, maybe take a look at the specific things I asked for in the guidelines. I haven’t got a tooth fairy story yet, for example, or the perfect arctic fairy, a silkie (selkie), imp, or any modern time-traveler types*. Those are all very sort of general descriptions but I bet they could make a great jumping off point to start something creative and awesome.
I’ve also received a fair number of “Does this story sound like something you’d like?” emails. And while I totally understand the inclination to write those, truthfully my answer is always, always, always going to be, “Send it and we’ll see”. I cannot judge how much I’m going to like a story or how good a fit it will be for the anthology based on your description. I need to read the actual piece. I know that can seem like a big step to take if you’re a beginning writer (and sometimes even if you’re not) but it really is the only way I can tell you how I feel about your story. So when in doubt, submit. J
If you’ve got any other specific questions feel free to leave them as a comment to this blog post or email me at fae[at]worldweaverpress.com . I’d love to hear from you and I’d especially love to read your fairy stories. Keep ‘em coming!
*It’s possible these types of stories are sitting in my inbox and I haven’t read them yet. The oldest unread submission I have right now is from October 21st.
About the anthologist: Rhonda Parrish is a master procrastinator and nap connoisseur but despite that she somehow manages a full professional life. She has been the publisher and editor-in-chief ofNiteblade Magazine for over five years now (which is like 25 years in internet time) and is the editor of the forthcoming benefit anthology, Metastasis. In addition, Rhonda is a writer whose work has been included or is forthcoming in dozens of publications including Tesseracts 17: Speculating Canada from Coast to Coast and Imaginarium: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing. Her website, updated weekly, is at http://www.rhondaparrish.com. More information about submitting to the Fae anthology can be found in our open calls for anthologies.
We opened up to submissions for Fae at the beginning of the month, and now that stories have been coming in for a couple weeks, I thought we’d do a quick update blog to let you know how it’s going so far and what I’d like to see more of going forward.
I’ve received about 50 submissions so far which is enough for me to notice a few trends and, even more important, begin to get a feeling for what the shape of this anthology is going to look like. That makes me able to give a more detailed idea of what I’m looking for in submissions.
I want to see something new.
Each of the stories which I’ve placed on my short list offered me something I hadn’t seen before. I’m getting a lot of fairy tale retellings, and some of them are very well written, but they aren’t new or they aren’t new enough. (Note: This isn’t a “fairy tale” anthology, oh no — it’s stories about fairies, hobs, pixies, and their kin, not folktales per se)
If you’re going to send me a story I’ve heard before, you have to re-make it as something spectacular that only you could have created. Simply swapping the gender of a character or telling the story from the villain’s point of view isn’t going to be enough to win a spot in this anthology. If you can show me something I’ve never seen before, however, your chances of making the short list (and eventually the table of contents) are good.
I’d like to see more variety in story settings.
So far I’m seeing a lot of stories set in some sort of nebulous modern time setting (advanced technology such as cars and electricity exist but we’re never actually given enough detail to know exactly where or when the story is taking place) and even more set in some sort of nebulous middle ages setting (no running water, people using carts and horses but again, no idea where or precisely when the story is being set).
I want a setting I can really, if you’ll pardon the cliché, sink my teeth into, and I don’t want every story in this collection to share the same world, the same time, the same place. I’m looking for variety. If you submit a story set in 1880s Yellowknife I promise you it is going to stand out from the crowd more than if you submit a story set in Anycity, Anytime. I promise.
Gimme space fairies. Desert fairies. Jungle fairies. Arctic fairies. Make up your own world that’s completely unlike anyone else’s. Set the fairies in your own city and make sure I can tell what city that is. Make the setting matter.
Genre bending is fun.
I love straight fantasy and I’m happy to read straight fantasy fairy stories, and if they are well-written and have something new to offer I’ll be pleased to make a space for them on my short list but again, I’m looking for something new in these stories and one way to stand out from the crowd is to mix, bend or blend the genre you’re writing from.
Steampunk fairies. Time-travelling fairies. Killer fairies. Ghost fairies… Read the rest of this entry
We’ve been talking about it for weeks, but the time to submit your fairy short story has arrived! And remember we’re looking for many different incarnations of fairy — good fairies, evil fairies, tiny ones, human-sized ones, (see below for a much more interesting description of what we’re seeking). The anthology is meant for a readership of 16-and-up (adult fiction). This is not a children’s anthology. We will gladly consider fairy-based horror.
If we say it’s adult fiction then why “16-and-up”? It’s a completely arbitrary number based on the age some of us here at WWP were when we first read A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Fairies and Shakespeare, rock it!
If you’re not sure if your story is “fairy enough,” submit it anyway and let the editor decide. Please don’t query about the potential appropriateness of your story; when it comes to short fiction, it’s much more efficient to let us read the story than it is to try and describe it to us in a letter.
Have you ever noticed that, despite the name, there is often a conspicuous absence of fairies in fairy tales? Historically speaking fairies have been mischievous or malignant. They’ve dwelt in forests, collected teeth or crafted shoes. In Fae, we want stories that honor that rich history but explore new and interesting takes on fairies as well. We want urban fairies and arctic fairies, steampunk fairies, time-traveling and digital fairies. We want stories that bridge traditional and modern styles and while we’re at it, we want stories about fairy-like creatures too. Bring us your sprites, your pixies, your seelies and unseelies, silkies, goblins or gnomes, brownies and imps. We want them all. We’re looking for lush settings, beautiful prose and complex characters.
About the anthologist: Rhonda Parrish is a master procrastinator and nap connoisseur but despite that she somehow manages a full professional life. She has been the publisher and editor-in-chief of Niteblade Magazine for over five years now (which is like 25 years in internet time) and is the editor of the forthcoming benefit anthology, Metastasis. In addition, Rhonda is a writer whose work has been included or is forthcoming in dozens of publications includingTesseracts 17: Speculating Canada from Coast to Coast and Imaginarium: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing. Her website, updated weekly, is at rhondaparrish.com
Open submission period: September 1 – November 30, 2013. Seeking submissions of less than 7,500 words now!
For details, like how to submit, see our Calls for Anthologies. And while you’re there don’t forget to check out the details of our Krampus open call, also seeking submissions until November 30.
Have you ever noticed that, despite the name, there is often a conspicuous absence of fairies in fairy tales? So begins the description of editor Rhonda Parrish’s newest project, Fae, an anthology of original fairy tales — no, not Snow White or Little Red Riding Hood, but the tales of fairies – with an open submission period starting on September 1 and closing November 30, 2013. Keep an eye out for the release of this dazzling project in summer 2014.
Historically speaking fairies have been mischievous or malignant. They’ve dwelt in forests, collected teeth or crafted shoes. In Fae, we want stories that honor that rich history but explore new and interesting takes on fairies as well. We want urban fairies and arctic fairies, steampunk fairies, time-traveling and digital fairies. We want stories that bridge traditional and modern styles and while we’re at it, we want stories about fairy-like creatures too. Bring us your sprites, your pixies, your seelies and unseelies, silkies, goblins or gnomes, brownies and imps. We want them all. We’re looking for lush settings, beautiful prose and complex characters.
For more details about submitting to the anthology see our submission page, Calls for Anthologies. And while you’re there, check out the details of the Krampus anthology if your writing bent runs more toward devils than sprites.
About the anthologist: Rhonda Parrish is a master procrastinator and nap connoisseur but despite that she somehow manages a full professional life. She has been the publisher and editor-in-chief ofNiteblade Magazine for over five years now (which is like 25 years in internet time) and is the editor of the forthcoming benefit anthology, Metastasis. In addition, Rhonda is a writer whose work has been included or is forthcoming in dozens of publications including Tesseracts 17: Speculating Canada from Coast to Coast and Imaginarium: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing. Her website, updated weekly, is at http://www.rhondaparrish.com
Top image credit: SPIRIT OF THE NIGHT, (painting) 1879 by John Atkinson Grimshaw.
Over at Enchanted Conversation: A Fairy Tale Magazine, Editor and Publisher Kate Wolford is holding a very special writing contest: the submissions must be inspired by one of the ten fairy tales found within her recent nonfiction collection Beyond the Glass Slipper: Ten Neglected Fairy Tales To Fall In Love With.
Kate Wolford writes: “Since Beyond the Glass Slipper was conceived, nearly a year ago, I’ve been hoping that the stories in the book would eventually inspire writers and poets. I thought long and hard about how to achieve that, and holding a contest seemed like the best way to accomplish the goal.” More…
While all the fairy tales themselves are available online from Project Gutenberg and the like, Beyond the Glass Slipper provides context for the tales, as well as research and questions posed by Wolford herself — not to mention suggested story prompts for “The Nixy,” “The Soldier and the Vampire,” “The Three Pennies,” “Fairy Gifts,” “The Loving Pair,” “The Dirty Shepherdess,” “Gifts of the Little People,” “The Blue Light,” “King Pig,” and “Kisa the Cat.”
Find out more about the contest and pick up your copy of Beyond the Glass Slipper in ebook or paperback:
Read the trade paperback for $9.95 from these and other retailers:
“Once I began to read this collection, I couldn’t stop. Just as with those secretive princesses with their silken slippers gone to shreds, I danced among these pages until dawn!”
—Terrie Leigh Relf, Illumen
“Wolves and Witches is a fabulous collection of re-imagined fairy tales. I made the mistake of starting it late one evening and couldn’t go to sleep until I had read it all. With their dark prose and evocative poetry these sisters have done the Brothers Grimm proud.”
—Rhonda Parrish, Niteblade Fantasy and Horror Magazine
“Dark and delicious revenge-filled tales! I Highly Recommend this fun and small collection of short stories.”
—Fangs, Wands & Fairy Dust.
“Davis and Engelhardt’s Wolves and Witches: A Fairy Tale Collection is a joy, start to finish. At times eloquent, at times written in a bare-bones style, this collection of verse and prose takes familiar fairy tales and turns them into something darker, deeper, and delicious. My very heart was stolen by a cobbler with a bad leg. That’s good storytelling.”
—Mercedes M. Yardley, Author of Beautiful Sorrows
“Sisters Amanda C. Davis and Megan Engelhardt are the female Brothers Grimm.”
—K. Allen Wood, Shock Totem
“In their collection of re-envisioned fairy tales, Wolves and Witches, Amanda C. Davis and Megan Engelhardt deliver an assortment of poetry and short fiction that entertains the ear and tickles the mind. The prose is assured, clever, and insightful, and the stories, which often experiment with perspective, dance from the page.”
—Stephen Ramey, author of Glass Animals, and editor for the Triangulation anthology series from Parsec Ink
“It’s in the details that Davis and Engelhardt get you. I don’t know if it’s love or obsession or maybe just succumbing to the spell, but what stays with me is the tenor and texture of these tales retold — whether the fabric of a dancing shoe, the hollowness of bones in the wind, or the sharp critique of stereotyped social norms. Let yourself be enchanted and enjoy.”
—Dan Campbell, Bull Spec
Read the trade paperback edition for $7.95 from these and other online retailers:
Heather Talty writes on where all the fairy tales have gone:
So here is the thing about fairy tales — they’re stories, we know that, told in various forms by various people over quite a long time until they take on certain recognizable characteristics, like, say, a devious wolf, three pigs, a deadly apple. Many of these stories are part of the oral tradition, even if their forms might have changed some since people spent their time telling each other tales and recounting the history of their own people through word of mouth. Sad though it might be, we’re not much of an oral storytelling culture any more, so those stories had to have gotten to us somehow, and that how comes in the form of folklorists. These folklorists were people like The Brothers Grimm, Abjørnsen and Moe, Charles Perrault, and so on. During the 1800s, in particular, researchers and scholars all around Europe dedicated themselves to finding the old tales and making them literary, with the result that years later, we’re still telling the tales.
Consider this: the collection and distribution of oral tales was much in vogue at the time these guys were doing their thing, so it’s safe to say they weren’t the only ones going around, bothering old women to tell them stories instead of going to sleep early like they wanted to. The countryside was probably lousy with folklorists. So where are their collections? Read the rest of this entry