Fairytales

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"A world in which there are monsters, and ghosts, and things that want to steal your heart is a world in which there are angels, and dreams, and a world in which there is hope."  -Neil Gaiman

A group for writers of contemporary fairytales

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I've just posted the first two chapters (c3000 words) of a fantasy novel on Peer-to-Peer critiques. It draws heavily on English and Welsh folk traditions, including The Mabinogion, and features giants, fairies, witches, goblins and elves in the modern world. I'd love to hear what other writers in this genre make of it.

Thanks, Glyn

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Hi Veronika and everyone.

I am new to this Group. Having written historical and contemporary fiction for adult readers, I was inspired to take a course and write a middle-grade fantasy book in 2020 -  my lock-down project.  I am interested in entering the WRITEMENTOR children's novel competition by the closing date, 31st January.  As I have never written a synopsis for a children's book before, I wonder if anyone has the time to read it and give me feedback, please. 

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Fractured Literary Submission Manager - Fractured Lit Ghost, Fable, and Fairy Tales Prize |$3000| Judged by Kevin Brockmeier (submittable.com)

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New Anthology looking for submissions of fairy tales on the theme of fairy godmothers (deadline November 15th)

https://www.worldweaverpress.com/submit-anthologies.html

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This short story anthology call has a fairytaleish vibe. I like the sound of it, but inspiration is elusive. Hopefully it will inspire someone. http://darkdragonpublishing.com/anthosub.html

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Prompted by some quirk of fate, I recently wrote a retelling of a well known fairytale in poetic form.

Being neither poetess, nor 'fairytale-reteller,' this came as a surprise. 

I like that it's short enough to share in this group. Any comments welcome.

                                

THE SECRET TRUTH

(Memoirs of a Fairytale Princess)  

I was born in a Palace,
a dream come true,
for my parents and fairy godmother.
From thereon, however, things went downhill.
Mama got sick, a difficult birth,
and Papa, with his power, wealth and all that,
would have given his crown, I was told.

Couldn’t save her though.
My mother died, I was nursed
by a maid, wish I knew her name.
Then the Queen took over,
became my new mum, can’t tell exactly when.
Didn’t see her much,
and anyway, she’s all I’ve ever known.

My childhood passed in a gloomy fog,
no photos, no tales, no baby locks,
no keep sakes of my dear mother.
My earliest memory,
I may have been ten,
the forbidden room was open,
I walked in, as you do, looked in the mirror, and…

Had no idea it was magic.
What I saw that day?
I so wish I could remember!
The hunter found me in the woods,
they say, the Queen’s secret lover,
how I got there, nobody told me that bit,
but I swear by the nymphs of the forest.

He wanted to kill me.
I cried, and I begged,
till he took me back to the Palace.
Life wasn’t a fairytale after that,
the Queen jealous as hell.
She talked to the mirror from dawn to dusk,
obsessed with age, rank, and beauty.

In the end I ran away, as you know
from home to the hilly yonder
stayed with little fellows, seven of them,
cleaning caves, cooking food – not my dream.
So when that old witch came along and brought
stuff I couldn’t avoid or resist, I ignored
advice, counsel, and warnings.

Took the belt, the comb, and the apple from her
all poisoned, in hindsight it’s clear.
Got it wrong each time, I admit without shame,
failed again, again, and again.
But my prince found me anyway.
And that’s all I wanted to say:
Defeat, my friends, wasn’t my story’s end,
and the mirror – it just came back to me – knew the secret truth all along.  

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This open call might be of interest to you fairytale lovers. Particularly the Wild Hunt theme for JPK and your Harry Ca Nab stories. http://aanpress.com/submissions.html 

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Hi everyone

I'm new to the group. I have two WIPs: 'Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Sailor', and (surprise, surprise) 'Richman Poorman Beggarman Thief'. All the stories are written. I will complete the final revision of the first book either this weekend or early next week. I plan to publish it independently as short stories are difficult to place.

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Hello dear Fellow Fairytale Writers,

And welcome especially to all new members! Lovely to see this group grow.
I got to admit, I haven't posted much since founding this group, for many valid or silly reasons, which I won't bore you with. But now I finally have something worthwhile to share. Here we go:

I recently joined a course at WriteMentor where we post pieces of our WIP, and everyone who's signed up can give feedback to everyone else. We have different 'official' topics each month, however, we don't have to strictly stick to them.

Some examples of what we post are: 1– The concept of your story, 2 – The opening line or paragraph, 3 – A Synopsis, 4 – The first scene or chapter (preferably no more than 1000 words)

This is proving to be extremely valuable, and I feel my work is moving on in leaps and bounds as a result of this exchange.

That gave me the idea of creating a similar forum here – just for writers of fairy tales, but not necessarily only for children.

Let me know what you think, and if you have additional suggestions for topics on which you would like peer feedback, please add them to the list.

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Hey all! Thanks for letting me into the group! I have a deep love of folktale and fairytale, write my own YA Fantasy based on it and have been reading it for a loooong time. From Grimm to Holly Black, I love anything that involves the murderous fey and folkloric tradition.
I also read academic texts on it - Currently reading Katherine Brigg's 'The Fairies in Tradition and Literature' and will be moving on to Jack Zipes' 'Fairy Tales and the Art of Subversion' soon. Also avid subscriber to 'Gramarye: The Journal of the Chichester Centre for Fairy Tales, Fantasy and Speculative Fiction' and have recently found that loads of Fairy Tale Review is now free to access on JSTOR.

And not to promote anywhere else when we all love Jericho, but just wondering if anyone here has signed up for Zoe Gilbert and LondonLitLab's 'Folk Tales in New Fiction' course in a few weeks' time?

Anyway, all this is to say that I would love, and do love, talking about folklore, fantasy fiction and fairy tale.:)

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Hi Everyone,

I am new to the Fairytales Group and would like to introduce myself. I've been writing for a number of years and Fantasy of various types is one of my favorite genres. I currently have a short story that runs about 6,398 words and is a whimsical haunting inside a grocery store. It is a humor/horror/action-adventure blend. The pace is fast. This weird (the realistic doing the absurd) speculative story is a karmic lesson about ordinary doing the extraordinary. I've named it Friday Nights is Not a Good Time to Get Groceries. I've sent this story to a number of publications. Although about 5 of them have expressed liking it and saying they believe it is publishable, they pass on it. This is perplexing to me and tells me changes are needed, something is wrong that I need to fix, but I just can't see what that is. It would be so helpful to get feedback on what others think the problem is or are. Thank you a head of time to anyone who wants to read Friday Nights. I am willing to return the favor. With interest, I will upload the story and make it available or send it to an email. Please let me know.

---Christina

 Here is a quick overview of the story:

Beth, a single mother races to save her daughter and herself from a grocery store ghost-demon by re-purposing common pickles and eventually admits her elderly neighbor’s earlier warning had been spot-on:  FRIDAY NIGHTS ARE NOT A GOOD TIME TO GET GROCERIES.

The rumor of a ghostly old woman and who makes people disappear is thought by many to be a backfiring publicity-stunt to draw customers. At the same time, Lawrence Herkles didn’t pay any attention to rumors. What he wanted was simple:  to rob Better Foods, to shut his nagging wife up about feeding their family, and to pay the rent. Lawrence decides to take advantage of the opportunity of a commotion inside the store until he too comes face-to-face with the monster. She believes he’s the disrespectful man who had caused her demise!

Not until the end of the story is Beth’s unusual weapon critical in re-establishing the balance of good and evil inside a grocery store, and does Lawrence respect rumors.  

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Hi All,

The prompt from a writing group I'm in was 'Heat'. After a few months travelling around a blisteringly hot Europe in the van I must admit I've not written much for a while so I have eased myself back into it with this.

By the way, does anyone know if one can format this sort of post (italic, underscore, bold etc)? Can't see anything obvious on the UI, but maybe I'm missing something. 


Harry the Nab and the heating problem

The great black doors opened, massive hinges screaming in agony beneath their weight, red light spilling through as the crack grew wider, to bathe Harry in its hot smoky glow.  He waited to be called forward.

A terrible voice emanated from the room beyond, shaking the walls, resonating in the sultry air.

“Enter, lowly one. Abase yourself before the Morning Star, the Devourer of Souls, the Dark…”

“Thank you Azazel. Harry knows the form. Shut the doors behind you.”

“Of course, Your Dark Majesty.” 

Azazel the Deceiver, obsequious and sulky, shot Harry a loathing glance as they passed each other at the threshold of the vast chamber.

“Oh, and Azazel?”

“Your Malevolence?”

“Some oil, please, on the hinges. That noise just sets my teeth on edge.”

The doors ground shut behind the muttering demon. Harry the Nab, leader of the Satanic hunt, stood in the Great Chamber of Hell. 

“Azazel is a sweetie, really, but he is a bit ‘old school’. Have you self flagellating if he thought he could get away with it.”

The Great Dragon, Angel of the Abyss, neatly clad in a tweed skirt and a pink woollen pullover, smiled at Harry as she held open a small door in the side of the huge chamber.

“Let’s pop through to the sanctum.”

The room that they now entered was far more manageable in scale. The walls, for example, in the Great Chamber, were more or less an article of faith. Harry knew that they must be there because of the way that the screams of souls in torment echoed off them but in three hundred years as the Devil’s huntsman he had never actually seen them.

Here the walls were clearly visible, or at least they would have been had it not been for the eclectic collection of artworks with which they were covered. 

Harry was no connoisseur, but on his various visits to his employer’s office she had pointed out a few of her favourites to him. Hogarth’s scenes of gin and debauchery, the crows that troubled the wheat fields in the mind of poor Van Gogh and even, from the very darkest period of human artistic endeavour, a number of canvasses that presented cigar smoking dogs playing poker and pool. He happened to know that Cassius Marcellus Coolidge, the perpetrator of this particular atrocity, shared the tenth circle of hell with a number of other artists, playwrights and authors of romantic fiction who, whilst they  may not in life have burned very brightly, would certainly now burn for a very long time.

Today, however, the artwork passed without comment. Today was all business. Satan, giving an ostentatious little shiver, took a cardigan, pink to match her pullover, from the back of the chair behind her desk and put it on. She sat, gesturing to Harry to do the same.

“So, Harry, how’s the soul gathering? Nothing burns quite so hot as the souls of wicked men, eh?”

Harry shifted uncomfortably, he had the feeling that this was a leading question.

“Numbers are good, we’ve had quite a few dictators, some property developers and I have a president coming due very soon. We are a little down on Bishops since the new Pope took office.”

The Dark Lady nodded, rubbing her hands together briskly.

“Does it feel a little chilly in here to you? Not quite as comfortable as usual?”

Since his death Harry had become acclimatised to the excessive warmth of hell. So long as he dressed appropriately he could cope with temperatures into the hundreds, though he preferred to be out in the cooler world of men hunting for beasts to feed the hungry mouths of the demonic hordes and souls with which to fuel the fires. 

As a contractual employee of the Devil, rather than one of the damned, he had never been in any of the actual torment areas for more than a brief visit during his induction period, a fact for which he was eternally grateful. 

“I’m not the best judge, Ma’am.”

His Dark Mistress eyed him coolly, at least as coolly as possible for one whose eyes smoulder with the fires of eternal perdition.

“It’s not the judges who are the problem, Harry, it’s the lawyers. You seem to have been bringing them in in their droves.”

“Well they are very wicked, Ma’am.”

“That’s true,” said the Mistress of all Lies, “but they’ve started lodging appeals, citing due process. Limbo is getting full to overflowing, the holding cells can’t cope. One of them has raised a petition to have Aleister Crowley beatified.”

Harry swallowed, his throat dry from the apparently inadequate heat of the room. It was true that he was not fond of the legal profession and had, of late, taken some degree of pleasure in hunting down their sin stained souls. This was a consequence that he had not foreseen.

“So cut back on the lawyers?”

Satan nodded.

“Cut back on the lawyers, they block the refuelling pipeline. We have always had a sort of loose arrangement with the opposition. Lawyers go straight into the seven circles of purgatory. They think that they’re on the way up but even if they make it through pride they can never get past avarice.”

“Understood, Ma’am. Perhaps I can bring the numbers up with a few football managers? They burn very hot, I‘m led to believe.”

“Excellent notion, Harry. The world of professional sport has some rich pickings for us. Let’s get onto that one quickly.”

She smiled at him, her teeth dazzling white and only slightly pointed.

“After all, nobody wants anything to freeze over.”